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Release: Immediate

University of Iowa Alumni Association dedicates historic landmark plaques

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A series of 19 plaques commemorating some of the University of Iowa's oldest and most beloved buildings will be dedicated Friday, May 30 at 3 p.m. on the east side of the Pentacrest in conjunction with Spring Reunion Weekend.

A gift from the UI Alumni Association, the set of plaques reflect the early history of the university and are being installed as part of the UI's year-long Sesquicentennial celebration. UI President Mary Sue Coleman, UI Alumni Association President Jo Ellen Bender and Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies Sam Becker will preside over the dedication.

Mounted on simple limestone bases, the 7-by-10 inch bronze plaques provide brief narratives highlighting building histories and other novel bits of information.

After the ceremony a Scottish Highlander will lead Spring Reunion Weekend guests to a welcome reception in Old Capitol, while other dedication attendees will be invited to tour the Pentacrest with the help of maps detailing the plaque locations.

"This is our gift to the university in its celebration of the Sesquicentennial," said Vince Nelson, interim director of the Alumni Association. "It's a tangible gift that will help people learn about the history of the campus."

Becker chaired the campus committee that selected the buildings and programs recognized in the first phase of the marker project. Three of the plaques identify buildings no longer standing -- Mechanics Academy, Close Hall and the Old Dental Building. A second set of plaques is planned for another 20 to 25 buildings.

The remaining plaques in the first phase include the President's House; Lindquist Center; Calvin Hall; Schaeffer Hall; Macbride Hall; MacLean Hall; Jessup Hall; North Hall; Seashore Hall; Creative Arts; Iowa Writers' Workshop; Gilmore Hall; General Hospital; Blood Bank; Steindler Building and the Pentacrest.

The $20,000 project was funded by the UI Alumni Association's credit card partner MBNA America in Wilmington, Del.