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Director of Development
College of Engineering
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305

Release: Immediate

Gifts for UI Engineering Building top $5 million

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Foundation today (Sept. 16) announced that the campaign for the UI Engineering Building modernization project has raised more than $5 million of its $8 million goal during the campaign's first seven months, and that three building areas will be named in recognition of generous alumni and corporate contributors. The three areas are:

* The H. William Lichtenberger Engineering Library, named in honor of a 1959 graduate of the college;

* The IES Industries Career Services Office Suite, named in honor of the Cedar Rapids utilities company;

* The Erwin W. and Vera L. Fethke Rooftop Terrace, named in memory of the parents of Wayne G. Fethke, a 1971 UI engineering graduate.

The fund-raising campaign is helping to finance a four-year, $26 million modernization of the 90-year-old Engineering Building, with $14 million coming from state appropriations, $4 million from the university, and at least $8 million from alumni, friends, and corporations. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held in May, with completion scheduled for 2001. Richard K. Miller, dean of the College of Engineering, said that the campaign is experiencing success due to early support from alumni and friends.

"We are overwhelmed and gratified by the generosity already shown by graduates and friends in response to this campaign," Miller said. "I am especially pleased that many of these contributors will have rooms and other areas in the building named in their honor, so future generations of engineering students will understand and appreciate the commitment made by those who have preceded them."

The H. William Lichtenberger Engineering Library, recognizing a campaign pledge of $750,000, will be a significantly expanded version of the present library. Lichtenberger, of Ridgefield, Conn., is chairman and CEO of Praxair, Inc., North America's largest producer of industrial gases. He is a long-time supporter of the College of Engineering and currently serves on the Campaign Steering Committee for the building modernization project. In 1997 Lichtenberger received the UI Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award and was elected to the college's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy.

The IES Industries Career Services Office Suite, recognizing a $250,000 campaign commitment, will be located on the building's third floor and will be primarily utilized by undergraduate students for job searches, employer interviews, and other career-related activities. IES Industries is among the university's most generous corporate contributors, and has previously supported such projects as the campaign for the Pappajohn Business Administration Building, the Ovation Campaign to renovate Hancher Auditorium, and the Hawkeye Horizons Campaign for men's and women's athletics.

The Erwin W. and Vera L. Fethke Rooftop Terrace recognizes a $150,000 campaign pledge by Wayne G. Fethke and his wife, Phyllis A. Fethke, in memory of his parents. Fethke is president and CEO of Fiskars Inc., of Madison, Wis., and is a member of the college's Engineering Advisory Board. The Roof Terrace, to be located on the building's fourth floor above the new Student Learning Center, will be a popular outdoor gathering spot for students and faculty, as well as for collegiate alumni events and other activities.

"Being more than halfway toward our goal at this relatively early stage of the campaign is very encouraging," said Rich Wretman, the UI Foundation's director of development for the College of Engineering. "I'm confident of a generous response early next year when we approach all alumni of the college for their support."

Designed by Iowa City architects Neumann Monson, P.C., and the Los Angeles firm Anshen + Allen, the modernization project will preserve much of the original 1906 Engineering Building while adding classrooms, labs, and student-oriented study and meeting areas. The project will be completed in stages, and renovation has already begun on some of the interior portions of the building. Demolition of existing structures on the site will begin later this fall. The project is on schedule, according to college officials, with completion of both renovation and new construction set for 2001.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide capital funds, scholarships, and other forms of support for the UI.