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Release: Immediate

Bird Hall at UI Museum of Natural History named for Hageboeck family of Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The redesigned Bird Hall at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History will be named the "William and Eleanor Hageboeck Hall of Birds" to recognize the generosity of an Iowa City family with ties to the UI.

The Hageboecks, with abiding interests in natural history, are longtime supporters of the UI and made a generous leadership gift to the recent fund-raising campaign conducted by the UI Foundation to redesign Bird Hall.

William T. Hageboeck received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the UI in 1928. He worked at the Des Moines Register after graduation, then became advertising manager for the Iowa City Press-Citizen in 1936. He was publisher of the Press-Citizen from 1940 until his retirement in 1962.

Eleanor G. Hageboeck received a bachelor's degree in art from the UI in 1929. She has been active in many local organizations. Their children are Norman Hageboeck of Plymouth, Minn., and Anne Higgins of Edina, Minn. Another son, Fredrich, died in 1978.

The family has supported many UI programs, including athletic scholarships, the College of Business Administration, Hancher Auditorium, the Museum of Art, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and University Libraries. They also donated their complete collection of Iowa Homecoming buttons to the UI.

"It is appropriate that we are renaming Bird Hall the 'William and Eleanor Hageboeck Hall of Birds' as a tribute to the family's extraordinary vision and generosity," museum director George Schrimper said.

"Of the many important resources gathered since the Museum of Natural History was founded in 1858, I consider the North American birds to be its premier collection," Schrimper said. "Now, as we adapt the comprehensive collection to new biological, historical, and cultural interpretations, our visitors will have a much more interesting and meaningful tour experience."

Remodeling at Bird Hall started in May 1997 and is scheduled for completion next year. When the project is complete, the 5,000-square-foot Hageboeck Hall of Birds will feature interactive displays and activities, exhibits with sound effects, and highlights of almost every aspect of North American bird life:

-- Exhibits will highlight the historical and cultural significance of birds to humans; evolution of birds; diversity of birds in size, shape, and color; form and function of feathers; mechanics of flight; adaptive features of beaks and feet; varieties of nests and eggs; and migration habits.

-- Nine new exhibits with mural backgrounds will illustrate the habitat, behaviors, and family characteristics of selected North American birds. Another display will showcase extinct or endangered birds.

-- Visitors will push a button to hear a recorded bird song or see how a wing moves in flight. Drawers will open to reveal collections of eggs. Another area will offer tips on feeding, watching, and identifying birds.

Neal Deaton of Minneapolis has produced many of the new exhibits. Deaton was responsible for the exhibit designs and colorful dioramas at the Museum of Natural History's Iowa Hall, which opened in 1985.

About 70,000 people from Iowa and around the world visit the Museum of Natural History each year. The modernization of Bird Hall is expected to boost attendance. The museum's three major display areas -- Bird Hall, Mammal Hall, and Iowa Hall -- are free and open to the public.

Those interested in making a gift to the campaign for Bird Hall should call the UI Foundation at (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973. Contributors of $25 or more will be recognized in a printed honor roll to be published at the conclusion of the campaign. Contributors of $1,000 or more will be recognized on a plaque to be installed in Bird Hall when the renovation is completed. Gifts at higher levels may qualify to name displays in honor of friends, family, or organizations.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the UI. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide resources for building renovations, equipment, technology, scholarships, professorships, and other forms of support for the UI.