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CONTACT: Rich Wretman
Director of Development
College of Engineering
(319) 335-3305

EDITORS NOTE: If you would like a black and white photo of the architect's rendering of the College of Engineering Building, please contact the UI Foundation.

Release: Immediate

UI Engineering Building Campaign goal raised; major gifts name new facilities

IOWA CITY,. Iowa -- Generous gifts from alumni and friends have prompted the University of Iowa College of Engineering and the UI Foundation to raise the goal of the fund-raising campaign for the UI's Engineering Building modernization project from $8 million to $11 million.

In announcing the new goal, UI engineering Dean Richard K. Miller said that the additional $3 million in private support will enable the college to complete portions of the modernization project that would otherwise have remained unfinished.

"This represents a tremendous gain for our students and faculty," Miller said. "The new goal will allow us to complete construction of the fourth floor of the building's new laboratory wing, purchase furnishings, and expand the scope of our renovations to the existing building. When the project is completed in 2001, we'll be able to maximize the college's potential for 21st century engineering education and research, right from the start."

Rich Wretman, the foundation's director of development for the College of Engineering, reported that campaign gift totals now exceed $9 million, thanks in part to high-level contributions that will name portions of the new and renovated building. Those gifts include a $3 million commitment made in October 1997 by 1971 UI engineering graduate and Iowa City native

Gary L. Seamans of St. Charles, Ill., and his family. As a result, the entire building will be renamed the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences.

Among other recent gifts to the Engineering Building Campaign is a $250,000 commitment from 1964 UI engineering graduate James E. Ashton of Paradise Valley, Ariz. Ashton's family includes many UI engineering graduates, and the building's civil and environmental engineering department office suite will be named in their honor. High-level gifts also include a $250,000 commitment from the Maytag Corporation Foundation of Newton, Iowa, for which the undergraduate programs office suite will be named; a $200,000 commitment from MidAmerican Energy Company of Des Moines, for which a 70-seat classroom will be named; and a $100,000 commitment from Philip H. Francis of Barrington, Ill., who earned both master's and doctorate degrees from the UI College of Engineering in 1960 and 1965, respectively, and for whom the building's placement-related business center will be named. Both Ashton and Francis are members of the Engineering Building Campaign Steering Committee.

"Generous gifts from the college's alumni and corporate partners impact this project in two key ways," said Miller. "Not only will these commitments enable us to proceed with our construction plans, but naming major facilities in honor of contributors sends a message to future generations of students, faculty, and other building visitors about the importance of private support. We're deeply grateful for such pace-setting commitments."

Designed by Iowa City architect Neumann Monson, P.C., and the Los Angeles firm of Anshen + Allen, the building modernization consists of construction of a new south wing that will include laboratory and classroom space, a large auditorium, and an outdoor plaza, as well as renovation of the existing building. Work is under way on the site, and university officials report that the project is on schedule.

The University of Iowa 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 funds for facilities improvements, scholarships, and other programs and projects throughout the UI.