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Director of Development
College of Engineering
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: Aug. 3, 2001

UI alumnus creates endowed faculty position in engineering

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Engineering will gain an endowed faculty chair, thanks to the generosity of 1948 graduate Joseph B. Summers of Hanford, Calif.

An initial gift of $500,000 from Summers to the UI Foundation has established the Joseph B. and Rose P. Summers Professorship in Water Resources, the naming of which honors Summers' late wife. Summers has made future gift commitments that will bring the endowment level to $1.5 million, at which time the position will become an endowed chair.

Based in the department of civil and environmental engineering and in IIHR-hydroscience & engineering, a research unit of the College of Engineering, the Summers chair will enable the college to further strengthen its internationally renowned programs in water resources and hydraulic engineering.

"I'm very pleased to be able to help the college in this way," Summers said. "My late wife Rose and I had long felt that this would be an excellent way to help the college prepare young people for the same kind of rewarding career in engineering that I've enjoyed."

Summers is chairman of the board of Summers Engineering Inc., which he founded in 1962. An active consulting engineer, he has been a leader on water use, irrigation and drainage issues in California and internationally. He also owns and operates a successful walnut orchard. Summers is a member of the UI College of Engineering's Advisory Board and Development Council, and served on the college's campaign steering committee for the new Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences. That building will be dedicated Sept. 28. Summers was recently inducted into the college's Distinguished Alumni Academy.

"Joe Summers embodies the word 'commitment' as a distinguished University of Iowa alumnus," said P. Barry Butler, dean of the College of Engineering. "While many graduates make generous financial commitments at a peak in their professional careers, Mr. Summers has given generously of his time, experience and counsel. "By embracing vision, passion and commitment in service to others, Mr. Summers always exceeds expectations and has become a highly respected model for others to follow," Butler added

The Summers gift is part of the university's planned comprehensive campaign to advance the UI's strategic goals for the years 2000-2005. The campaign, which is in its early stages and for which no final dollar goal has been established, will be conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation and will raise funds to substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty chairs and professorships; fund outreach and service programs to benefit individuals, families and communities throughout the state of Iowa; support new educational and research facilities; build the UI's endowment; and launch new initiatives in the arts, sciences, business, health care and other fields. The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university.