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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: March 12, 2001

Engineer is remembered in gift for UI river research station

IOWA CITY, Iowa-- A $100,000 gift to the University of Iowa Foundation will help fund construction of a classroom in the Mississippi Riverside Environmental Research Station (MRERS), which the University of Iowa will build near Muscatine, Iowa, this summer. Marie F. Carter of Bettendorf, Iowa, made the gift in memory of her late husband, Archie N. Carter, an engineer and UI alumnus. The gift will help the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research (IIHR) and the UI College of Engineering build the first university-affiliated, comprehensive river-research station in the world.

The IIHR, which is recognized internationally as a leader in hydraulics, hydroscience and engineering, has a long history on the Mississippi River, having helped design several of its locks and dams in the 1930s. The new facility will bring together faculty and staff members from varied disciplines to create an international, state-of-the-art center for studying river ecosystems and rivers’ responses to natural events and human activities. Currently, no single organization studies the comprehensive long-term impacts of river issues such as floods, droughts, navigation and construction.

V. C. Patel, director of IIHR and a professor of mechanical engineering, credits private giving in enabling the UI College of Engineering to build such a center. "MRERS is a novel enterprise, one that extends IIHR's educational and research programs beyond the campus," said Patel. "Private gifts like Mrs. Carter’s give timely impetus and encouragement to our efforts to build on our strengths. Without private support, the process of building a unique program of this magnitude would take much longer."

Carter decided to fund the building of a classroom at the MRERS, she said, because the centrality of teaching to the facility’s mission reflected her late husband’s interests. "Archie liked to be in the middle of things," she said.

Archie N. Carter, a native of Fremont, Iowa, received a B.S. degree in engineering from the UI in 1935 and was an active civil engineer and supporter of the UI until his death in 1994 at age 83. Carter has since established an engineering scholarship in his name at the UI and made a gift to support construction of the new Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences on the UI campus.

The MRERS received a major funding boost in December 1999, thanks to a leadership gift by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine. The Carver gift and the Carter gift are 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 merit- and need-based scholarships, as well as the number of endowed faculty chairs and professorships; support eight new educational and research facilities; fund outreach and service programs to benefit individuals, families, and communities throughout the state of Iowa; build the UI’s endowment; and launch new initiatives in the arts, sciences, business, engineering, health care, and other fields.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.