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Release: Oct. 23, 2002

UI Museum of Natural History unveils new banners Oct. 28

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History will unveil its new banners at an official flag-raising ceremony to be held on the east portico stairs of Macbride Hall at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28.

The ceremony will honor the project's major donors, David "Bill" and Janice Gerlits, long-time museum volunteers, and Leo and Maude Leeper, through an endowment created by their son, Dr. Robert W. Leeper. The new banners, towering over 20 feet high, feature the giant figures of the museum's popular Ice Age Sloth and Panda.

"My wife and I believe the natural history museum is a world-class museum and, as such, is an Iowa educational treasure, says Bill Gerlits. "We are proud to be associated with such a great institution. Unfortunately, it is one of the best-kept secrets on campus, so we hope the banners will attract more passersby to come in and take a look."

Museum designer Bruce Scherting, creator of the new design, says, "The sloth has won the museum countless friends in his seven-year existence, so putting him out front on the new banners seemed an appropriate way to honor the wishes of our donors and visitors, especially children."

Martin's Flag Company of Ft. Dodge, Iowa constructed the banners.

For further information, contact David Brenzel, coordinator, (319) 335-0482, or e-mail