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University of Iowa News Release


March 11, 2008

Regents OK naming of Beckwith Boathouse; groundbreaking is Wednesday

The University of Iowa's newest athletic facility will be named the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse, following approval Tuesday afternoon by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for the boathouse at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at the Levitt Center for University Advancement at 1 W. Park Rd. in Iowa City.

The boathouse is named in recognition of a $1 million gift to the UI Foundation from Beckwith, a Des Moines surgeon, UI alumna and former Hawkeye student-athlete. The P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse, a partnership with the City of Iowa City, will be built on the banks of the Iowa River in Terrell Mill Park, on Dubuque Street across from City Park.

The Beckwith Boathouse will house the UI rowing team, the largest UI women's team and currently the only Iowa Hawkeye athletic program without a dedicated home. In addition, the boathouse will provide recreational opportunities for members of the UI campus and the surrounding community, with space for community crew clubs. Construction is scheduled to be complete in May 2009.

UI Director of Athletics Gary A. Barta said the Beckwith Boathouse will provide exceptional opportunities for UI student-athletes.

"The rowing team is an essential part of the Hawkeye athletic program, and the nearly 80 student-athletes on the team are models of excellence both in competition and in the classroom," Barta said. "We are extremely grateful to our good friend Sue Beckwith for stepping up and ensuring that this project can benefit not just the UI, but the entire local community."

Beckwith cited her respect for UI athletics and the rowing team in particular as inspiration for making her gift.

"Rowing is a wonderful, difficult sport, the ultimate team sport," Beckwith said. "I am delighted to help the Hawkeye rowing student athletes and coaches compete in the Big Ten and nationally."

Beckwith, a four-year letterwinner for the Iowa women's basketball team, earned a bachelor's degree from the UI in 1980 and a medical degree from the university in 1984. A Boone, Iowa, native, Beckwith is a physician at the Iowa Clinic in Des Moines, specializing in colorectal surgery. She is affiliated with the Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center and Broadlawns Medical Center. She also serves as a clinical associate with the Department of Surgery at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Beckwith is a member of the UI Foundation board of directors and the National Iowa Varsity Club board of directors, and was a founding member of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Board. She is a member of the Presidents Club Gold, which recognizes the university's most generous benefactors, and the Kinnick Society, and has endowed two athletic scholarships through the UI Foundation. She was named "Hawk of the Year" by the National I-Club in 2007.

The approximately 20,000-square-foot P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse will feature an indoor training tank, a training and testing center, storage bays for boats and meeting space for the team and community. When construction is complete, the building will be evaluated for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, a designation for "green" buildings. If awarded this distinction, the boathouse will be the first LEED-certified building on the University of Iowa campus.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, see

OTHER INFORMATION: For more information about the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse, including a profile of Beckwith and a video, visit

PHOTOS: An architectural rendering of the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse is available at

A high-resolution image of P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., is available at

A Web quality image also is available at

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

MEDIA CONTACT: Sloane Tyler, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973,; Writer: Nic Arp