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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 16, 2009

Public invited to Beckwith Boathouse dedication Sept. 18

beckwith boathouseAfter years of planning and a successful fundraising campaign, the University of Iowa and its Athletics Department will dedicate the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse at a public ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18.

The new home for the UI rowing team, which is the largest Hawkeye women's team, is located on the bank of the Iowa River in Iowa City's Terrell Mill Park, near the Mayflower Residence Hall on North Dubuque Street, across the river from City Park. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, UI President Sally Mason, Athletics Director Gary Barta and other officials will speak at the dedication. An open house will precede the ceremony starting at 1:30 p.m. Parking for the event will be available at the building's site, with overflow parking at Parkview Church on Foster Road.

"We're extremely excited to celebrate this beautiful new boathouse," said Barta. "This first-class facility provides a home to the UI rowing program. We are extremely grateful to Sue Beckwith, the city of Iowa City, the university and everyone who helped make this happen. The student-athletes and coaches involved in our program will benefit from this magnificent facility for many years to come."

beckwithThe building is named for UI alumna P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., a renowned surgeon in Des Moines, who made a $1 million leadership gift to the UI Foundation to support the campaign to build the boathouse. It is the first UI building named solely for a woman benefactor.

"Hawkeye rowers are extraordinary student-athletes. They desperately needed a top-notch facility in which to train," said Beckwith, a UI letter winner who played basketball for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1977 to 1980. "The city, university and athletics department have built just that. I'm proud to be associated with Hawkeye athletics and to help in any way that I can."

The boathouse, designed to withstand flooding, features a large ergometer room that houses the UI rowing team's rowing machines, four large boat bays, a state-of-the-art rowing tank that features moving water at various training speeds, locker room and medical-training spaces, and a terrace and community room that can be used by university and community groups. In addition to the UI rowing team, the building will house the UI men's club rowing team and the Old Capitol Rowing Club, a community-based rowing organization administered by UI Recreational Services.

The total cost of the project was $7.2 million, of which more than $1.7 million was raised through private gifts to the UI Foundation from individuals and organizations in support of Hawkeye Athletics.  As part of a partnership, UI Recreational Services is providing $1 million; the remaining balance will be paid through Athletics Department operating funds.

The 20,000-square-foot Beckwith Boathouse will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building on the UI campus, a designation reserved for energy-efficient buildings. It features an efficient geothermal heat pump system and daylight harvesting, and was built with significant use of local and recycled materials. The land for the building is being leased to the UI by the city of Iowa City.

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 foundation, visit its Web site at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Sloane Tyler, Associate Director of Development, Intercollegiate Athletics, 319-467-3736 or 800-648-6973,


A high-resolution image of the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse is available:

A Web-quality image also is available:

A high-resolution image of the building's lead donor, P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., is available:

A Web-quality image also is available: