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Gregory Geoffroy, President, (515) 294-2042
Warren Madden, Vice President for Business and Finance,
(515) 294-6162
John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6137


Ames, Iowa -- Iowa State University today announced a fund-raising campaign to bring new life to Morrill Hall, one of its oldest and best-known buildings.

The decision to actively seek contributions is the result of a feasibility study conducted by ISU Foundation staff during the spring and summer, which indicated there is sufficient interest among alumni and friends of Iowa State to begin fund raising.

"It became clear in talking with many of our alumni, potential donors and friends that Morrill Hall holds special significance to them and serves as a visible reminder of Iowa State's land-grant heritage," said Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy. "Based on these and other conversations, I'm optimistic that people will provide the necessary financial support for Morrill Hall."

To renovate and reconstruct the 112-year-old building will cost approximately $9 million to $10 million. The cost must be covered by private gifts, Geoffroy said.

"While we believe the potential is there for success, raising the money needed for Morrill Hall is not assured," Geoffroy said. "This project represents a significant challenge, but one that I know Iowa State supporters will embrace with a lot of enthusiasm."

Three programs devoted to student learning would be housed in Morrill Hall. They are: University Museums' Christian Petersen Collection and Art on Campus Program; the proposed Center for Visual Learning in Textiles and Clothing, which includes about 6,000 pieces of clothing from around the world dating to the 18th century; and, the Center for Teaching Excellence. A 200-seat classroom/auditorium and commons space also are included as part of the renovation.

"This is an ideal location for the Petersen collection and our Art on Campus program, which is one of the largest such programs in the country," said Lynette Pohlman, director of University Museums. "We see great potential to enhance the visual literacy skills of students, that is, learn about the cultural, social, aesthetic and religious aspects of objects."

Visual and object learning also are emphasized in textiles and clothing education and in the Center for Teaching Excellence, which focuses on helping faculty enhance their skills.

All three programs need additional space, and Morrill Hall provides a central campus location that is easily accessible to students and faculty. University Museums will continue to operate the Brunnier Art Museum, located in the Scheman Building, and Farm House Museum.

Built in 1890, Morrill Hall occupies a prominent location on central campus, immediately northeast of Beardshear Hall. The building has never had any major remodeling or upgrading. It contains 24,890 gross square feet on four levels. It has been unoccupied since 1998, and its condition has deteriorated substantially. Earlier this year, consultants concluded that despite its serious problems, Morrill Hall is structurally sound and can be salvaged.

The building would retain the Morrill name, which honors U.S. Sen. Justin Morrill, who sponsored the original land-grant legislation in Congress.

"Many alumni and friends have told us of their interest in seeing Morrill Hall renovated, and we are excited to begin the process of fund raising for this important project," said Peg Armstrong-Gustafson, interim president and CEO of the ISU Foundation.

Geoffroy said he plans to appoint a committee of alumni, faculty, staff and others to help guide this fund-raising effort.

A fund for Morrill Hall has been established, and contributions should be directed to the ISU Foundation, 2505 Elwood Drive, Ames, Iowa, 50010, and designated for Morrill Hall. For additional information, call the ISU Foundation at (515) 294-8464.


Program contacts: Lynette Pohlman, University Museums, (515) 294-3342
Jane Farrell-Beck, Textiles and Clothing, (515) 294-4233
Mary Gregoire, Apparel, Educational Studies and Hospitality Management, (515) 294-7474
Corly Brooke, Center for Teaching Excellence, (515) 294-2402

Iowa State University
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Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations, online@iastate.edu
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