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News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

11-6-07

Chemistry building

Contacts:

Dave Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-7742, dgieseke@iastate.edu

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917, mkrapfl@iastate.edu

Ann Wilson, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-9608, awilson@foundation.iastate.edu

Iowa State receives $4.5 million commitment from Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for new chemistry building; additional funding pledged for faculty research

AMES, Iowa -- The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, based in Muscatine, has committed $4.5 million toward construction of Iowa State University's new chemistry building. The $74.5 million project is being planned as a three-story, 135,000 square-foot facility. Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 2008 with an anticipated completion date of August 2010.

"Chemistry is one of Iowa State's outstanding departments and a discipline that is critically important to our role as a leading university of science and technology," said Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy. "Excellence in chemistry is also central to our efforts to advance the bioeconomy in Iowa, and having a state-of-the-art facility to house our world-class chemistry faculty is one of our top priorities. We are extremely grateful to the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for its very generous support."

"The Carver Trust has endorsed this project as a basis for promoting its central interest in biomedically relevant scientific research," added Troy Ross, executive administrator of the trust. "We recognize the need for providing safe, modern facilities, both for enhancing the existing strengths of the department and as a vehicle for recruiting promising, young investigators to be the chemistry faculty of the future."

The first floor of the chemistry building will be dedicated to undergraduate teaching laboratories and student interaction space. The second and third floors will be dedicated to existing biomedical researchers and vacant labs that will be used to recruit new faculty to Iowa State. The new facility will be built northwest of Gilman Hall, current home to the department of chemistry. Gilman Hall will continue to hold general classrooms, computer labs, offices and laboratories.

The Iowa Legislature has appropriated $58.9 million for the project with an additional $15.6 million anticipated through private support. Including the Carver Trust pledge, fundraising dollars total $7 million.

"The department of chemistry seeks to drive the frontiers of chemical science and biomedical research," said Jake Petrich, professor and chair of the chemistry department. "This new facility will be paramount in fulfilling the integration of world-class researchers with the most advanced laboratory spaces and analytical tools available. Science is a continuing revolution and the complex problems society faces require high quality researchers and inquisitive students who will push the frontiers of science. This caliber of talent is found at Iowa State," Petrich added.

In addition to funding for the chemistry project, the Carver Trust also committed $465,000 to support research projects in the areas of entomology and cancer. Lyric Bartholomay, an assistant professor of entomology, will study how the Eastern tree hole mosquito responds to infection with viruses that impact public health in Iowa. The research will shed light on mechanisms of immunity that viruses trigger or avoid in the mosquito. Emily Smith, an assistant professor of chemistry, will research how proteins allow cells to interact with their environment, which is vital to identifying therapeutic targets for halting the spread of cancerous growths.

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is a philanthropic foundation in Iowa with assets of more than $300 million and annual grant distributions of over $15 million. It was created through the will of Roy J. Carver, a Muscatine industrialist and philanthropist, who died in 1981. The Carver Trust has been a long-time supporter of Iowa State and is one of the university's leading donors with a total giving of $24 million in gifts and grants.

This most current Carver Trust commitment is part of Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose, the university's $800 million fundraising effort that was publicly launched last month.

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Quick look

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, has committed $4.5 million toward the construction of ISU's new chemistry building.

Quote

"Chemistry is one of Iowa State's outstanding departments and a discipline that is critically important to our role as a leading university of science and technology. Excellence in chemistry is also central to our efforts to advance the bioeconomy in Iowa, and having a state-of-the-art facility to house our world-class chemistry faculty is one of our top priorities."

President Gregory Geoffroy