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CONTACT: JANA EGELAND
Assistant Director of Development
Women's Intercollegiate Athletics
UI Foundation News
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305
e-mail:jana egeland@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Largest gift to women's athletics benefits UI softball facility

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Musco Lighting of Oskaloosa will provide new lighting to improve the UI softball complex.

Valued at $82,000, the Musco contribution helps bring the Grand Stand Campaign for Iowa Softball closer to its goal of $750,000. According to the University of Iowa Foundation, Musco's gift in kind is the largest gift ever received by UI Women's Intercollegiate Athletics.

Musco Lighting designs and manufactures permanent and temporary lighting for sports, recreation and other large facilities and events worldwide. The company's past projects include Super Bowls, the Rose Bowl, and the rededication of the Statue of Liberty. Musco is working on projects for the Daytona Speedway and golf courses in South Korea.

Joe Crookham, president of Musco Lighting and a UI graduate, said the company was pleased to be able to help the Grand Stand Campaign. "We believe women's athletics, particularly a program as outstanding as Coach Gayle Blevin's UI softball team, are entitled to first-class facilities," Crookham said.

The Musco gift includes the manufacture, design and installation of light fixtures at the intercollegiate diamond within the softball facility, located at the intersection of Highway 6 and Mormon Trek Boulevard in Coralville.

The lighting will be installed during the 1998 softball season, said UI Softball Coach and Grand Stand Campaign Co-chair Gayle Blevins. New bleachers already have been installed at the complex, and the other renovations will begin following the 1998 season.

"The team and our fans are looking forward to the advantages of first-rate lighting and the other upgrades the renovation project will bring," Blevins said. "We're grateful to Joe Crookham and our other contributors for their support. It's inspiring to see so many people get behind this effort to benefit Iowa softball."

Other recent generous gifts have helped put the Grand Stand Campaign well past the halfway mark. Gifts of $25,000 were made by David W. and Shirley S. Day of Coralville, Ailene Horst Liechty of Iowa City, and William F. and Mary K. Pitlik of Cedar Rapids, who all have made previous generous gifts to other areas of the University of Iowa. The Days and Pitliks are UI graduates.

These and other high-level contributors will be recognized by named areas that include the locker rooms, a press box, and other additions to the Iowa Softball Complex.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni, friends and businesses to provide scholarships and other forms of support for the UI.

12/29/97