CONTACT: KEVIN COLLINS
Director of Development
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305
Release: Dec. 2, 1999
Carver gift to help Engineering College build river-ecosystem research
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Through a gift of $1.2 million to the University of Iowa
Foundation, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is helping the Iowa Institute
of Hydraulic Research (IIHR) at the UI College of Engineering establish the
first university-affiliated, comprehensive river-research station in the world.
Mark Twain's majestic Mississippi River, which courses down the country's
midsection, will serve as a natural "laboratory" for the new Mississippi
Riverside Environmental Research Station (MRERS). The College of Engineering
plans to build this facility along the southeast-Iowa stretch of the Mississippi
River. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, currently is considering the university's
proposed site locations and will announce a location, building details and
"As a multidisciplinary research center, MRERS will be a resource for
the College of Engineering, the University of Iowa and the state of Iowa,"
said V.C. Patel, director of IIHR and a University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished
Professor in mechanical engineering.
By establishing this research station, the IIHR hopes to create an international,
state-of-the-art facility in which to study river ecosystems and rivers' responses
to natural events and human activities.
"Currently, there is no single organization dealing with the long-term
impact of everything from floods and droughts to navigation and construction,"
Patel said. "MRERS will be a center for such studies; research results
will help IIHR promote better understanding of the complex and conflicting
issues involved in dealing with rivers holistically."
The IIHR, which is recognized internationally as a leader in hydraulics
and hydrology, helped design a number of the Mississippi's locks and dams
in the 1930s. Today, the institute draws its staff members from many disciplines,
including fluid mechanics, hydraulics, hydrometeorology, water chemistry,
water biology, hydrology, groundwater and geosciences.
"Because of the outstanding reputation and international leadership
of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, we are confident that the Mississippi
Riverside Environmental Research Station will become a premier center for
the study of river ecology, river-flow engineering and environmental science,"
said Troy K. Ross, executive administrator of the Roy J. Carver Charitable
Trust. "It also will be a unique educational facility for students of
"Through generous support from the Carver Trust, the MRERS will support
the educational mission of our college and of the University of Iowa,"
said P. Barry Butler, interim dean of the College of Engineering.
During his lifetime, Iowa industrialist and philanthropist Roy J. Carver
of Muscatine contributed nearly $10 million to the University of Iowa in support
of scholarships, professorships, medical research, the University of Iowa
Hospitals and Clinics, the Iowa Opportunity Fund and Iowa athletics.
Although he died in 1981, Carver's will created the Carver Charitable Trust
to sustain his "commitment to helping youth through educational opportunities
and to improving the quality of life through medical and scientific research."
The Carver Charitable Trust has contributed more than $28 million to UI
projects across campus, including biomedical research projects, faculty research
initiatives, science education, technology in the UI Libraries system, a summer
engineering institute, facilities improvements and student scholarships.
The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to
all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and
friends to provide funds for facilities improvements, scholarships, professorships
and other forms of UI support