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CONTACT: ANDY PIRO
Senior Director of Development
Intercollegiate Athletics
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973
e-mail: andrew-piro@uiowa.edu

Release: Aug. 26, 2002

UI plans groundbreaking for Russell and Ann Gerdin Athletic Learning Center

The University of Iowa will hold a public groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 30 for the Russell and Ann Gerdin Athletic Learning Center. The $4.6 million center, funded entirely by private gifts to the UI, will provide academic facilities for UI student-athletes, including study rooms, tutorial spaces and a computer lab.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, at the site of the new center, just north of Melrose Avenue and south of the UI's Slater Residence Hall. The public is invited to attend the brief ceremony. Public parking will be available in Lot 14, south of Slater Residence Hall, and Lot 6, south of the Field House.

Speakers at the ceremony will include Russell Gerdin, the founder, president and chief executive officer of Coralville-based Heartland Express Inc. Gerdin, along with his wife, Ann, gave $4 million to help fund the new center as part of a $5 million total gift to the UI through the UI Foundation. In recognition of the Gerdins' generosity, the center is being named in their honor.

Other speakers will include UI Interim President Willard L. "Sandy" Boyd; Owen J. Newlin, president of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; UI Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby; UI Head Women's Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder; and Associate Athletic Director Fred Mims, who oversees academic support for UI student-athletes.

For more information, contact the Athletics Development Office at the UI Foundation at (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973.

The UI Foundation is acknowledged by the UI as a preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities, equipment, research and other UI priorities. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at www.uiowafoundation.org.