A $7.5 million gift to Upper Iowa University will
fund renovation of the football field and
stadium on campus.
FAYETTE, Iowa (May 26, 2011) – Upper Iowa University (UIU) has received a $7.5 million gift that will fund a renovation of the current UIU football stadium complex at the Fayette campus. Steve and Diane Harms of West Des Moines, Iowa, presented the gift to the University to conclude the silent phase of UIU’s first-ever comprehensive capital campaign. The 10-year campaign entered its public phase May 25.
“The University is extremely grateful to Steve and Diane for this gift,” said UIU President Alan G. Walker. “Their generosity doubles the UIU fund-raising total during the silent phase of the capital campaign and brings us to the point where we can launch the public phase of our historic, first-ever capital campaign, which will be transformational for the entire University. Completion of this capital campaign will change the face of UIU, not just in Fayette, but across the University by strengthening our academic programs, increasing our scholarships for students, and enhancing our ability to attract and retain students, faculty and staff.”
Wendell Snodgrass, UIU vice president for advancement, development and alumni relations, said the Harms’ gift will completely renovate the UIU football field and stadium by providing an all-weather turf surface and field lighting, significantly increased seating capacity, enhanced sound system, professional grade scoreboard with a large-screen video, and a multi-use press box.
“The press box alone is 10 times the size of our current press box and can be used for a variety of purposes year-round,” Snodgrass said. “The Harms’ gift will give UIU students and athletic fans a field and scoreboard to equal or exceed other NCAA Division II institutions. The versatility of the design enables UIU to use the press box and concession stands for events on the soccer field as well, and the lighted, all-weather field also can be used for high school and community events.”
Steve Harms earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education at UIU, where he played football. Diane Harms graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UIU, where she was a cheerleader. Steve is currently a member of the UIU Board of Trustees. He and Diane are serving as two of the three co-chairs of the UIU capital campaign.
“It is with great pleasure that Diane and I are able to make this gift to keep building on the momentum we see happening at Upper Iowa. These are exciting times, and we are proud to be a small part in making the University even better,” Harms said. “Our Division II student athletes deserve the best facilities we can provide in order to give them and our teams the best chance to excel in the classroom and on the field. The planned renovation at the football stadium will enhance not only UIU but will give Northeast Iowa an outstanding facility to host high school football games and events in the future.”
Harms noted that his father, Cal, and his uncle, Mel, are also UIU alums. “The University has given us all many enjoyable memories over the years, and our gift is a chance to make a solid investment in the future of Upper Iowa,” he added.
Snodgrass said construction of the football complex will begin immediately, adding that the project is part of an overall recreation/athletics master plan for the University.
University Athletic Director David S. Miller said UIU student athletes and coaches look forward to playing in the stadium. “The stadium will be a focal point of interest for athletics, the campus, and community and will add to the high level of excitement that exists on our campus,” Miller said. “This gift demonstrates the University’s commitment to building a strong and successful football program that will be a source of pride. We are so grateful to Steve and Diane Harms for their gift. Their support of Upper Iowa University, Peacock Athletics, and the student-athletes of the football program is unprecedented.”
For more information or to donate to the capital campaign online, go to www.uiu.edu/transforminguiu.
For more information about UIU Athletics, go to http://www.upperiowaathletics.com/.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to nearly 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.