Sept. 24, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Friends and fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes looked to the past and looked to the future Friday when the University of Iowa officially rededicated a revitalized Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Innovation and forward movement is important to the University of Iowa. We aspire to remain at the cutting edge and that includes our intercollegiate athletics program,” said UI President Sally Mason, one of the speakers who addressed a crowd that filled to capacity and then some the Feller Club Room inside the Dale and Marilyn Howard Family Pavilion at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“New and renovated facilities aren’t luxuries. They are part and parcel of what we are charged to do. So, today, we celebrate the old Carver-Hawkeye Arena and we celebrate the new, improved and larger Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” added Mason who also noted that, like other initiatives of the UI Athletics Department, the $43 million renovation of Carver-Hawkeye Arena will be 100 percent funded by the combination of philanthropic support of the Iowa Hawkeyes and annual revenue generated by the department.
The fund-raising effort was made easier in the difficult economy of the past four years by a $3.5 million leadership gift by Dale and Marilyn Howard, long-time friends of the University of Iowa from Iowa Falls. The Howard’s are two of the more than 700 friends of the Hawkeyes who have pledged more than $21 million in support of the project – a number that included, most notably, more than just a handful of former Hawkeyes.
“New and renovated facilities aren’t luxuries. They are part and parcel of what we are charged to do. So, today, we celebrate the old Carver-Hawkeye Arena and we celebrate the new, improved and larger Carver-Hawkeye Arena.”
UI President Sally Mason
“You often hear about student-athletes not giving back. That’s not the case here. Our former student-athletes stepped up in a big way,” offered Matt Henderson, the executive director of development for intercollegiate athletics at the UI Foundation.
The project included the construction of dedicated practice space for Iowa’s two basketball programs and its volleyball program, an expansion of the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex and the strength training and conditioning space, construction of new office and meeting room spaces, and updates to the locker room and team meeting rooms.
“This facility was much-needed. It will help us recruit. It will help me and the other student-athletes at the UI get better, and for that, on behalf of all of us, I’m very, very grateful and appreciative,” said Matt Gatens of the UI men’s basketball team.
Steve Howard, the oldest son of Dale and Marilyn, spoke on behalf of his parents and his family, and was straightforward in his remarks: “This is a very big day for all of us for many reasons. Seven months ago, mom became very ill while in Florida. She returned to Iowa less than a month ago and, today, she’s here celebrating with us,” he said.
“Dad coached basketball for 16 years after graduating from the UI,” Steve continued. “He understands the importance of facilities. He saw what Carver-Hawkeye Arena did for the Iowa Hawkeyes when it was first built. And, today, he knows the impact this completed project will have on this generation of Iowa Hawkeyes.”