William Calhoun, vice president for university advancement; and president, UNI Foundation,
James O'Connor, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Two local donors have helped the University of Northern Iowa Foundation come closer to its goal of completing fundraising for the McLeod Center.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has committed $100,000 to the project. 'When we decided to get involved, we decided to do so not as a newspaper, but as a community member that rises and falls on the health of the community,' said John Goossen, Courier publisher. 'It's important for us to support a project that is good for the community. The McLeod Center will improve the quality of life in the community by positively affecting the economy, the business sector and the recreational arts arena. It's not just a place to play basketball. It will be a wonderful venue for other shows and events, and make the Cedar Valley even more of a destination for regional and out-of-state visitors.'
Cedar Falls residents Greg and Lea Ann Saul have designated their $150,000 gift to name the women's basketball head coach's office. 'We chose to name the UNI women's basketball head coach's office because of Tony DiCecco and what he has done for the program at UNI,' said Greg Saul. Under DiCecco's guidance, the 2002-2003 women's basketball team completed one of its most successful seasons in school history, culminating in its second-ever post-season tournament berth -- an invitation to the 2003 Women's National Invitational Tournament.
A multi-purpose sports and events facility, the McLeod Center will be part of the university's west-campus complex and home to Panther basketball and volleyball. In addition, it will provide space for numerous community events including concerts, craft and trade shows and youth activities. The McLeod Center's anticipated annual economic impact on the Cedar Valley is $20-$25 million.
Approximately $17 million of the $18 million goal has been raised for the McLeod Center project; nearly $10 million of it from the Cedar Valley. The university foundation continues to raise funds for this project and hopes to break ground in spring 2004.