Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
May 16, 1997

Campaign Destiny:

Gilman renovation heads list

by Skip Derra and Steve Sullivan

George Kraus, chair of the chemistry department, needs only walk about 100 feet to be in two different worlds. The 100 feet separate renovated and unrenovated portions of Gilman Hall, home to the department.

In renovated parts of Gilman, large modern fume hoods allow students to perform chemistry experiments in relative ease and comfort. Walls are bright and cabinetry is new and modern. The unrenovated portion is cramped, the fume hoods allow for only limited experiments and lab furniture has the unmistakable markings of years of experimentation that come with a building completed in 1913. Kraus said improving Gilman Hall is a key to his department moving ahead.

"Excellent faculty in a substandard building limits us," he said. "Excellent facilities have an effect on recruiting students and top faculty."

That's why renovation of Gilman Hall is at the top of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' fund-raising list. The college seeks $24.375 million in its five-year capital campaign. The LAS campaign total includes $1 million for the Gilman Hall renovation and another $1 million to renovate Snedecor Hall, home of the statistics department.

The funds are a small portion of the total cost to renovate these facilities. Campaign money will be combined with grants, state funds and federal money to complete the projects. For example, the final of four phases of the Gilman Hall renovation will cost about $7.5 million and Snedecor, between $3 and $7 million.

"Our major goals are to upgrade facilities and renovate space in two of our very best departments -- chemistry and statistics," said LAS Dean Elizabeth Hoffman. "We want the chemistry department to be the best at any public research university in the country.

"Snedecor Hall, like Gilman, is in a bad state of affairs," Hoffman added. "The building (its main part was built in 1939 and most recent wing, in 1960) does not fit statistics' reputation as one of the best programs in the country. A major renovation is sought to put a modern face on the program."

Modernizing building space is one facet of the chemistry department's goals. The capital campaign also will help chemistry pursue inter-related programs and projects that will put the department on the leading edge of chemistry research and education.

Funds are sought for the appointment of a nationally prominent organic chemist to the Caldwell Chair and to secure the long-range success of the Agricultural Chemical Products Laboratory, a venture between the chemistry department and the College of Agriculture. The college also plans to set up a $1 million endowment to attract first-rate assistant professors and another to provide $2 million in seed money for exploratory research.

"The exploratory research endowment would fund two or three projects a year that are basic, innovative research," Kraus explained. "Some of the best universities, like MIT, have such an endowment."

Finally, the campaign will help fund the Institute for Excellence in Science Education, a joint initiative with the College of Education, intended to improve science education at the secondary school and college levels.

"We want to bring together the people, the buildings and the instrumentation that will place this department among the five best public university chemistry departments in the country," Kraus said.

Other college plans

LAS officials also plan to use Campaign Destiny funds to increase the number of endowed chairs and lectureships across the college. Some $10 million is earmarked for endowed chairs and $4 million for scholarships and fellowships.

"We want to build endowments for the Catt Center for Women and Politics and the Master's of Public Administration Program," Hoffman said. "We also want to build department endowments in general so they have more flexible funds for program enhancement."

LAS also is seeking $300,000 for the Office of Precollegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted. Established in 1986, OPPTAG offers programs for gifted students in grades 7 to 10. Programs include the Iowa Talent Search, which identifies gifted youth in Iowa, and CY-TAG, a summer residential program for academically advanced youth.

"OPPTAG is one of Iowa State's little jewels, and has a national reputation among people interested and involved in talented and gifted programs," said Kay Kirkman, LAS development officer.

LAS is seeking $300,000 for the Catt Center for Women and Politics for opera-tional and programming costs. The Catt Center's Legacy of Heroines scholarship program, which provides scholarships for women students, also is part of the college's endowment goal. The program already has received substantial support from women connected with the Catt Center.

A successful Campaign Destiny would be sweet music for the music department, which is seeking $300,000 to renovate Recital Hall. The hall is used for large classes and nearly 100 faculty and student recitals each year. The hall opened in 1980 and its lighting and sound systems never have been updated, said Sue Haug, professor and chair of the department.

LAS already has seen one Campaign Destiny goal come to fruition. The college was seeking $500,000 to renovate the botany greenhouse and received a National Science Foundation grant this year to partially fund the project. With matching funds already in place, the renovation will be completed this year.

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