McLeod Center receives major support from John Deere Foundation

September 9, 2004

William Calhoun, vice president for university advancement; (319) 273-6078
Melissa Barber, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The John Deere Foundation has helped the University of Northern Iowa come closer to its fundraising goal for McLeod Center with a $250,000 commitment toward the project.

'John Deere's support of the McLeod Center re-affirms their commitment to the quality of life in the Cedar Valley,' said Robert Koob, UNI president. 'Deere recognizes the impact that this facility will have on the Cedar Valley, both economically and culturally. With groundbreaking scheduled for October 9, this is a timely gift that will help us complete fundraising.'

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 host numerous community events including concerts, craft and trade shows and youth activities, ranging from state and national tournaments to sports camps. Annual economic impact is estimated to be $20 to $25 million.

'We are pleased to make this gift on behalf of the John Deere Waterloo Operations to the UNI McLeod Center,' said Barry Schaffter, general manager of Deere Waterloo Operations. 'It will be a facility that offers additional quality of life benefits to the Cedar Valley, as well as the acceleration of economic development and tourism opportunities in the area.'

Construction of the center is part of the $100 million 'Students First' campaign to support scholarships, academic program support and facilities. The campaign will continue through June 2005.

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