FAYETTE, Iowa (September 7, 2011) — Upper Iowa University will celebrate its relocated Des Moines Center with a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21. The University, which operates 16 U.S. education centers in addition to its residential campus in Fayette, consolidated the UIU Ankeny and Des Moines locations into a single center this summer at 5000 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines.
Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is scheduled to speak at the event, along with UIU president Alan G. Walker, William Duffy, senior vice president for Academic Extension (AE), and Fritz Oppenlander, AE associate vice president. The University’s Academic Extension includes its education centers in the United States as well as the Center for Distance Education, which offers online and independent student programs. Also speaking during the ceremony is Denise Weston of Grimes, a senior majoring in elementary education at the center. Tours and a reception will follow the ribbon cutting.
“We are pleased to be able to showcase our new location,” said Walker. “We have thousands of alumni in the Des Moines area who have either graduated from campus or from the UIU centers here, and we are excited to have a facility that is even more convenient for our students and able to provide them with an excellent learning environment.”
UIU has classrooms and offices on the second and third floors of the Westown Parkway building where it offers weekend and evening bachelor’s degree programs to about 600 students who are primarily working adults. Students can pick from 18 majors. The center also offers certification programs for teachers and a program that allows Registered Nurses to complete a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing.
UIU founded the Des Moines Center in 1984, as one of its first off-campus locations. After its founding in Fayette in 1857, the University had formulated a systematic program of extension work throughout Northeast Iowa by 1920, sending UIU representatives into neighboring communities as instructors. From 1981-84, UIU began establishing off-campus educational centers, reaching Madison, Wis.; Des Moines, Iowa; Waterloo, Iowa; Prairie du Chien, Wis.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Wausau, Wis. Enrollments quadrupled as the University expanded and restructured itself. In the 1990s, UIU continued to expand its extended university offerings and opened new centers in Fort Polk and DeRidder, La.; Janesville, Wis.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; and Jackson Barracks, La. As the University’s focus shifted to becoming an entrepreneurial university to meet the educational needs of learners worldwide, UIU began to open programs in the Pacific Rim, starting with Hong Kong and now including Malaysia and Singapore. In 2001, UIU received programmatic accreditation from the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Educators for what is now known as Academic Extension and opened additional centers, including a facility in Ankeny, Iowa; Elkhorn, Wis.; Alexandria, La; Rockford, Ill.; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.. Most recently, it has added centers in the Quad Cities and at Fort Sill near Lawton, Okla.
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.