Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the transformed Harms-Eischeid Stadium at Upper Iowa University, which will open for the first UIU home game on September 8.
FAYETTE, Iowa (August 15, 2012) – Upper Iowa University will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Harms-Eischeid Stadium at 3 p.m., Saturday, September 8, before the opening kick-off of its first 2012-13 home game against St. Cloud State.
The transformation of the UIU football stadium is made possible by a $7.5 million gift from a pair of 1973 alumni, Steve and Diane Harms, of West Des Moines. Steve played football at UIU and graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education. Diane was a member of the cheerleading squad and graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology. The couple has remained in Iowa, raising their family in the Des Moines area. Steve is retired but he served as president and chairman of the board of Rain and Hail L.L.C., Rain and Hail Insurance Service, Inc., and Agri General Insurance Company, He has served on the UIU Board of Trustees since 2001. The couple regularly attends campus events with Steve's father, Cal, UIU Class of 1948, who lives in nearby Sumner.
"We are grateful to Steve and Diane for their gift, and very pleased to see the stadium nearing completion on time and on budget," said UIU President Alan G. Walker. "This stadium will be a great venue for the team and the fans, and we plan to see it grow into a community resource as well."
The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will feature a tailgate reception, includes Harms and Walker as speakers, as well as Bob Firth, chair of the UIU Board, Mike Racy, NCAA Division II Vice President, and Butch Raymond, commissioner of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
"We are very pleased to have the leaders of our conference and our division on hand to help celebrate our first season in our new stadium," said Athletics Director David Miller. "Their presence recognizes that the UIU stadium is one of the finest in the NSIC and one of the newest in the conference."
The grand opening event will offer tours of the facility, which has been transformed and rebuilt to include all-weather turf, expanded seating, private suites, a much larger press box, a DiamondVision video screen and scoreboard, new concessions stands and ticket booths, and field lighting.
The September 8 game will be the first Peacock football game to be played under the lights, with kickoff at 6 p.m.
"The gift from Steve and Diane was the first gift in the public phase of our current capital campaign and has set the tone for the rest of the campaign," said Wendell Snodgrass, UIU vice president for advancement, development and alumni relations. "The campaign has already reached more than $21.1 million of its $25 million goal. This campaign is a key piece of the University's ongoing university-wide $100 million capital improvement initiative to continue our growth to better serve our students."
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 over 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.
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