New home for ISU alumni becomes a reality

AMES, Iowa -- Private funding for a new Iowa State University Alumni Center has reached more than 90 percent of its goal and the project is now slated to move forward.

Jeff Johnson, ISU Alumni Association president, joined ISU President Gregory Geoffroy on stage in the Memorial Union Great Hall where the announcement was made during the group's 125th anniversary gala on Oct. 8.

Roy and Bobbi Reiman of Greendale, Wis., were recognized during the event for providing the lead gift to fund the entire construction cost of the new facility.

"Thanks to the generosity of Roy and Bobbi, this building will do wonders for Iowa State and all the alumni and students who use it," said Johnson. "This has been a 30-year dream for the association and we're glad to see it finally become a reality."

The new Alumni Center will provide a convenient and pleasant arrival point for alumni when they return to campus. The building will accommodate all of the association's staff and programs and will support a broad range of activities. It will be approximately 30,000 gross square feet and include a visitors' lounge and a library, offices for staff, large and small meetings rooms for events and a multipurpose office and activity space for the Student Alumni Leadership Council.

To date, contributions for the project - including the Reiman gift and support from nearly 50 other benefactors - have reached approximately $10 million. Construction costs are estimated to be $9 million, and a $2 million endowment will help complete the facility and support maintenance and upkeep of the building. The fundraising effort will continue until the $11 million goal is reached. The project is being funded completely through private support.

The new alumni center will be built at the intersection of Beach Avenue and Country Club Boulevard in Ames. Construction will last approximately 18 months and will begin after all approval, design and pre-construction processes have been completed. Targeted completion date is middle to late 2007.

"With the location of the new Alumni Association building nearby, we feel this will be a nice complement to Reiman Gardens," said Roy Reiman, a native of Auburn, Iowa, and a 1957 Iowa State (agricultural journalism) graduate. He also is a past president of the ISU Alumni Association's board of directors. Roy and Bobbi's consumer magazine company, Reiman Publications, Ltd., is the nation's largest private subscription-based publishing firm specializing in publications on family, the home, food, nostalgia and country lifestyle. The Reimans also established the Reiman Gardens complex and have an entrepreneurial scholars and lectures program in the College of Business.

"The role of the ISU Alumni Association is to become the lifetime partner in engaging all alumni, students and friends with Iowa State University," said Johnson. "This facility will allow the association to showcase the excellence of Iowa State in a very collective, broad and visible manner." Johnson also noted that with the exception of the University of Oklahoma, Iowa State is the only other Big 12 school without a dedicated alumni center.

The Alumni Association moved out of the Memorial Union last July to make room for a major renovation project of that space. They will be located in Fisher-Nickell until the new center is completed.

The ISU Alumni Center project was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, at its August meeting.