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UI Names Building ‘Pomerantz Center' To Recognize $10 Million Gift

The University of Iowa will name a new career services building in honor of 1952 UI business graduate Marvin A. Pomerantz of Des Moines, in recognition of his $10 million gift to the University of Iowa Foundation.

Pomerantz, chairman/CEO of Gaylord Container Corporation and Mid-America Group, and his wife Rose Lee, will provide key funding for the Pomerantz Center, a new university facility to be located at the northeast corner of Market Street and the T. Anne Cleary Walkway, about one block north of the Pentacrest. The Pomerantzes have committed $10 million toward the projected $13 million cost of the building, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2004.

The Pomerantz Center is slated to house several career-related services and university offices, including the Admission Visitors Center, Academic Advising Center, MBA Career Services, the Executive MBA Program, and the Alumni Career Information Network. Classrooms and an auditorium will also be included within the building, according to the proposal.

An important component of the Pomerantz Center will be the Marvin A. and Rose Lee Pomerantz Career Center, which will bring together and allow the expansion and integration of several undergraduate and graduate student services including career exploration, skills training, internships, and on-campus interviews -- all in a centralized location.

"This expanded and unified career program will enhance communication between top employers and Iowa graduates," Pomerantz said. "Corporations will come to this leading-edge facility to recruit Iowa graduates. And one day, these successful graduates will hire other Iowa alumni. That's good for everyone: students, employers, and the state."

"We owe it to our students to provide them with comprehensive, integrated career services in an environment that is welcoming to employers," said Jerry Paschal, executive director of the Career Center. "The Pomerantz Center will be an interdisciplinary resource with specialized staff, new technology, and excellent recruiting opportunities. These opportunities will be made possible because of Marvin and Rose Lee Pomerantz's commitment to education."

Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, praised the Pomerantzes for their gift. "The opportunity to have a separate building and enhanced resources for our students is very welcome. We are deeply grateful to the Pomerantzes for their vision in making this generous gift."

The Pomerantz Center evolved from a series of discussions among Tippie College of Business Dean Gary Fethke, Pomerantz, and UI President Mary Sue Coleman. According to Fethke, "we believed that we could greatly benefit as a university if we combined the entire career service process under one administrative structure, developed a first-class facility that focused on student and employer needs, and then marketed the concept as a distinctive competence of the university."

Pomerantz said, "We want to make a meaningful contribution and support a project that will be of unique value to the university. When this idea of the serving students through a Career Center was brought up, we were taken with it."

The Pomerantz Center will be adjacent to the new Blank Honors Center, which is scheduled for completion in 2003, and is named to honor benefactors Myron and Jaqueline Blank of Des Moines.

"By developing two new buildings near each other within a short period of time, the university has a unique opportunity to shape this part of campus into a dynamic complex of cutting-edge services for our students," said UI President Mary Sue Coleman. "This newly-developed area will be both welcoming and exciting to students and visitors alike."

Paschal added that the Pomerantz Center will be unique, as few universities in the country have similar facilities that include such a wide range of services. The Pomerantz Center will serve as a prototype for other universities that wish to serve student advising and career needs in one facility.

"From the moment a prospective student visits our campus, they will see that we not only understand the intrinsic value of education, but that we are focused on the end result. The high visibility of this building will tell prospective students and their parents that we are focusing on the practical side of education -- putting education to work in our greater community," Paschal said.

The Pomerantz family has supported many university areas through the University of Iowa Foundation, including the UI Libraries, Hancher Auditorium, athletics, and the Museum of Art. Marvin Pomerantz is currently serving as co-chair of the National Campaign Steering Committee for the UI's comprehensive campaign. He also provided support for two faculty chairs and for the Pomerantz Family Pavilion at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The library in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business is also named in this honor. Pomerantz currently serves on the University of Iowa Foundation Board of Directors.

"Like most public universities today, the University of Iowa faces the challenge of limited funding," Pomerantz said. "Private support is crucial if the UI is going to reach its goal of becoming one of the nation's best public universities."


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