Iowa State to name auditorium in honor of Linn County farm couple

Naming is in recognition of $2 million renovation gift

George Ford
Published: August 16 2013 | 10:40 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 7:09 pm in
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A $2 million gift commitment from a retired Linn County farmer will support the $14.4 million renovation of Curtiss Hall, which houses the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.

The philanthropy of Leonard Dolezal of Cedar Rapids will be recognized by naming the building’s auditorium in honor of Dolezal and his late wife, Evelyn.

"The Leonard and Evelyn Dolezal Auditorium will be a touchstone in the education of tens of thousands of future students,” said Wendy Wintersteen, endowed dean of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "We are indebted to Leonard Dolezal for helping to ensure that we are well-equipped to serve students, enrich their education and make their experience on campus one they’ll remember their whole lives."

A plaque will be installed in the auditorium honoring the late Evelyn Dolezal, with a welcome and words of counsel from the Cedar Rapids couple for future generations of students.

Dolezal’s gift is part of $9 million raised privately for the renovation of the 104-year-old Curtiss Hall. Early phases of the work began in 2007, with the construction of a new student union services wing during the last two years. Construction continues on a student commons on the east side of the building.

Curtiss Hall, named for Charles Curtiss, ISU's dean of agriculture from 1902 to 1932, is one of the most recognized  landmarks on university's central campus in Ames.

The building houses administrative staff for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station and Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources, plus several other departments, centers and programs.

Leonard Dolezal previously provided support that in 2003 established an endowed faculty position, the Leonard Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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