Firm to Give ISU $1 Million to Renovate Curtiss Hall

Monsanto pledges $1 million to repair and remodel the venerable home of ISU's College of Agriculture.

Monsanto Company on August 26 pledged $1 million to enhance the offices and programs serving students in agriculture and life sciences at Iowa State University. The company's commitment will support the planned renovation of Curtiss Hall, the historic building housing the main offices of ISU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"Agriculture is an industry of constant innovation and dynamic change that requires world-class education and facilities to attract tomorrow's leaders today," says Ted Crosbie, Monsanto's vice president for global plant breeding. "We're pleased to be a longtime partner with Iowa State University in helping to shape the industry's future leaders who will help to lead our industry in meeting the ever-expanding demands for food, feed and increasingly fuel."

"We are grateful for Monsanto's commitment to provide the best educational setting possible for our current and prospective students," says Wendy Wintersteen, ISU's Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "Monsanto shares our vision of creating an environment that reflects the vitality of agriculture and life sciences for Iowa and the world, and that conveys the college as an exciting place to study, work and forge tomorrow's leaders."

New student services wing will be named

The gift will improve and consolidate space devoted to student programs into a ground-floor wing of the building. The programs include student services, career services, study-abroad, entrepreneurship and marketing and recruitment. In honor of Monsanto's generosity, ISU plans to name the student services wing of the building for the company.

Curtiss Hall will turn 100 years old in 2009. Named for Charles Curtiss, dean of the college from 1902 to 1932, the building is one of the most familiar and distinctive landmarks on ISU's central campus. Each semester, thousands of students stream into Curtiss Hall to attend classes in the 400-seat auditorium and smaller classrooms. Besides serving the administrative needs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Curtiss Hall also houses the Iowa Ag and Home Economics Experiment Station and Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources, plus several other departments, centers and programs.

The cost of the Curtiss Hall renovation currently is estimated at $11.5 million, which will be provided through private fundraising and university resources. Although a timeline for the project has not yet been determined, initial work could begin in 2009 or 2010. The Monsanto gift is part of Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose, ISU's $800 million fundraising effort that was publicly launched last October.

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and ag products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For information, visit

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