The following article was originally posted on January 3, 2019, via the Iowa State University Foundation.

AMES, Iowa – HNI Corporation of Muscatine, Iowa, has announced a $1 million commitment to Iowa State University that will enhance the educational experience on campus and help prepare leaders for tomorrow’s innovative, interdisciplinary workplace.

HNI’s gift will support construction of the Student Innovation Center on the west side of campus. Funded through the Iowa Legislature and private gifts, the center will be a flagship facility reflecting and elevating Iowa State’s commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and experiential education. Construction began in March 2017, with completion anticipated for January 2020.

The approximately 140,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building will become a hub for hands-on projects, where students learn by doing and collaborating across a wide range of disciplines. Students from all of Iowa State’s undergraduate colleges will use the Student Innovation Center, which will accommodate individual and group activities, capstone projects, classes and co-curricular activities.

The facility will offer resources for planning, designing and making, including fabrication spaces for electronics, metals, wood, textiles and other media; collaboration space, meeting rooms, breakout spaces and open study areas; and offices for student organizations and onsite Student Innovation Center administration. With the university’s strong programs in entrepreneurship, students will have the potential to take an idea from starting concept to start-up business at Iowa State.

HNI Corporation is a family of leading brands providing products and services for the office and home. With deeply held values, the company’s employees, or members, are united by a dedication to integrity, quality, innovation, service, continuous improvement and value creation for their customers. Through the HNI Charitable Foundation, the company pursues positive change. This applies not only to the value it creates for customers and shareholders or to the improvements it is constantly making to the business – it also extends to the community and the environment.

“HNI Corporation competes globally, and for our company to be successful, we have to be able to recruit and retain outstanding talent,” said Gary Carlson, vice president of community relations, who oversees the HNI Charitable Foundation. “From our perspective, Iowa State is an outstanding institution that prepares students well for professional careers; consequently, working with the university is a critical component of our recruiting strategy. We’re supporting the Student Innovation Center to enhance learning and preparation that helps students become the types of future HNI members and leaders we seek.”

About the Iowa State University Foundation
The Iowa State University Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization committed to securing and managing gifts that benefit Iowa State University. The 
Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, with a historic goal to raise $1.5 billion, will help support Iowa State in becoming the premier land-grant university for the 21st century and beyond.

Elaine Watkins-Miller
, Communications, Iowa State University Foundation , 515.294.1005,

Gary Carlson, Vice President of Community Relations, HNI Corporation, 563.272.7021,

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