Beaming with pride

On a brilliantly sunny, first autumn day, Des Moines University’s new campus steering committee watched a white beam be “flown” to its permanent home in the uppermost southwest corner of the Innovation Building, under construction on an 88-acre site in West Des Moines. The beam carried the signatures of donors, friends of the University, faculty, staff and students.

The Innovation Building is one of several structures that will welcome DMU students and employees when the University moves to its new campus in 2023.

The Sept. 22 event was a welcome counterpoint to this time last year when DMU administrators and members of the Board of Trustees hosted a groundbreaking ceremony under a large tent to fend off a torrential downpour and 40-degree weather.

“This special day and the signed beam symbolize our collective vision for the future of medical and health sciences education and the belief of so many that we will fulfill it,” said Angela L. Walker Franklin, Ph.D., DMU president and CEO. “Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Turner Construction, Formation Group and all of our partner organizations, we remain right on schedule for substantial completion of our new campus in December 2022. The scale of this project is impressive, and the opportunity to be able to design and build an advanced health sciences university is exhilarating and humbling.”

A well-traveled beam

With the support of PDM, the steel fabricator of the structural beam, this “special guest” made the rounds in town. On Friday, Sept. 10, the beam was mounted on special dollies and wheeled onto the outdoor deck of the Embassy Club West, where President Franklin hosted an event for leadership donors and other friends of the University. The timing also permitted the participation by members of the Board of Trustees attending their September meeting.

On Saturday morning the beam was transported to DMU’s current campus and positioned near the Student Education Center so that members of the campus community could sign it on Monday and Tuesday. Signatories also were invited to guess the weight of the beam. Four individuals who most closely guessed the weight won meal coupons to the University’s Summerfield’s Café. Many guessed it was much heavier than its 2,304 pounds.

View videos and photographs of this fun series of events here.

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