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(soft dancing music) - i was never lucky enoughto meet virgil hancher, but he was the longest termpresident, so far anyway, at the university of iowa. he always wanted tomake the arts available to as many people as possible. i often think about that. i often think abouthancher is carrying out the vision that virgil hancher wanted.
i was actually a student in1972 when hancher opened, and i lived right across the river. i actually saw the construction. i watched the buildingas it came to the final stages of being built. people were so excited, people were... they were in question, theydidn't know exactly what this new hancher was all about. but, one thing they did know,
they did know it was a big deal. it was a huge deal. everybody knew how special this place was, because all of these great artists, artists from all around the world. artists that people had heard about were here in iowa cityperforming at hancher. the night of december 10th,1987, when that curtain went up and it was the world premiereof the joffrey nutcracker.
everybody who was there,will remember that as a night that was very special to hancher. (soft music) everybody had heard about the iowa flood. they had heard about hancher. probably the best thingthat happened to us of all is that as a staff wereally stayed together and we really, we justdecided we were going to make this work no matter what.
when we were told that fema had decided that hancher was atleast 50% or more damaged and we'd have the opportunityto build a new hancher. (disappointing music) (inspirational music) we knew what we needed in a new facility. i think that we designed one of the finest performing art centers in the country. and, now to see it unfold,
now to see the construction happening. cesar pelli always talkedabout the fact that he's never designed anything insuch a gorgeous setting. he loves the idea ofhaving the space where he can sprawl out. and, he was so happy aboutthe outdoors and the indoors. the building itself isgoing to be so transparent. the views from thebuilding and then the views anywhere on campus of the building.
you can tell now when youwalk through that building just through the design, you can tell his excitement for this. you can just feel it. i always think back to past, present, and sandy boyd talking about hancher's being the largest classroom on campus. we want to make sure thatthat good work continues because hancher is a place.
it's a place for learning, it's a place to learn about the world, to learn thought the arts. faculty from across campus. we have learned and found somany ways to integrate hancher and the artist that comes tohancher, into the classroom. we want to enrich theeducational experience of students here atthe university of iowa. it's all hancher in so many ways.
it is the largest classroom on campus, and what i love about it too is it reaches people of all ages. i thinks it's important thatwe continue that legacy. we continue that dream of virgil hancher, 'cause that's important. i think virgil hancherwould be very happy.