Rod Library--Special Collections
Carl A. Bluedorn
Carl Bluedorn, local philanthropist, died thirteen days after the ground was broken for the new UNI building which will bear his name. On June 25, 1997, construction officially began on the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Bluedorn and his wife Peggy donated over $1 million to the construction of the building which will serve the Cedar Falls and Waterloo areas.
Bluedorn was born April 10, 1909, at Walcott, Iowa. He earned a civil engineering degree from Iowa State University in 1931. The following year he began work at Zeidler's Inc., a Waterloo concrete manufacturer, and eventually he owned the business. He was President and owner of Zeidler's until 1977. On July 8, 1997, Bluedorn died at the age of 88 after having a stroke.
As philanthropists, the Bluedorns were involved with many projects at Iowa State University, UNI, Wartburg College, and in Waterloo/Cedar Falls. At ISU, they were active in projects such as the Iowa State Center, Cyclone Stadium, and purchasing band uniforms and instruments. At Wartburg College, where Carl received an honorary Doctor of Law degree, a large gift from the couple allowed the Carl and Peggy Bluedorn Instrumental Music Hall to be constructed, as well as assisting in other projects. At UNI, they helped raise money for the UNI Dome, and donated generously for the building of the Performing Arts Center. In the local area, they helped develop the Grout Museum's Imaginarium, which also bears their name, and were involved with the construction of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. Carl was also a member of the board of trustees of the Grout Museum since 1979.
Compiled by Susan A. Basye
Special Collections and University Archives