Education

University of Iowa to name Finkbine Golf Course clubhouse after Iowa City family

'The Nagle Family Clubhouse will serve as a great anchor for this area'

Golfers mill around the putting green last June during the Midwest Junior Championship at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa C
Golfers mill around the putting green last June during the Midwest Junior Championship at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. The University of Iowa this week announced the new clubhouse, which will open this spring, will be named the Nagle Famiy Clubhouse. The old Finkbine clubhouse, built in 1956, will be razed. (David Harmantas/Freelance)

IOWA CITY — With the University of Iowa set to debut a new $10 million Finkbine Golf Course clubhouse in March, the campus this week revealed plans to honor a deeply rooted Iowa City family in the facility’s name.

Recognizing a leadership gift from Mary Lee Nagle Duda and Fritz L. Duda of Dallas — which “made the new clubhouse a reality” — UI officials are seeking Board of Regents approval to christen the new facility the “Nagle Family Clubhouse.”

The board will consider the request at its Feb. 5 meeting.

The 19,000-square-foot, two-level clubhouse sits southwest of the old clubhouse — which the campus plans to raze in March when the new facility is open, according to Board of Regents documents.

Serving Finkbine Golf Course — home to the UI men’s and women’s collegiate teams — the new clubhouse features a restaurant and bar, private dining space, an outdoor patio, a bigger pro shop, locker rooms, a conference room, a storm shelter and underground cart storage.

The project has been a long time coming, hitting several snags — including a campuswide construction moratorium and over-budget bids.

Originally, the clubhouse — as proposed to the Board of Regents in August 2017 — was slated for completion by spring 2019.

That is instead when construction started — with an amended opening for this spring.

The Nagle family name, according to a UI Athletics Department news release on Tuesday, has been part of the Iowa City community nearly a century — with Mary Lee Nagle Duda’s grandfather, Lee Nagle, owning and operating Nagle Lumber Company beginning in 1922.

He represented Johnson County in the state Legislature in the late 1920s and founded the First Capital National Bank, which evolved into First National Bank.

Mary Lee Nagle Duda continued the family ownership as a major investor and shareholder until US Bancorporation acquired it, according to UI Athletics.

And her father and brother operated Nagle Lumber and were “instrumental in the planning and growth of Iowa City.”

Mary Lee and Fritz Duda have been “strong supporters” of the UI over the years, and in 2010 Duda surprised his wife — a former Hawkeye cheerleader — on the field of Kinnick Stadium with a $1.5 million gift to create the Mary Lee Hawkeye Spirit Fund, according to UI Athletics.

That fund provides scholarship aid to the Iowa Spirit Squad.

The couple also provided support for the James M. Hoak Family Golf Complex and more recently created the Fountiene Lee Duda Faculty Fellow of Renaissance Art.

In a statement, Mary Lee Nagle Duda acknowledged that while her husband’s business activities have taken her out of Iowa, “I will always be a Hawkeye.”

“I take great pride in my family’s roots in Iowa City,” she said in the statement. “This is a wonderful way to give back to a community that gave me so much.”

UI Athletics Director Gary Barta expressed enthusiasm to have a clubhouse “that matches the quality of Finkbine Golf Course.”

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“The Nagle Family Clubhouse will serve as a great anchor for this area and bring friends and fans together year-round for university and community events,” Barta said in a statement.

Finkbine Golf Course debuted in 1955 and was named for W.O. Finkbine, who gave the land for the golf course to UI. The next year, the university built a 5,526-square-foot clubhouse, slated to be razed.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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