Finkbine Clubhouse may be named after Iowa City family name request headed to Iowa regents for approval

The new Finkbine Golf Course Clubhouse may receive a new name honoring the donor for the project, pending state Board of Regent approval at its Feb. 5 meeting.


Megan Nagorzansk

Iowa sophomore Brett Permann tees off during the Diane Thomason Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Sept. 30, 2018.The Hawkeyes placed first overall.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

The University of Iowa is requesting its new, nearly $10 million Finkbine Clubhouse project receive state Board of Regents approval be named the Nagle Family Clubhouse in honor of Mary Lee Nagle Duda and Fritz L. Duda.

The proposed name would honor the Duda’s leadership gift to the UI that made the construction of the clubhouse possible, according to regents’ documents.

In a news release, Iowa Athletics attributed the new clubhouse and its funding to Mary Lee Nagle Duda, who it called a “generous donor and passionate Hawkeye.” According to the release, the Nagle family has been influential in the UI and Iowa City community for nearly a century. Mary Lee Nagle Duda represented Johnson County in the state Legislature in 1920 and succeeded her father as owner of the First Capital National Bank before it was acquired by U.S. Bancorporation.

The Dudas have supported the UI financially before, the release continued, by providing scholarship assistance for the Iowa Spirit Squad, contributing funding for the James M. Holk Family Golf Complex, and through Fritz L. Duda’s creation of the Fountiene Lee Duda Faculty Fellow of Renaissance Art.

Related: Regents approve $9.95 million construction plans for Finkbine clubhouse

“Fritz’s business activities have taken me many places, but I will always be a Hawkeye. I take great pride in my family’s roots in Iowa City,” Mary Lee Nagle Duda said in a statement. “This is a wonderful way to give back to a community that gave me so much. My passion for the Hawkeyes, the University of Iowa, and Iowa City runs deep.”

If approved by the regents at their Feb. 5 meeting, the Nagle Family Clubhouse will serve as an anchor for the area and bring together friends and fans alike for year-round events in the community, Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta said in a statement.

“We truly appreciate Mary Lee’s friendship and support. She has been a passionate Hawkeye fan her entire life and a great pride for Iowa City, the University of Iowa, and the Iowa Hawkeyes,” Barta said.

The 19,000-square-foot new clubhouse is located southwest of the existing clubhouse, and will open at the start of the 2020 golf season, according to the documents. Construction for the new clubhouse began in September 2019, and the 54-year-old clubhouse will be demolished in March.

According to the documents, the new clubhouse will be two stories and provide proper shelter from severe weather, a conference room or private dining space, a pro shop, a restaurant and bar, an outdoor patio, and locker rooms, and underground cart storage.

Related: Q&A: Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations talks climate strike, P3, Finkbine development

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the regents approved the $9.95 million construction project in August 2017 after the UI pitched it as an opportunity to make the university a destination to host NCAA college golf events for both men and women. Originally, construction on the project was slated to begin in spring 2018 with the facility set to open the following year.

The Nagle family footed the bill for the entire project, which UI Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz has said the UI appreciates because private support is rising in importance as state funding for public higher education dwindles.

“When you have a project like that where a single donor comes forward to say they’ll support that project with their passions involved in it, it’s rewarding,” Lehnertz said in an October 2019 interview with the DI.