In 1862, Iowa was the first state to accept the provisions of the Morrill Act, designed to fund educational facilities in agriculture and mechanic arts.
Iowa State University has a long history of appreciating the differences that make a community. Our history includes men and women of all races and from every corner of the world. In many ways, to be an Iowa Stater means to look past the superficial differences to find shared interests in what we love or hate, believe or not, and how we spend our time outside of class and work.
When Iowa founded the State Agricultural College and Model Farm in 1858, it was open to both men and women. The first students, 136 men and 37 women, arrived in 1869. The first degrees were awarded to 24 men and 2 women in 1872.
Carrie Lane enrolled, studied, worked and graduated in 1880 at the top of her class. As a member of the Crescent Literary Society, she became the first woman to give an oration before a debating society at Iowa State, winning a debate on the subject of women’s suffrage. She would later become Carrie Chapman Catt, a woman nationally recognized for her work promoting women’s suffrage, leading to the right to vote for all women in the United States in 1920. That year, she helped organize the League of Women Voters. In 1995, Iowa State University renamed Botany Hall the Carrie Chapman Catt Hall. Additional information on the History of Women at ISU is available online.
George Washington Carver became Iowa State’s first African American graduate in 1894. Iowa State’s first African American football player was Jack Trice in 1922. The ISU football stadium was renamed Jack Trice Stadium in his honor in 1988. The ISU Black Cultural Center opened its doors in 1970.
The campus climate for underrepresented groups was assessed in a campus climate study report issued in 2004. A university committee responded to the report in 2005, and the president issued an implementation plan in 2006. The “Implementation Plan for Diversity, Equity and Community 2006-2011” has resulted in the development of many diversity related policies and initiatives of benefit to the entire campus.
Our strategic plan for 2010-2015 highlights what it means to us to be a leading land grant institution. It includes "profound respect for the diversity of people and ideas."
Link here to more information about changes in diversity leadership, programming and compliance.
Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, 1550 Beardshear Hall, Ames, Iowa 50011-2021
Phone: 515-294-6410, Fax: 515-294-8844, e-mail: fadiastate [dot] edu