Iowa State University Alumni Association
 

Alumni Achievement

Iowa State University boasts some of the most successful and distinguished alumni in the United States. Iowa Staters have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields and received recognition for a variety of achievements, a sample of which are listed below. If you know of a successful alumnus who should be recognized by Iowa State University with an alumni award, please contact Julie Larson at jklarson@iastate.edu.

ISU alumni in politics/government...

  • Carrie Chapman CattSawsan Al-Sharifi (MS ’81 ani sci, PhD ’83), former Iraqi Minister of Agriculture
  • Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista (PhD ’80 econ), former Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Economics
  • *Ezra Taft Benson (MS '27 ag econ), former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
  • Bruce Braley (’80 pol sci), former U.S. representative, Iowa’s 1st district
  • Garrey Carruthers (PhD '68 econ), former governor of New Mexico
  • *Carrie Chapman Catt (1880), founder, League of Women Voters
  • Lauro Cavazos (PhD ’54 physiology), former U.S. Secretary of Education
  • Nancy Cox (’70 bacteriology), director of the Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and 2006 U.S. Federal Employee of the Year
  • Parviz Davoodi (MS '80 econ, PhD '81), first vice president of Iran
  • *Vine Deloria (’58 gen sci), Native American rights leader
  • Joni Ernst ('92 psychology), U.S. Senator, Iowa
  • *John Garang (PhD ’81 econ), former vice president of Sudan and former leader of Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army
  • *James Lorraine Geddes (1879), U.S. Civil War general and composer of war songs The Stars and Stripes and The Soldiers' Battle Prayer
  • Thomas R. Harkin (’62 government), retired U.S. Senator, Iowa, who authored 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
  • *Bourke Hickenlooper ('21 English & speech), former governor of Iowa
  • Dwight Ink (’47 pol sci), retired U.S. presidential advisor who worked with every administration from Eisenhower to Reagan
  • Dave Loebsack (’74 pol sci MA ’76), U.S. representative, Iowa’s 2nd district
  • *Thomas H. MacDonald (1904 civil engr), Chief of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, 1919-1953
  • *Charles T. Manatt (’58 rural soc), former U.S. Ambassador to Dominican Republic and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee
  • *Elwood Mead (1883 civil engr), Bureau of Reclamation commissioner during the construction of the Hoover Dam; Lake Mead is named for him
  • Dan Mozena ('70 political sci), U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh
  • *Frederick Douglass Patterson (DVM ’23, MS vet path ’27), founder, United Negro College Fund
  • Lee Teng-Hui (attended, ’53 ag econ), president, Republic of China, 1988-2000
  • *Henry A. Wallace (’10 ani husb, MS ’26), U.S. vice president, 1941-1945
  • *Henry C. Wallace (1892 ani husb), U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1921-1924

ISU alumni in business/industry...

  • Stephanie BurnsJane Armstrong-Byrne (’57 hotel, restaurant, and instit mgmt), one of the first female vice presidents of a U.S. Fortune 500 Company
  • Stephanie Burns (PhD ’82 organic chem), chairman, president, and CEO of Dow Corning
  • Vance D. Coffman (’67 aeronautical engr), retired CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • John D. Cosgrove ('56 electrical engr), retired president, Rockwell Collins
  • Eric Crowell (’80 indus admin), CEO, Iowa Health Des Moines (Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, and Blank Children’s Hospital)
  • David Drury ('66 mathematics), CEO, Principal Financial Group
  • Michael J. Dubes (’66 phys ed), retired president, Conseco Insurance Group
  • *Roswell Garst (attended, ’20 ani husb), established one of the world’s leading seed corn companies
  • Isaiah Harris (’74 indus admin), former CFO, BellSouth
  • Stanley Howe ('46 engineering), retired president/CEO of HON Industries
  • Allen Jacobson (’47 chem engr), retired CEO, 3-M
  • Jerry Junkins (’59 elec engr), former CEO, Texas Instruments
  • Ric Jurgens (’71 indus admin), retired CEO, Hy-Vee
  • Richard McCormick (’61 elec engr), retired CEO, Qwest
  • *Otto Miller (’30 chem engr), former CEO, Standard Oil
  • Dennis Muilenburg ('86 aerospace engr), CEO, Boeing
  • James J. Renier (PhD ’55 chem), retired CEO, Honeywell
  • Jonathan D. Rich (’77 chem), CEO, Momentive, Inc.
  • Todd Snyder ('92 apparel design), fashion designer and co-founder of Tailgate Clothing Co.
  • Sehat Sutardja (’83 elec engr), co-founder, Marvell Technology Group
  • *Thornton “T.A.” Wilson (’43 aeronautical engr), former CEO, Boeing

ISU alumni in media and the arts...

  • Christine RomansTerry Anderson (’74 journalism and pol sci), former Middle East Bureau Chief, The Associated Press
  • *Robert Bartley (’59 journalism), former editor, The Wall Street Journal, and 2003 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
  • Ann K. Cooper (’71 home ec journalism), former foreign correspondent, National Public Radio
  • Jacqui Jeras (’92 journalism), weather anchor, CNN
  • Jerry Knight (attended, ’70 journalism), retired Washington Post business writer
  • Tom Knudson (’80 journalism), two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Ted Kooser (’62 English and speech), U.S. Poet Laureate (2004-2006) and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • *Robert Kowalski (’66 journalism, MS ’67 ag journalism), best-selling medical author
  • Sean McLaughlin (’88 journalism), Emmy-winning television meteorologist
  • Christine Romans (’93 journalism and French), CNN anchor and reporter
  • Jeffrey Saad ('89 hotel, restaurant, and instit mgmt), Food Network and Cooking Channel host/chef
  • *Hugh Sidey (’50 journalism), presidential biographer and former White House columnist, Time
  • Paul Shirley (’00 mech engr), blogger and author
  • *Lauren Soth (’32 ag journalism, MS ’38 ag econ), Pulitzer-prize winning editorial writer
  • Christopher Soules ('04 ag studies & agronomy), TV's "The Bachelor" (2015)
  • *Randall Wreghitt ('78 journalism), Broadway producer

ISU alumni in athletics...

  • Nawal El MoutawakelBeth Bader (’97 exercise and sport sci), LPGA golfer
  • Matt Blair (’74 phys ed), retired Pro Bowl NFL linebacker
  • Glen Brand (’50 civil engr), Olympic gold medalist, wrestling
  • John Cooper (’62 phys ed), former Ohio State University head football coach
  • Troy Davis (attended, ’96 soc), 1996 Heisman Trophy runner-up
  • Nawal El Moutawakel (’88 phys ed), first Arab woman, first African woman, and first Muslim woman to win Olympic gold and 2016 Olympics coordination commission chair (the first woman ever to chair the Olympics coordination commission)
  • Dan Gable (’71 phys ed), Olympic gold medalist and noted collegiate coach, wrestling
  • Ron Galimore (’81 speech comm), first black U.S. Olympic gymnast
  • Fred Hoiberg (’95 finance), coach of the NBA's Chicago Bulls
  • Jeff Hornacek (’86 accounting), coach of the NBA's New York Knicks
  • Kevin Jackson (attended, ’91 human sci), Olympic gold medalist, wrestling, and current Iowa State wrestling head coach
  • Yobes Ondieki (’86 marketing), first man to run 10,000 meters in under 27 minutes
  • Ben Peterson (’72 architecture), Olympic gold medalist, wrestling
  • Cael Sanderson (’01 art and design), Olympic gold medalist, wrestling, first-ever undefeated four-time NCAA wrestling champion, and current Penn State head wrestling coach

ISU alumni in science/engineering...

  • George Washington CarverClayton Anderson (MS ’83 aerospace engr), NASA astronaut
  • *John Vincent Atanasoff (MS ’26 math), co-inventor of the electronic digital computer
  • Steve Bales ('64 aero engr), retired NASA scientist, guidance officer for Apollo 11 lunar landing
  • *Bert Benjamin (1893 mech engr), inventor, Farmall tractor
  • *Clifford Berry ('38 elec engr), co-inventor of the electronic digital computer
  • Wesley Buchele (PhD ’54 ag engr), inventor, round hay baler
  • *Griffith Buck (’48 horticulture, MS ’49, PhD ’53), developed roses that could survive low temperatures
  • *George Washington Carver (1894 ag, MS 1896), honored scientist
  • *Gertrude Cox ('29 math, DS '58), first woman elected into the American Statistical Institute
  • *Mildred Day (’28 home ec), created recipe for Rice Krispies Treats
  • *Kay Eliason (’51 ag engr), construction manager, Great Alaska Pipeline
  • John Gustafson (MS '80 math, PhD '82), inventor of Gustafson's Law of parallel computing
  • Darleane Christian Hoffman (’48 chem, PhD ’51), honored scientist
  • Donald Langenberg ('53 physics), former director, U.S. National Science Foundation; chancellor, University of Maryland system
  • *Samuel Massie (PhD ’46 chem), honored scientist
  • Ed McCracken ('66 electrical engr), creator of Silicon Graphics, Inc.
  • *Conde McCullough (’10 civil engr), noted bridge architect
  • Dennis Muilenburg ('86 aero engr), president & CEO of The Boeing Company
  • Bruce Roth (PhD ’81 organic chem), inventor, cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor
  • Subra Suresh (MS '79 mech engr), director, U.S. National Science Foundation
  • Lois Tiffany (’45 botany, MS ’47, PhD ’50), national fungi expert
  • *Thomas Whitney (’61 elec engr, MS ’62, PhD ’64), inventor, pocket calculator
  • *Harley Wilhem (PhD ’31 chem), co-inventor, process for large-scale uranium production
  • Elizabeth Degarmo Yetley (’63 comm nutrition, MS ’70, PhD ’74), lead scientist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

*indicates deceased
 

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