The University Name
The University Name is the simple declaration of who we are: Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Agriculture, Business, Design, Education, Engineering, Family and Consumer Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine... All of these areas make up the Iowa State family.
Students probably weren't here very long before they heard about one of our most enduring traditions --- our campanile.
The story of the campanile is also a love story. Edgar Stanton graduated with the first class at Iowa State in 1872. He spent 50 years on campus as a student and faculty member, becoming the Head of the Department of Mathematics, secretary to the Board of Trustees, dean of the junior college, vice-president, and on four different occasions, acting President.
His first wife was Margaret MacDonald Stanton, first dean of women. When she died, July 25, 1895, she had been closely identified with the University for almost twenty-five years. Stanton wanted to establish a monument so all students and friends of Iowa State would remember her. He finally decided to purchase and have installed a chime of 10 bells in a detached tower on central campus. President William M. Beardshear helped him choose the site, and the state legislature appropriated $7, 500 for the construction of the tower and its clock.
Stanton died September 12, 1920, and his will provided that after certain bequests were taken out, the residue of his estate should be turned over to the University for furnishing a memorial to him. His second wife, Julia Wentch Stanton, and the children, decided to request that the University install 26 additional bells, thus forming a musical instrument which became known as the Edgar W. and Margaret MacDonald Stanton Memorial Carillon.
The beauty of our campus also rests in our stately buildings. But they are more than beautiful – they make a statement. They are testimony to the importance we place on education. They say to us, “This is a place of learning. Learning is timeless.” How many times, as a student, did you climb the steps of Beardshear, or Curtiss, or Alumni Hall? These are important times you'll never forget.
We were founded in 1858 and later earned the designation of becoming the nation's first land grant college. Being a land grant college meant that we included everyone in our circle --- men, women, the rich, and the poor. Morrill Hall was built in 1890 as a lasting tribute to Senator Justin Morrill, the legislator responsible for the nation’s land grant schools.
We have added this symbol of a stately building to signify Beardshear Hall and the leadership of our present and past administrators. Beardshear was named after one of the Iowa State’s most cherished presidents – William Beardshear, who was president of Iowa State from 1891 to 1902.
Science with Practice
We have included in the ring one of the most important concepts of our university: “Science with practice.” We aren’t just an ivory tower. We believe that what we learn must be applied -- to the citizens of Iowa and to the world.
We think you’ll especially enjoy these symbols. They are Lancelot and Elaine, the permanent residents of Lake LaVerne. Let’s go back a minute to VEISHEA, 1935. A large float, shaped like a swan and carrying flower-bedecked and white-robed maidens, emerged from a smoke screen and glided its way to the middle of Lake LaVerne. And then the plaster swan let loose its feathered passengers: four swans.
Two of the swans were named Lancelot and Elaine by student Jean Nesinwanger, who won $10.00 for her idea. Since that time, there have been numerous Lancelots and Elaines. Though the feathers change – the tradition remains forever.
If the symbol on the other side of our ring symbolizes Beardshear – then this, of course, is Curtiss Hall. Curtiss Hall was built to house our college’s agriculture program – and it still does. A respect for the land - - and for the heritage of our state – is central to our university. The band between the two buildings represents the long walk across central campus.
Go, Cyclones! We know we don’t have to tell you not to forget the cardinal and gold days of your stay at Iowa State. The roar of the crowds, the chant of “Oh we will fight, fight, fight for Iowa State!” were great times. We’ve been the Cyclones ever since 1895, when the team leveled Northwestern. Have you heard the famous quote from the Chicago Tribune?
Here it is: "Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday. At the end of 50 minutes' play, the big husky farmers from Iowa's Agricultural College had rolled up 36 points, while the 15 yard line was the nearest Northwestern got to Iowa's goal."
True and Valiant
Wherever you go, we hope that you will not forget the words of our Alma Mater. The song is based on two very important ideals: “True and valiant.” We wish for you truth and valiance in your years ahead. May you be loyal and honest. May you be courageous and resolute. Jim Wilson, who composed our alma mater, “The Bells of Iowa State,” says it best:
Green hills, for thy throne,
And for crown
A golden melody,
Ringing in the hearts of all
Who bring thee
Love and loyalty.
Dear Alma Mater,
Make our spirits great,
True and valiant,
Like the Bells of Iowa State
The Iowa State University Alumni Association is an independent 501(c)3, self-governing organization charged with the mission of engaging the talents and resources of alumni, students, and friends in the life, work, and aspiration of Iowa State University. Our vision is to become the lifetime partner in engaging all alumni, students, and friends with Iowa State University.