University of Iowa

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The University of Iowa
University of Iowa seal
Space grant
EndowmentUSD $1.286 billion (2014)[1] [2]
PresidentSally Mason
Academic staff2,296
Students31,065 (Fall 2013)[3]
Undergraduates21,974 (Fall 2013)
Postgraduates9,091 (Fall 2013)
LocationIowa City, Iowa, United States
1,900 acres (770 ha)

Black & Gold

AthleticsNCAA Division IBig Ten
MascotHerky the Hawk
University of Iowa logo
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The University of Iowa
University of Iowa seal
Space grant
EndowmentUSD $1.286 billion (2014)[1] [2]
PresidentSally Mason
Academic staff2,296
Students31,065 (Fall 2013)[3]
Undergraduates21,974 (Fall 2013)
Postgraduates9,091 (Fall 2013)
LocationIowa City, Iowa, United States
1,900 acres (770 ha)

Black & Gold

AthleticsNCAA Division IBig Ten
MascotHerky the Hawk
University of Iowa logo

The University of Iowa (also known as UI, U of I, or simply Iowa) is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. Founded in 1847, Iowa is the oldest university in the state and it is considered a Public Ivy. The university is organized into eleven colleges offering more than 100 areas of study and seven professional degrees.[3]

The Iowa campus spans 1,900 acres centered along the banks of the Iowa River and includes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, named one of "America’s Best Hospitals" for the 23rd year in a row.[3] The university was the original developer of the Master of Fine Arts degree[4] and it operates the world-renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Iowa has very high research activity, and is a member of several research coalitions, including the American Association of Universities, the Universities Research Association, and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The Iowa alumni network exceeds 250,000,[5] and the university budgeted revenues and expenses of $3.167 billion for 2013.

The University of Iowa's athletic teams, the Hawkeyes, compete in Division I of the NCAA and are members of the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes have won 26 national championships[6] and field 22 varsity teams.[3]


The University of Iowa was founded on February 25, 1847, just 59 days after Iowa was admitted to the Union. The legal name for this university is the State University of Iowa, but the Board of Regents approved using the "University of Iowa" for everyday usage in October 1964.[7]

The first faculty offered instruction at the university beginning in March 1855 to students in the Old Mechanics Building, located where Seashore Hall is now. In September 1855, there were 124 students, of whom forty-one were women. The 1856–57 catalogue listed nine departments offering ancient languages, modern languages, intellectual philosophy, moral philosophy, history, natural history, mathematics, natural philosophy, and chemistry. The first president of the university was Amos Dean.

Old Capitol Building of the Pentacrest in February 2005

The original campus consisted of the Iowa Old Capitol Building and the 10 acres (40,000 m2) (4.05 hectares) of land on which it stood. Following the placing of the cornerstone July 4, 1840, the building housed the Fifth Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Iowa (December 5, 1842) and then became the first capitol building of the State of Iowa on December 28, 1846. Until that date, it had been the third capitol of the Territory of Iowa. When the capitol of Iowa was moved to Des Moines in 1857, the Old Capitol became the first permanent "home" of the University.

In 1855, Iowa became the first public university in the United States to admit men and women on an equal basis. In addition, Iowa was the world's first university to accept creative work in theater, writing, music, and art on an equal basis with academic research[8]

The university was one of the first institutions in America to grant a law degree to a woman (Mary B. Hickey Wilkinson, 1873), to grant a law degree to an African American (G. Alexander Clark in 1879), and to put an African American on a varsity athletic squad (Frank Holbrook in 1895). The university offered its first doctorate in 1898.[8]

The university was the first state university to recognize the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allied Union (in 1970).[8]

The University of Iowa established the first law school west of the Mississippi River, and it was also the first university to use television in education, in 1932, and it pioneered in the field of standardized testing.[9] Also, the University of Iowa was the first Big Ten institution to promote an African American to the position of administrative vice president. (Phillip Hubbard, promoted in 1966)

In the summer of 2008 flood waters breached the Coralville Reservoir spillway, damaging more than 20 major campus buildings.[10] Several weeks after the flood waters receded university officials placed a preliminary estimate on flood damage at $231.75 million. Later, the university estimated that repairs would cost about $743 million.[11]

Later in 2008, UNESCO designated Iowa City the world's third City of Literature, making it part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.[12][13]


The University of Iowa's main campus, located in Iowa City, was originally designed by architect D. Elwood Cook. The campus is roughly bordered by Park Road and U.S. Highway 6 to the north and Dubuque and Gilbert Streets to the east. The Iowa River flows through the campus, dividing it into west and east sides.

Of architectural note is the Pentacrest at the center of The University of Iowa campus. The Pentacrest comprises five major campus buildings: Old Capitol, Schaeffer Hall, MacLean Hall, Macbride Hall, and Jessup Hall. The Old Capitol was once the primary government building for the state of Iowa, but it is now a museum of Iowa history.

Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences

Also on the eastern side of campus are five residence halls (Burge, Daum, Stanley, Currier, and Mayflower), the Iowa Memorial Union, the Pappajohn Business Building, Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences, the Lindquist Center (home of the College of Education), Phillips Hall (the foreign language building), Van Allen Hall (home to physics and astronomy), the English-Philosophy Building, and the buildings for biology, chemistry, geology & environmental sciences, psychology, communications, and journalism. The Main Library can also be found on the east side.

The Colleges of Law, Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Public Health are on the western side of the Iowa River, along with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the Theatre Building, and Voxman Music Building. Additionally, five residence halls (Hillcrest, Slater, Reinow, Quadrangle, and Parklawn), Kinnick Stadium, and Carver-Hawkeye Arena are located on the west campus.

The Oakdale Campus, which is home to some of the university's research facilities and the driving simulator, is located north of Interstate 80 in adjacent Coralville.

The flood of 2008 had a major impact on a number of campus buildings, forcing many buildings to temporarily close. The Iowa Memorial Union was closed for a period of time, and the ground floor of this building is still closed as it undergoes renovation. The arts campus, which includes Hancher, Voxman, Clapp Recital Hall, and the Theatre Building, was hit especially hard. The theatre building has since reopened, but the music facilities have not. Music classes were for a short time held in temporary trailers, and now music classrooms are spread throughout campus. Recently, a University task force suggested to state regents that Hancher be rebuilt near its current site on the West bank of the Iowa River and Voxman and Clapp be built nearer to the main campus on South Clinton Street.

Campus museums[edit]


The University of Iowa is one of the EPA's Green Power Partners,[14] burning oat hulls instead of coal and reducing coal consumption by 20%.[15] In May 2004 the university joined the Chicago Climate Exchange[16] and in April 2009 a student garden was opened.[17]

The University also offers a Certificate in Sustainability through the Office of Sustainability (OS). The OS recently coordinated the University's first sustainability plan: 2020 Vision UIowa Sustainability Targets proposed by UI President Sally Mason on Oct. 29, 2010.[18]

Organization and administration[edit]

Colleges and Schools[edit]


Iowa is one of 61 elected members to the Association of American Universities. Iowa has also been named a Public Ivy by Greene Guides. The university is currently home to ISCABBS, a public bulletin board system that was the largest Internet community in the world prior to the commercialization of the world wide web.

The Iowa Writers' Workshop was founded in 1936. Since 1947 it has produced thirteen Pulitzer Prize winners. In total, twenty-five people affiliated with the Writers' Workshop have won a Pulitzer Prize. The Hanson Center for Technical Communication was founded at The University of Iowa and is named after a 1960 graduate, Thomas R. Hanson who funded the institution with $800,000.[27]

The university has educated many of the state's professionals including 79% of Iowa's dentists, 50% of Iowa's physicians, 48% of Iowa's pharmacists, as well as teachers and administrators in each of the state's K-12 school districts.[3]

The University of Iowa library system is the state's largest library and comprises the Main Library, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, five branch libraries, and the Law Library. The university library holdings include more than five million bound volumes, more than 200,000 rare books and 500 historical manuscript collections, including the Iowa Women's Archives, the Szathmary culinary arts collections, and works of Walt Whitman.[3]


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[30]71
Washington Monthly[31]113

For 2012, out of 2,774 4-year institutions in the U.S., University of Iowa was nationally ranked #71 overall and #27 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report and, #113 by Washington Monthly, and #183 by Forbes. Globally for 2012, the university was ranked #169 by Times and #199 by both QS and U.S. News & World Report.

In departmental rankings for 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Iowa's Carver College of Medicine #16 in the country for primary care and #28 in the country for research, its College of Law #27, its College of Pharmacy #17, and its School of Art & Art History's Fine Arts #22.

The National Science Foundation ranks Iowa #43 in the nation in total research and development expenditures.

Research Institutes[edit]

Student life[edit]

Downtown Iowa City

The University of Iowa is well known for its party and social scene: it was ranked 1st in The Princeton Review's 2014 list of top party schools,[39] and given the rank of 10th-best party school in the United States by Playboy magazine in 2010, and in 2011.[citation needed] The university has appeared on similar top ten lists of several other publications over the years. Much of the student night-life in Iowa City is centered around the pedestrian mall ("ped mall"), which contains numerous restaurants, local shops/boutiques, and over thirty bars. A popular university event that draws both students and also residents from the entire midwest is home football games. A related activity that many students engage in is tailgating, often beginning early in the morning.

There are also over 500 student organizations, including groups focused on politics, sports, games, lifestyles, dance, song, and theater, and a variety of other activities. The University also tries to sponsor events that give students an alternative to the typical drinking scene.[40] In 2004 the University established an annual $25,000 contract with the newly reopened Iowa City Englert Theatre to host concerts and performances for as many as 40 nights a year.[41] Students participate in a variety of student media organizations. For example, students edit and manage The Daily Iowan newspaper (often called the DI), which is printed every Monday through Friday while classes are in session. An early editor of the DI was noted pollster George Gallup. Daily Iowan TV, KRUI Radio, Student Video Productions, Off Deadline magazine and Earthwords magazine are other examples of student-run media.



Among the thousands of graduates from the University of Iowa, especially notable alumni include George Gallup, founder of the Gallup Poll, BA, 1923; Tennessee Williams, author of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" BA, 1938; Gene Wilder, Comedic film and television actor whose credits include "Silver Streak," "Young Frankenstein," and "Stir Crazy" BA, 1955, Communication and Theatre Arts; James Van Allen, world famous physicist and discoverer of two radiation belts (the Van Allen Belts) that surround the earth, Emeritus Carver Professor of Physics at the University of Iowa. MS, 1936; PhD, 1939, Physics; (Mary) Flannery O'Connor, novelist and author of numerous short stories, MFA, 1947, English; and John W. Irving, novelist who wrote The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and several others, MFA, 1967, English.[42] Tom Brokaw, Mark Mattson and Ashton Kutcher also attended the University of Iowa.



Main article: Iowa Hawkeyes

The school's sports teams, the Hawkeyes, participate in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference. The athletics department is headed by Gary Barta, who was previously athletic director at the University of Wyoming. Herky the Hawk (pictured left) has been Iowa's mascot since 1948.


Iowa's football team plays its home games at Kinnick Stadium, named after former Iowa football player Nile Kinnick who won the Heisman Trophy in 1939. Kinnick Stadium hosts 70,585 fans. The stadium unveiled a new look in 2006 with the completion of a $90 million renovation. The renovation included new stands in the south endzone, a new press box, and a statue of Kinnick.

Kirk Ferentz has been the head coach of the football program since 1999, when he replaced longtime coach Hayden Fry. Under Ferentz, the Hawkeyes have enjoyed national success, making eight bowl games in the last nine years, including a Bowl Championship Series victory in the FedEx Orange Bowl over Georgia Tech in 2010. The program has also finished in the Top 10 four times and shared two Big Ten championships in the Ferentz era.

Iowa has a traditional rivalry with Minnesota. The two schools' football teams meet yearly to battle for Floyd of Rosedale, a traveling trophy in the shape of a bronzed pig, that was named by as the top rivalry trophy in college football.[43] Iowa also battles Iowa State University annually for the Cy-Hawk Trophy, a traveling award. In 2004, Iowa and Wisconsin unveiled the Heartland Trophy, a bronze bull, to be played for in their rivalry. However, since the Big Ten has expanded to 12 teams, Iowa will only play Wisconsin 6 times every 10 years while the Floyd of Rosedale series remains an annual matchup. A new rivalry is in the making with Nebraska, with the teams competing for the Heroes Trophy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Iowa has produced more Division I college-football coaches than any other school in the U.S.[44]


Iowa is famous for its extremely successful collegiate wrestling program. Through 2010, the Hawkeyes wrestling team has won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Coach Dan Gable's Gang won nine straight NCAA team championships (1978 to 1986) and three times won three in a row (1991 to 1993, 1995 to 1997, and 2008 to 2010). Iowa's 51 NCAA Champions have won a total of 77 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 15 two-time champions. Furthermore, Iowa's 132 all-Americans have earned all-America status 269 times, including 16 four-time, 29 three-time and 34 two-time honorees. The current head coach,Tom Brands, is a native of Sheldon, Iowa and a four-time All-American and Olympic gold medalist..[45] Sports Illustrated named the Iowa program one of the top sports dynasties of the 20th century.[46]

Men's basketball[edit]

The Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball team currently plays in 15,500-seat Carver-Hawkeye Arena, along with the school's women's basketball, wrestling, and volleyball teams.

Throughout history, the Hawkeyes have enjoyed the successes of eight Big Ten regular season conference championships, the last coming in 1979. More recently, Iowa has won the Big Ten tournament twice, in 2001 and 2006. Iowa also has 22 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament appearances, including three Final Fours, reaching the semifinals in 1955 and 1980 and playing in the championship game against the University San Francisco in 1956.

The team experienced success in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s under head coaches Lute Olson and Tom Davis. Fran McCaffery is the current head men's basketball coach.

Women's basketball[edit]

The Iowa Hawkeye women's basketball team experienced great success in the 1980s and early 1990s under coach C. Vivian Stringer. In 1985, the Hawkeyes became the first women's basketball team in history to sellout in advance.[47] During Stringer's tenure, the Hawkeyes appeared in 10 Women's NCAA Tournaments, including 9 consecutive berths from 1985–86 through 1993–94. Additionally, the Hawkeyes appeared in the 1993 Women's Final Four, losing to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the semifinals. Stringer's successor at Iowa, Angie Lee, took Iowa to an additional 3 NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance during the 1995–96 season. Current coach Lisa Bluder has taken the Hawkeyes to five NCAA tournaments and two WNIT berths, including an appearance in the WNIT semifinals during the 2004–2005 season. Most recently, the women were Big 10 Champions (tying with Ohio State) in 2008.

Other sports[edit]

Other sports at the university include field hockey, soccer, baseball, softball, gymnastics, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, cross country, and rowing. In addition, UI has many club teams that compete in fencing, water polo, baseball, rugby, lacrosse, volleyball, crew, soccer, ultimate, ice hockey, cricket and other sports and there is also a women's flag football team.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The University of Iowa Announces $1.06 Billion Milestone in Comprehensive Campaign, Surpassing its Record-breaking 2005 Campaign | University of Iowa Foundation. Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Alumni Records". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  6. ^ List of Big Ten Conference national championships
  7. ^ Board of Regents minutes, October 21–24, 1964, pages 170-171
  8. ^ a b c "University of Iowa Firsts". 
  9. ^ "About Iowa – The University of Iowa". 
  10. ^ "Flood Mitigation Task Force forum to offer updates, seek input". University of Iowa. 2008. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Still coming back from the flood". The Daily Iowan. 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Iowa City and Shenzhen, designated as UNESCO Creative Cities". UNESCO. 2008. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Iowa City Designated as UNESCO City of Literature". University of Iowa. 2008. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Green Power Partners". US Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  15. ^ "UI President Mason announces strengthened sustainability focus for university". UI News. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Examples of Sustainability Practices and Initiatives". University of Iowa. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  17. ^ "New Student Garden opens on UI west campus". University of Iowa. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  18. ^ "University of Iowa Office of Sustainability". Uiowa. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Home - School of Art and Art History- The University of Iowa". Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  20. ^ "; The University of Iowa". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Henry B. Tippie College of Business". 
  22. ^ "College of Engineering, University of Iowa". Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  23. ^ "College of Pharmacy – University of Iowa". Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  24. ^ "University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine". Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  25. ^ "The University of Iowa College of Public Health". Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  26. ^ "University College". Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  27. ^ [2] U of Iowa Foundation News article
  28. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014-United States". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  29. ^ "America's Top Colleges". LLC™. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  31. ^ "About the Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014-United States". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  33. ^ "University Rankings". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  34. ^ "World University Rankings". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  35. ^ 1958 report on the Institute of Agricultural Medicine
  36. ^ "IIHR History". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  37. ^ Overview of the records of the Iowa Institute of Aging from the University of Iowa Libraries
  38. ^ "About University of Iowa". Public Policy Center History. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  39. ^ "Top Party Schools: Princeton Review Releases 2013-14 Rankings". The Huffington Post. August 6, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Late Night At Iowa". January 5, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  41. ^ "University Of Iowa And Englert Civic Theatre Reach Use Agreement – University News Service – The University of Iowa". July 22, 2004. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  42. ^ [3][dead link]
  43. ^ Rivalry trophies
  44. ^ Iowa: The Harvard of Coaching (Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2011)
  45. ^ "Tom Brands Bio". Hawkeye Sports. University of Iowa Athletics. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  46. ^ "CNN/SI – Century's Best – SI's Top 20 Dynasties of the 20th Century – Thursday June 03, 1999 02:52 PM". Sports Illustrated. June 3, 1999. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Happy memories ahead for Stringer – Women's College Basketball – ESPN". ESPN. November 29, 2005. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°39′N 91°32′W / 41.650°N 91.533°W / 41.650; -91.533