When you look for photos of iconic campus buildings, what do you expect to see? The building in question, a lovely green lawn, maybe a sprinkling of trees, and… sheep? Probably not, unless you’re researching Iowa State’s sheep barns. The sheep grazing in the foreground of this photo with their shepherd and sheepdog add an interesting dimension to this image of the often photographed campanile – although, of course, all photos of the campanile are interesting. The campanile was built in 1899 in honor of prominent ISU alum Edgar Stanton’s beloved wife, Margaret MacDonald Stanton, who was Iowa State’s first dean of women and passed away in 1895. After Edgar Stanton’s death in 1920, 26 bells were added to the original 10 in his name. These became the instrument known today as the Edgar W. and Margaret MacDonald Stanton Memorial Carillon. As for the sheep, well, why exactly they’re on this part of campus is not known for certain. It’s possible that they’re out grazing to act as a sort of substitute lawn mower, but again, that’s speculation. Personally, I rather like that thought.
More information on the campanile can be found in RS 4/8/4, this website devoted to the building’s 100th anniversary, the admissions website, and on the Sesquicentennial Celebration website. The photo above and others can be found on our Flickr site and in the digital collections. If you’re interested in sheep at Iowa State, you can find additional information on the old sheep barns in both RS 4/8/4 and the Sesquicentennial Celebration website as well.