Today (March 22, 2015), Iowa State University is 157!
Iowa State University (then the Iowa State Agricultural College and Model Farm) was officially established on March 22, 1858 when the charter act establishing a state agricultural college became law. It took approximately 9 years before the first classes began.
A brief timeline of Iowa State University’s founding:
- March 22, 1858 – The Iowa State Agricultural College and Model Farm was established via the legislature of the State of Iowa
- June 21, 1859 – a 648 acre farm in Story County was selected as the site for the campus
- 1861 – construction was completed on the Farm House (the first building on campus)
- 1862 – Iowa was the first state in the nation to accept the provisions of the Morrill Act, ensuring funding for ISU (then College)
- March 17, 1869 – the inauguration of the College and the installation of the president and faculty
The Special Collections department helped celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding in the 2007-2008 academic year by initiating an oral history project to document “Cyclone stories” – interviews with alumni, staff, students, faculty, and any other Cyclones. Some audio and transcription excerpts are available online. Learn more about ISU’s founding at our Sesquicentennial exhibit: “1858-2008, 150 Years of Excellence” and the associated campus timeline.