Campus of Iowa State University Article

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The medallion located in Central Campus, immediately to the west of Curtiss Hall

The Iowa State University campus contains over 160 buildings, several of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [1] Iowa State University's campus, specifically its Central Campus, has been recognized as one of the nation's most beautiful and was listed as a "medallion site" by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1999. [2]


Iowa State's main campus features 490 acres of trees, plants and classically designed buildings. The concept of an open central campus encircled by buildings, was the vision of Iowa State's first president, Adonijah Welch. The campus is dominated by a large 20 acre central lawn known as Central Campus. Along with the University of Virginia and Yale University, ISU's central campus was listed as a "medallion site" by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1999. It was listed as one of 25 most beautiful sites in the United States in the book The Campus as a Work of Art. [3]

Fountain of Four Seasons

The fountain was sculpted by Christian Petersen in 1941 after a request from Iowa State President Charles Friley. The previous fountain was a vertical water tower on which students would place toilet seats. President Friley hoped that with a new, beautiful fountain, students would no longer make jokes of it.

Lake LaVerne

Named for Dr. LaVerne W. Noyes, who also donated the funds to see that Alumni Hall could be completed after sitting unfinished and unused from 1905 to 1907. Dr. Noyes is an 1872 alumnus. Lake LaVerne is located west of the Memorial Union and south of Alumni Hall, Carver Hall, and Music Hall. The lake was a gift from Dr. Noyes in 1916.

Lake LaVerne is the home of two mute swans named Sir Lancelot and Elaine, donated to Iowa State by VEISHEA 1935. [4] In 1944, 1970, and 1971 cygnets (baby swans) made their home on Lake LaVerne. Previously Sir Lancelot and Elaine were trumpeter swans but were too aggressive and in 1999 were replaced with two mute swans. In early 2002 Sir Lancelot suffered a broken foot from chasing a campus lawnmower. Sir Lancelot underwent surgery at Iowa State's College of Veterinary Medicine, but after months of physical therapy efforts in returning him to Lake LaVerne were unsuccessful. [5] Early spring 2003 Lake LaVerne welcomed is new and current mute swan duo. However, in support of DNR efforts to re-establish the trumpeter swans in Iowa, university officials avoided bringing breeding pairs of male and female mute swans to Iowa State which means the current Sir Lancelot and Elaine are both female. [6]

Marston Water Tower

Marston Water Tower and Hoover Hall

Iowa State is the home of the first elevated steel water tank west of the Mississippi River. Named the Marston Water Tower, it was erected in 1897 under the supervision and design of Anson Marston and his assistant Elmina Wilson. [7] The water tower was constructed due to a severe water shortage in 1895 that forced cancellation of classes. In 1978, the water tower was disconnected when the university switched to municipal water. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 1982 and restored in 1987. [8]

The water tower stands 168 feet (51 m) tall on an octagonal base. The tank holds 162,000 US gallons (613 m3) and is 24 feet (7 m) in diameter and 40 feet (12 m) tall. When full, the ~72,400 cubic feet (2,050 m3) of water would weigh 2,050 t.

Reiman Gardens

Roy Reiman is a 1957 graduate of Iowa State in agriculture journalism and he is the founder of Reiman Publications. The Reiman Gardens are named for Roy and his wife Bobbi who donated $1.3 million to begin their development. Located south of Jack Trice Stadium. Opened in 1995, the gardens have grown to become the largest public garden in the state. The popular Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing was opened in November 2002.

Veenker Memorial Golf Course

Named for George F. Veenker, head football coach at Iowa State from 1931 to 1936. He was also Athletic Director from 1933 until 1945. The golf course was completed in 1938 and given its current name in 1959.

Research farm

The Western Iowa Experimental Farm is to be found in Castana.

Current buildings

This is an incomplete listing of buildings at Iowa State University. Click on the building title for additional building information.

Building Year Square footage Named for Occupied by Picture
Administrative Services Building 1998 47,861 IT Services
Agronomy Hall 1952 262,568 Agronomy, Environmental Science, Meteorology Isu Agronomy Hall.jpg Agronomy Hall southeast.jpg

The ISU Alumni Center was completed in the fall 2008 as an $11.2 million, 34,500-square-foot (3,210 m2) facility, built to house Iowa State University's Alumni Association and Student Alumni Leadership Council. [9]

2008 34,500 Alumni Association Alumni center Iowa State University.jpg
Andrews-Richards House

Originally named "Duplex C", the Andrews-Richards house was built in 1955–1956 and was used to help home economic students learn how to manage their time, money and other resources to become good homemakers.

"Duplex C" was renamed "Richards House" in 1957 for Ellen H. Richards, who was the first president of the American Home Economics Association (AHEA). In 1962, the east side kept the name "Richards", while the west side was named for Benjamin R. Andrews, an editor for the AHEA in the early 1900s. The building is now named "Andrews-Richards House".

1956 8,811 Ellen H. Richards
Benjamin R. Andrews
Human Services Andrew richard house Iowa State University.jpg
Applied Science I 1965 49,704 Microelectronics Research Center Applied1 Iowa State University.jpg
Applied Science II 1990 48,145 Center for Nondestructive Evaluation Applied2 Iowa State University.jpg
Applied Science III 1994 12,374 Center for Nondestructive Evaluation Applied3 Iowa State University.jpg

The original Armory was built in 1920–21. On the night of December 16, 1922, the Armory was gutted by a major fire. Rebuilding was completed in the spring of 1924. Basketball games were held in the Armory from 1946 to the opening of Hilton Coliseum in 1971.

Departments in the Armory:

  • Air Force Aeronautical Studies
  • Architecture
  • Art/Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Military Science
  • Naval Science
  • Public Safety (Police and Parking divisions)
1924 89,563 Public Safety, Military Science, Art/Design Gigantic American Flag.jpg
Atanasoff Hall

Named for John Vincent Atanasoff, who is recognized[ by whom?] as the inventor of the digital computer. Atanasoff Hall was built in 1969 and known as the Computer Science Building. It was given its current name in 1988.

Departments in Atanasoff Hall:

1969 39,451 John Vincent Atanasoff Computer Science Atanasoff Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year Square-
Named for Occupied by Picture
Barton Hall

Named for Clara Barton (1821–1912), the founder of the American Red Cross. Barton Hall was built in 1918 as South Hall and renamed in 1928. It has a maximum capacity of 98 students, making it the smallest dormitory on campus at the present time. Due to its small size, it was once closed by the university to save money, but the displaced residents of the building, especially of the bottom two floors called Anders House, were so fond of the building they successfully petitioned the university administration to reopen it for them.

1918 23,769 Clara Barton Residency

When a fire destroyed the "Old Main" building in 1902, it was determined that a new administration building was needed and the location of Old Main was the best location. As a result of the fire to Old Main, fireproofing the new building was a high priority. Fireproof buff Bedford stones were used extensively in the construction of the new Central Building. Massive scagliola columns were used in the interior, columns so like marble that even experts were deceived. The building materials were so fireproof that only the hardwood furniture was capable of burning. [10]

The building was constructed in 1906 and was built completely out of stone and brick. Today, Beardshear Hall holds the following offices:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Registrar
  • Student financial aid
  • Provost
1906 104,209 William Miller Beardshear University Administration Isubeardshear2008.jpg
Bergstrom Indoor Facility

The Steve and Debbie Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility opened in March 2004. It is a 92,000-square-foot (8,500 m2) multi-purpose, indoor practice facility. Inside the facility is a full-sized Astro turf football field. Though typically associated with football, it is also used for practice by the softball and soccer teams, as well as community events. The building sits just northwest of Jack Trice Stadium and is part of the Johnny Majors Practice Complex. The facility cost $9.6 million to build and was funded by private gifts to the athletic department and ISU Foundation. [11]

2004 88,195 Steve and Debbie Bergstrom Athletics Bergstrom Iowa State University.jpg Bergstrom2 Iowa State University.jpg
Bessey Hall

Named for Charles E. Bessey, one of Iowa State's original professors. He taught at the college from 1870 to 1884. In 1963, the Iowa General Assembly appropriated funds to build a "Plant Industry Building" and was open for use in 1967. Included in the design of Bessey Hall was a near full-sized greenhouse on the roof.

Departments in Bessey Hall:

1967 167,867 Charles E. Bessey Botany, Ecology Besseyhall.jpg Bessey Hall north.jpg
Beyer Hall

Beyer Hall is home to Iowa State's women's swimming and diving team and women's gymnastics team (men's swimming and diving and gymnastics teams have been discontinued at Iowa State). The swimming and diving team practices and holds competition in the Beyer Pool, a six-lane, T-shaped, 25-yard competitive pool with an attached diving well, and seating for approximately 800 spectators. The Beyer Pool has hosted the 1963 and 1971 NCAA meets, as well as numerous conference championships. [12] Though the gymnastics team competes in Hilton Coliseum, they practice across the hall from Beyer Pool in the Amy and Dennis Pyle Family Gymnastics Facility. Renovated in 2002, the practice facility is used by collegiate and elementary athletes alike. [13]

1964 122,504 Athletics, Recreational Services
Biorenewables Research Center 2010 72,979 Biorenewables Research
Birch Hall 1923 40,574 Residency

Named for Henry M. Black, a 1929 graduate of Iowa State and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1946 to 1972.

Departments in Black Engineering Building:

1985 117,941 Henry M. Black Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Black Hall Courtyard (Iowa State University).jpg Black Engineering Building northeast.jpg
Buchanan Hall 1964 94,573 Residency Buchanan Hall north.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture

The campanile was constructed in 1897–1898 as a memorial to Margaret MacDonald Stanton, Iowa State's first dean of women, who died on July 25, 1895. The tower is located on ISU's central campus, just north of the Memorial Union (Iowa State University). The site was selected by Margaret's husband, Edgar W. Stanton, with the help of then-university president William M. Beardshear. The campanile stands 110 feet (34 m) tall on a 16 by 16 foot (5 by 5 m) base, and cost $6,510.20 to construct. [14]

The campanile is widely seen as one of the major symbols of Iowa State University. It is featured prominently on the university's official ring [15] and the university's mace, [16] and is also the subject of the university's alma mater ("The Bells of Iowa State").

1898 755 Music ISU campanile.jpg ISU campanile up.jpg ISU campanile inside.jpg

Carver Hall is an academic building completed in 1969 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa to accommodate rapid increases in enrollment. [17] It is named for George Washington Carver, who earned his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 1894 and his master's in 1896 and served on the Iowa State faculty. George Washington Carver is best known as the inventor of peanut butter. A statue of him created by the internationally acclaimed sculptor Christian Petersen is displayed in a courtyard north of the building's lobby, to honor George Washington Carver's lifelong work in science and human relations. [18]

1969 133,454 George Washington Carver Mathematics Carverhall.jpg

Named for Carrie Chapman Catt, an American women's rights activist and founder of the League of Women Voters. She graduated from Iowa State in 1880 at the top of her class. The building has been known by a variety of names over its history. It was originally known as Agriculture Hall when it was built in 1893, and was later named Agricultural Engineering Building, then Botany Hall, then Old Botany Hall, after the botany department moved to Bessey Hall. The building's interior was gutted and renovated in 1992, at which point it was given its current name and purpose as the administrative office for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Offices/Departments in Catt Hall:

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Philosophy and Religious Studies

1893 29,432 Carrie Chapman Catt Liberal Arts and Sciences ISU Catt Hall.jpg
Communications Building

The ground floor of the Communications Building houses staff of the ISU News Service, university television studios and the university technology equipment checkout for students. The upper floor houses University Relations and Iowa Public Radio's Ames facilities, which includes several studios and IT/Operations staff.

1964 59,713 Iowa Public Radio, University Relations, ISU News Service Communications Building, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Crop Genome Informatics Laboratory 1961 8,032 Agronomy Administration
Coover Hall

Named for Mervin Sylvester Coover, associate dean of Engineering from 1935 to 1954 and acting dean from 1957 to 1959. Coover Hall was originally constructed between 1948 and 1953 as the Electrical Engineering Building, and was given its current name in 1969. [19] The building is currently undergoing a major expansion and renovation, the first phase of which is scheduled for completion in 2008. [20]

Department in Coover Hall:

1950 107,858 Electrical & Computer Engineering CooverHalladdition Iowa State University.JPG
Curtiss Hall 1909 102,338 Charles F. Curtiss Agriculture/ Economics/ Anthropology Curtiss Hall west steps.jpg Curtiss Hall sign.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Davidson Hall

Named for J. Brownlee Davidson, the head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering from 1919 to 1946.

Department in Davidson Hall:

1922 39,359 J. Brownlee Davidson Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering Davidson Hall south.jpg
Design Center
The Design Building is the home of the College of Design. The building was opened in 1978.

Departments in the Design Building:

1978 163,028 Architecture, Art and Design, Community and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture Isu design building.jpg Design Building Iowa State University.jpg ISU Design Center.jpg
Durham Center

Named for Charles W. Durham and Margre Henningson Durham, 1939 graduates of Iowa State. They donated $3 million to the university for the expansion of its computer facilities, a contribution that led to the construction of the Durham Center. Opened in 1989, it primarily houses the university's telecommunications systems and offices. The full name of this facility is The Charles W. Durham and Margre Henningson Durham Center for Computation and Communication.

Housed in the Durham Center is the Solution Center along with a reconstruction of the Atanasoff–Berry Computer.

Also housed in the Durham Center is the ISU Foundation PhoneCenter. The PhoneCenter is staffed by student callers who contact alumni across the nation fundraising for scholarships, building renovations, faculty support, study abroad and much more. In fiscal year 2006–2007 the PhoneCenter raised over 3.3 million dollars and reached over 145,000 of Iowa State's alumni.

1989 108,200 Charles W. and Marge Henningson Durham Electrical and Computer Engineering Durham Center east.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
East Hall

East Hall was originally built in 1904 to satisfy a need for a new creamery building. Originally known as the Dairy Building the name was changed to Agricultural Annex after the Dairy Department was moved in 1928. In 1961, the building's name was changed again to East Hall and an addition (which is now known as Heady Hall) was made in 1969.

Current departments in East Hall:

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
1906 29,888 Anthropology, Sociology

The Enrollment Services Center is a building at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. It houses Offices in Enrollment Services: Admissions, Orientation, Records and registration. In 1978, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic places. [21]

1907 26,162 Admissions, Orientation, Records and registration Studentenrollment.jpg ISU Alumni Hall.jpg
Eaton Hall

A dormitory named for Gordon Pryor Eaton (1929 – ), the 12th president of Iowa State. Opened to students in 2002 as Union Drive Suite Building One. It was dedicated in honor of President Eaton in April 2003.

2002 86,380 Gordon Pryor Eaton Residency Eaton Residence Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Environmental Health and Safety Building 2005 35,110 Environmental Health and Safety
Extension 4-H Building 2003 23,356 4-H Extension
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Farm House

Farm House was the first building built on the land set aside for the Iowa State College. As The Farm House (Knapp-Wilson House), it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Built between 1860 and 1865 of brick, it was later coated with stucco in 1909 and recoated in 1999. The first tenant, William A. Fitzpatrick, lived in the house from 1861 to 1863. Since Fitzpatrick 16 other families have lived in this house, including agriculturist and teacher Seaman A. Knapp and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson (disambiguation).

1865 7,020 University Museums Farm House Museum south sign.jpg
Fisher Theater

Fisher Theater was named for J. W. Fisher of Marshalltown, Iowa. J. W. Fisher was a major contributor to the university and the Iowa State Center. Fisher Theater was completed in 1974 at a cost of $900,000. The theater seats 454 and is mainly used by Iowa State student theater and dance groups. [22]

1973 22,404 J. W. Fisher Iowa State Center Fisher theater Iowa State University.JPG
Food Sciences Building 1928 137,478 Food Sciences Food Sciences Building, Iowa State University (2005).jpg Foodscience.jpg
Forker Building

Named for Barbara E. Forker, the first head of the Department of Physical Education which formed from the merger of the men's and women's physical education programs.

1940 138,703 Barbara E. Forker Kinesiology, Athletics Forker Hall south entrance.jpg
Frederiksen Court 2000 21,130 x 23 buildings Residency Frederiksen Court building.jpg
Freeman Hall

A dormitory named for Alice Freeman (1855–1902), who became president of Wellesley College at age 26 and was the first woman to head a nationally known college. Built in 1916 as East Hall and renamed in 1928.

1916 27,594 Alice Freeman Residency
Friley Hall

Named for Charles Edwin Friley (1887–1958), the 9th president of ISU. Friley Hall is one of the largest dormitories in the United States. It has undergone multiple additions and now includes the former Hughes Hall at the west end of the building. 88.5 KURE broadcasts alternative music and talk radio programs from a studio in this building. Friley hall is unique among residents halls in that it has a completely closed off courtyard.

1985 363,963 Charles Edwin Friley Residency Friley Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Gerdin Business Building

Named for Russell and Ann Gerdin, the lead donors for the construction of the new business building. They donated ten million dollars for its construction and it was completed in 2003. It is located south of Curtiss Hall on a site that had once been considered for the Design Building.

Departments in Gerdin Business Building:

  • Business
2003 113,800 Russell and Ann Gerdin Business College Westgerdin.jpg Gerdin.jpg
Gilman Hall

Named for Henry Gilman, the father of organometallic chemistry and a member of the Iowa State faculty from 1919 to 1962.

Departments in Gilman Hall:

1914 259,293 Henry Gilman Chemistry Gillman Hall, exterior view.jpg
General Services Building 1933 135,154 Facilities Planning & Maintenance Generalservices.jpg
Genetics Lab 1933 15,948 Entomology
Geoffroy Hall 2017 193,061 Gregory L. Geoffroy Residency
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Hamilton Hall

Named in 1984 in honor of Carl Hamilton, Hamilton Hall currently holds the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Originally opened in 1940 as "Collegiate Press" the building was renamed "Press Building" in 1956 when an addition to the building was opened. Carl Hamilton was head of Iowa State's Technical Journalism for three years, two years as head of University Relation, and seventeen years as Vice President of Information and Development.

Departments in Hamilton Hall:

  • Journalism (Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication)
  • Iowa State Daily (student newspaper)
1940 40,031 Carl Hamilton Greenlee School of Journalism, Iowa State Daily Hamilton Hall east.jpg
Hach Hall 2008 136,287 Clifford Hach ('47 chemical technology) and Kathryn Hach Darrow Chemistry Hach Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Heady Hall

Heady Hall was started in 1969 and completed in November 1970. Connected to East Hall, it was originally referred to as the East Hall Addition before becoming Heady Hall some time later.

Departments in Heady Hall:

  • Economics
  • Sociology
1970 61,448 Economics, Sociology Heady Hall.jpg
Helser Hall

A dormitory named for Maurice D. Helser, the first director of personnel at Iowa State. Northern sections of Helser Hall were demolished in 2001 to make space for the Union Drive Community Center. Southern sections remained open until the building was closed to students in late 2004. Demolition work was started in early 2005, but due to a housing shortage it was restored to a usable state to house students for the fall 2006 semester. The building is not scheduled to be demolished. In the 2006–2007 school year, only half of Helser Hall was open to students living there. The entire hall was entirely reopened to students in the 2007–2008 school year.

1958 151,250 Maurice D. Helser Residency Helser Residence Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg

James H. Hilton Coliseum is a 14,356-seat multi-purpose arena in Ames, Iowa. The arena, which is part of the Iowa State Center, opened in 1971. It is home to the Iowa State University Cyclones basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball teams.

Hilton Coliseum was named after Dr. James H. Hilton who was the president of Iowa State University who presented the idea for the Iowa State Center. Hilton Coliseum was completed in 1971 at a cost of $8.1 million. Hilton Coliseum can seat approximately 14,000 for athletic events and 15,000 for concerts. The first event in Hilton was an agriculture conference; the first athletic event was a men’s basketball game between Iowa State and Arizona in which ISU won.

1971 241,671 James H. Hilton Iowa State Center, Athletics Hilton Coliseum.jpg Hilton basketball.jpg
Hixson-Lied Student Success Center

The 10 million dollar, Hixson-Lied Student Success Center, was designed for improving academic achievement campus wide, with the second floor devoted specifically to student athletes. The facility was built using private contributions. Since its completion in 2006, Iowa State student athletes have dramatically improved in the class room and now boost a higher average GPA ( Grade point average) than the rest of the student body. [23]

2007 40,528 Christina Hixson Dean of Students, Athletics Hixson-Lied Academic center.jpg
Hoover Hall

Named for Gary Hoover, who graduated from Iowa State in 1955 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He and his wife Donna donated $3 million towards its construction. Along with Howe Hall, it makes up the Engineering Teaching and Research Complex. The two buildings are connected via skywalk. Hoover Hall was completed in 2004.

Offices/Departments in Hoover Hall:

2004 81,817 Gary Hoover Engineering admin, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Hoover Hall sign.jpg
Horticulture Hall 1915 68,830 Horticulture Horticulture Hall ISU A.JPG Horticulture Hall ISU B.JPG
Howe Hall

Named for Stanley Howe, who graduated from Iowa State in 1946 in engineering. He and his wife Helen were donors in the construction of Howe Hall. Along with Hoover Hall, it makes up the Engineering Teaching and Research Complex. The two buildings are connected via skywalk. Howe Hall was the first phase of the complex, completed in 1999.

Offices/Departments in Howe Hall:

1999 192,944 Stanley Howe Engineering admin, Aerospace Engineering, Virtual Reality Applications Center Howe Hall east.jpg Howe Hall southeast.jpg
The Hub

Originally the western endpoint of the Dinkey train, The Hub is one of the older buildings on campus.The Hub underwent a renovation in the 2007–2008 school year, and has now reopened. It now houses a Caribou Coffee shop, as well as a café and a number of vending machines.

1892 5,978 Dining The Hub.jpg
Human Nutrition Building 1992 34,374 Food Science
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Industrial Education II 1926 44,234 Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering Industrial Education Building, Iowa State University.jpg
Insectary Lab 1928 18,572 Entomology Insectary, Iowa State University.JPG
Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion 1918 11,011 Animal Science Iowa farm pavillion.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Jacobson Athletic Building

Located off the north end zone of Jack Trice Stadium, The Jacobson Athletic Building houses all football offices, locker rooms, meeting rooms, strength and conditioning room, and sports medicine room. In addition to football, it also houses administrative and coaches offices (except men's and women's basketball). The administrative and football offices were renovated in 2008 with the renovation to the Jack Trice Stadium. [24]

1996 45,499 Richard O. Jacobson Athletic Department
Jischke Honors Building

Named for Martin C. Jischke, the 13th president of Iowa State. Completed in 2002, it houses the University Honors Program.

2002 8,880 Martin C. Jischke Honors Program Jishcke Honors North.JPG Jishcke Honros South.JPG

Jack Trice Stadium (formerly Cyclone Stadium) is a stadium in Ames, Iowa. It is primarily used for college football, and is the home field of the Iowa State University Cyclones. It opened on September 20, 1975 (with a win against Air Force), and with hillside tickets it officially has 55,000 seats. The current record for single-game attendance, 56,795, was set on September 8, 2007 when the Cyclones played Northern Iowa.

In 1997, the stadium was named in honor of Jack Trice, ISU's first African American athlete and the school's first athletics-related fatality. The stadium is the only one in Division I-A named for an African American individual. [25]

1973 64,439 Jack Trice Athletic Department JTcomplex.jpg Jack Trice Stadium, daytime.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Kildee Hall 1965 49,193 Animal Science Kildeehall.jpg Kildee Hall south.jpg
Knapp-Storms Dining Complex 1966 183,973 Dining Knapp Storms Dining ISU.JPG
The Knoll

The Knoll is the home of Iowa State's president. It was built in 1900 and its first occupants were William Beardshear and his family.

1901 13,342 President's Residency Knoll.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Lab of Mechanics

Currently the second oldest building on campus that is still used for educational purposes. Originally known as Engineering Hall. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

1983 16,336 Faculty Senate Labofmech.jpg
Lagomarcino Hall

Named for Virgil S. Lagomarcino, the first dean of the College of Education, serving from 1968 until 1990. It was originally known as the Veterinary Quadrangle. It has undergone multiple additions and was most recently remodeled in 1976.

Offices/Departments in Lagomarcino Hall:

  • Education
  • Psychology
1912 115,893 Virgil S. Lagomarcino Psychology, Education
Landscape Architecture Building 1901 11,494 English Landscapearch.jpg Landscape Architecture west.jpg
Lied Recreation Athletic Center

The Lied Recreation Center is a multi-purpose building housing the soccer team lockers, practice facility for wrestling, and a 300-meter track for indoor competition. The $13 million center, was host of the 1998, 2000, and 2007 indoor track and field Big 12 Championships. The new mondo track has eight 42-inch lanes, making it the largest and one of the fastest indoor surfaces in the world. There is portable seating for 2,000 spectators and also includes two long jump/ triple jump pits and a pole vault runway. The facility also includes showers, saunas, steam rooms, and a sports medicine center. [26]

1990 236,201 Recreational Services, Athletics LiedRecreation.jpg
Lyon Hall

A dormitory named for Mary B. Lyon, the founder of Mount Holyoke College. Built in 1914 as West Hall and renamed in 1928. It comprises two houses: Barker House and Harwood House.

1915 24,042 Mary B. Lyon Residency
Larch Hall 1971 101,228 Residency
LeBaron Hall 1958 61,547 Helen LeBaron Hilton Family and Consumer Science LeBaron.jpg
Linden Hall 1957 103,829 Residency
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
MacKay Hall 1911 86,386 Family and Consumer Science, Human Development & Family Studies
Maple Hall

Maple Hall is part of the Maple-Willow-Larch complex of dormitories on the eastern edge of the Iowa State campus. The complex also includes Willow Hall, Larch Hall, and a dining center. Maple Hall was renovated in 1998.

1967 101,229 Residency
Marston Hall

Named for Anson Marston, the first Dean of Engineering.

Offices in Marston Hall:

  • Engineering administration
1903 59,769 Anson Marston Engineering administration Marston Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Martin Hall

A dormitory named in honor of Archie and Nancy Martin. They moved to Ames in 1915, and provided housing and food to black students, who were not permitted to live in the residence halls. Opened to students in 2004 as Union Drive Suite Building Two. It was dedicated under its current name in November of that year.

2004 88,777 Archie and Nancy Martin Residency Martin Residence Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg

Initial construction for the Memorial Union (MU) was completed in 1929. Designed to be a living memorial for ISU students lost in World War I, the building includes a solemn memorial hall, named the Gold Star Room, which includes the names of the dead World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and War on Terrorism veterans engraved in marble.

Symbolically, the hall was built directly over a library (the Browsing Library) and a small chapel, the symbol being that no country would ever send its young men to die in a war for a noble cause without a solid foundation on both education (the library) and religion (the chapel).

Renovations and additions have continued through the years to include: elevators, bowling lanes, a parking ramp, a book store, and additional wings.

2007 316,713 Memorial Union, Dining ISU Memorial Union.jpg Memorial Union east.jpg Memorial Union north.jpg
Molecular Biology Building

The Molecular Biology Building was opened in 1992. On top the building are one and one-half ton "G-Nome" figures on each of the four corners. Below the G-Nomes are colored bricks arranged to represent DNA helixes trailing down the building from each of the gnomes. In this four story structure, students and faculty learn and research about disease resistance, environmental protection, genetic alterations, and a host of other topics.

1992 206,086 Molecular Biology Molecular Biology Building, Iowa State Campus.jpg

Named for Justin Smith Morrill, who created the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. Construction was completed in 1891 with less than $30,000. Morrill Hall was originally constructed to fill the capacity of a library, museum, and chapel. These original uses are engraved in the exterior stonework on the east side.

It was vacated starting in 1996 when it was determined unsafe. Also in 1996, Morrill Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2005, $9 million was raised to renovate the building and convert it into a museum. Morill Hall has reopened as of March 2007, including the new Christian Petersen Art Museum.

1891 27,172 Justin Smith Morrill Museum Morrillhall.jpg
Music Hall

Music Hall, opened in 1980, is an exemplary music facility, recognized for its excellent acoustical design. There are rooms for large ensemble rehearsals, small ensemble rehearsals, a percussion practice room, an instrument repair facility, practice rooms containing pianos, and the outstanding Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall. Large instruments and lockers for instrument storage are available for rental to students performing in ensembles. Many large ensemble concerts take place in either the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall or the internationally acclaimed Stephens Auditorium. The Music Department houses and maintains an electronic music studio which features a wide range of analog and digital sound synthesis and recording equipment which may be used by students who enroll in composition studies. Additionally there is a computer lab with MIDI and digital audio workstations.

Music Hall is equipped with over sixty pianos, including twenty-two Steinway grands. A practice wing on the ground floor has grand pianos which are reserved for piano majors and advanced piano students. Beginning and intermediate students study group piano in a modern electronic piano lab. The department owns four pipe organs: a seven-stop, two-manual tracker-action instrument by Wolff of Quebec and two two-manual mechanical action organs by Lynn Dobson of Lake City, Iowa, one of three stops and one of seventeen stops. A large three-manual tracker organ of John Brombaugh, situated in the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, is available to experienced organ students for lessons, accompanying, and performances. Two harpsichords are available: a one-manual instrument by Zuckerman and a large two-manual instrument by William Dowd. the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall was renovated in 2006.

1980 62,005 Music Music Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Nuclear Engineering Laboratory

Departments in the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering

This building is also the home of several student/campus organizations including the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Robotics Club. In 2015, the Board of Regents approved a plan for the demolition of the lab and the southern portion of Sweeney Hall to provide the site for the new $80 million Student Innovation Center.

1934 17,453 Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering ISU Nuclear Engineering Laboratory.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Office and Laboratory Building
The Office and Laboratory Building is located in between Gilman Hall and Physics Hall, connecting the two to one another, and is commonly referred to as "The Link".
1950 29,155 Baker Center, Library, Psychology Office and Lab south.jpg
Olsen Building

The Olsen Building houses the football locker rooms for the Iowa State Cyclones and the Athletic Ticket Office.

1975 38,850 Athletics Olsentxoffice.jpg
Oak-Elm Hall
Oak-Elm is an all female dormitory. It contains a small dining center in the basement. It is located in Richardson Court.
1938 137,120 Residency
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Palmer Building 2000 34,352 Human Development
Parks Library

Named for W. Robert Parks (1915–2003), the 11th president of Iowa State. The original library was built in 1925 and three additions were made in 1961, 1969, and 1983. The library was dedicated and named after W. Robert and Ellen Sorge Parks in 1984.

As of November 10, 2006, Parks Library contains [1]:

  • 2,444,263 volumes
  • 3,473,037 microform units
  • 850,098 photographs and slides
  • 108,141 aerial photos and maps
  • 51,894 films and videos
  • 15,605 linear feet (~5 km) of manuscripts and archives


  • has 1,543,912 visitors per year
  • has 12,818,735 e-visitors per year
  • has two sculptures by Christian Petersen
    • Boy and Girl
    • Old Woman in Prayer
  • Has a large statue by Stephen De Staebler entitled "Left Sided Angel"
  • has four large murals by Grant Wood
    • When Tillage Begins
    • Other Arts Follow- Agriculture
    • Other Arts Follow- Engineering
    • Other Arts Follow- Home Economics
  • has 32,993 (3,065 square meters; 0.75 acres) total space with
    • 16,500 square feet (1,532 m2) of primary building space
    • 3,096 square feet (287 m2) of space in the Design Reading Room, Design Center
    • 1,209 square feet (112 m2) of space in the Mathematics Reading Room, Carver Hall
    • 5,557 square feet (516 m2) of space in the Physical Sciences Reading Room, Office and Lab
    • 6,631 square feet (616 m2) of space in the Veterinary Medical Library, Veterinary Medicine
1925 325,488 W. Robert Parks Library Parks Library.jpg Isu parks library.jpg
Pearson Hall

Named for Raymond A. Pearson (1873–1939), the 7th president of ISU.

Departments in Pearson Hall:

1962 79,848 Raymond A. Pearson Human Development, World Languages Pearson Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Power Plant Facilities Planning & Maintenance Isupowerplant.jpg Power Plant south.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Richardson Court

Anna E. Richardson was dean of Home Economics from 1923 to 1927. Richardson Court and the Richardson Court Association of residence halls are named in her honor.

Complex Complex Anna E. Richardson Residency Complex
Roberts Hall 1936 40,574 Residency Roberts Residence Hall Iowa State University.jpg
Ross Hall

Named for Earle D. Ross, a professor of history at Iowa State from 1923 to 1958. A noted ISU historian, he was the author of The History of Iowa State College and The Land-Grant Idea at Iowa State College.

Departments in Ross Hall:

1973 85,861 Earle D. Ross English, Political Science, History Ross Hall south.jpg
Roy J. Carver Co-Lab

Named after late industrialist formerly of Muscatine Iowa.

2004 Roy J. Carver
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Scheman Building

Scheman Building was named for Carl Scheman who was an ISU alumnus and a major contributor to the Iowa State Center. It was completed in 1975 at a cost $5.3 million and hosts small and large conferences, board meetings, pre-performance dinners, wedding receptions and much more.

The Scheman Building is also the site of the Brunnier Art Museum. It is the state's only accredited museum emphasizing a decorative arts collection, and one of the nation’s few museums located within a performing arts and conference complex. [22]

1975 123,392 Carl Scheman Iowa State Center Schemanbuilding.jpg
Schilletter/University Village complex complex Residency apartments
Science I 1916 95,086 Microbiology, Geology Science Hall south.jpg
Science II 1972 123,487 Natural Resources Management, Entomology Science Hall II, Iowa State University A.JPG Science Hall II, Iowa State University B.JPG
Seed Science 1977 40,794 Seed Science Seedscience.jpg
Sloss House

Named for Margaret Sloss, the first woman to graduate from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State. She later served on the Veterinary Medicine faculty for many years. Built in the 1880s, named for Thomas Sloss, Margaret Sloss' father.

Offices in Sloss House:

  • Women's Center
1883 3,840 Margaret Sloss Women's Studies Sloss House sign.jpg
Snedecor Hall

George W. Snedecor was a professor of statistics and mathematics at Iowa State and the first director of the ISU Statistical Laboratory. Snedecor Hall is currently being renovated and is scheduled to reopen in May 2009.

Departments in Snedecor Hall:

  • Statistics
1939 39,176 George W. Snedecor Statistics Snedecor Hall north.jpg
Spedding Hall

Named for Frank H. Spedding, a longtime professor of chemistry at Iowa State and a pioneer in the Manhattan Project. His team produced over two million pounds of uranium at Iowa State between 1942 and 1946.

1953 107,630 Frank H. Spedding Statistics

State Gymnasium is an arena on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. It was opened in 1913, and once was the school's primary indoor athletic facility, before the opening of Hilton Coliseum. It is located at the corner of Union Drive, just north of the site of the former Clyde Williams Stadium.

The brick building was built in two years at a cost of $150,000. It was intended for use as an armory and fieldhouse, something for which the school had been attempting to get funding since the early 1890s. The Iowa State basketball team played in the arena from 1913 until 1946. Beginning in 1946, home games were held in the Armory, which continued until the construction of Hilton Coliseum in 1971. State Gym has since been renovated into recreational facilities, including four basketball courts, a swimming pool (the original home of the swimming team), tennis courts, a 1/12 mile indoor track, and other facilities for recreational sports.

1913 66,595 Recreational Services
Stephens Auditorium

Stephens Auditorium was named after Clifford Y. Stephens for his contribution to the auditorium. Construction started in 1965 and was completed in 1969 with a cost of $4.9 million. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra presented the opening concerts during a week-long festival. The 2,747 seat auditorium was named Building of the Century by the American Institute of Architects, Iowa Chapter in 2004. [22]

1969 66,595 Clifford Y. Stephens Iowa State Center Stephensauditorium.jpg
Student Services Building 1918 34,311 Dean of Students Studentservice.jpg Isustudentservices.jpg Student Services Building southeast.jpg
Sukup Basketball Complex 2009 38,589 Sukup family [27] Athletics
Sweeney Hall

Named for Orland Russell Sweeney, head of the chemical engineering department from 1920 to 1948. He holds or is the co-holder of close to 300 patents.

Departments in Sweeney Hall:

1927 109,540 Orland Russell Sweeney Chemical Engineering Sweeney Hall.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Thielen Student Health Center 1997 33,238 Student Health Student Health Center.jpg

The Towers are two (formerly four) dormitories located south of campus consisting of:

  • Knapp Hall (northeast – demolished)
  • Storms Hall (northwest – demolished)
  • Wallace Hall (southeast)
  • Wilson Hall (southwest)
  • Two "commons" buildings, each containing a dining hall, meeting rooms, and other common space

The name "towers" is derived from the tall construction of the four buildings. The buildings are (were) thirteen floors, each consisting of:

  • one basement floor, used for laundry
  • one ground floor
  • one maintenance floor
  • ten residence floors, each containing
    • 28 double occupancy rooms
    • 2 single occupancy rooms
    • 1 den
Complex Complex Residency Complex ISU Towers.jpg
Town Engineering Building

Named for George R. Town, dean of Engineering from 1959 to 1970.

Departments in Town Engineering Building:

  • Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
1971 110,452 George R. Town Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Town Engineering Building, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Transit Hub 2002 463 Public Safety Transithub.jpg
Troxel Hall 2012 21,175 Douglas Troxel, '64 All departments Troxel Hall.JPG
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Union Drive Community Center

Replacement for former cafeteria type dining center in Friley Hall. Includes cafeteria, convenience store, post office, copy center and workout space for Union Drive Residence Association.

2003 Residency Union Drive Community Center, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture

Built in 1976, VET MED is the largest acedimic building at Iowa State University, with over 347,000 square feet (32,200 m2). [28] A new veterinary medical center (completed 2008), built onto the south-east side of the building, adds another 218,000 square feet (20,300 m2) onto a massive veterinary medical center and teaching facility. [29] Spite only having two floors, ISU VET MED building has more square-footage than the second tallest building in the state, the 35 floor Ruan Center in Des Moines. [30]

1976 347,613 Veterinary Medicine
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Wallace Hall

Named for Vice President of the United States Henry A. Wallace, who was a 1910 graduate of Iowa State. It was completed in 1967. Wallace Hall was closed for the 2005–2006 school year. However, it reopened in August 2006 with single-occupancy rooms.

1967 103,778 Henry A. Wallace Residency Wallace Hall ISU.JPG
Welch Hall

A dormitory named for Mary B. Welch, wife of Dr. Adonijah Strong Welch (April 12, 1821 – March 13, 1889), the 1st president of ISU. It was built in 1929. Currently a male dormitory; divided into 4 houses. Ayres house is on 1st floor, Cassell on 2nd, Bergman on 3rd, and then Beyer house on 4th with the 5th floor "penthouse".

1929 40,574 Mary B. Welch Residency
Wilhelm Hall

Named for Harley A. Wilhelm, the first deputy director of the Ames Laboratory. He worked at Iowa State from 1928 until 1971. Built in 1949 and originally known as the Metallurgy Building. Given its current name in 1985.

1949 56,541 Harley A. Wilhelm Institute for Physical Research and Technology (IPRT)
Willow Hall 1969 101,229 Residency
Wilson Hall

Named for James Wilson (August 16, 1835 – August 26, 1920), dean of Agriculture from 1890 to 1897. He also served as United States Secretary of Agriculture from March 4, 1897 to March 3, 1913. Wilson Hall was closed to residents in spring 2005, however, it has been used as temporary office and storage space for varies departments.

1967 103,778 James Wilson Residency Wilson Hall, Iowa State University.JPG
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Zaffarano Physics Addition 1968 79,268 Daniel J. Zaffarano Physics

Past buildings

Past buildings
Building Year
Cause Named for Occupied by Picture
English Office building

Built in 1884, it was demolished in 2004 after standing for 120 years with renovations made in 1892 and 1961. The original purpose of this building was to house the offices of the president, vice-president, and treasurer and it was called the Office Building. These offices were moved to Beardshear Hall in 1908 shortly after it was built.

When the English Department moved in during 1940 it was renamed English Office Building. The business college placed faculty in this building when the English and speech departments were relocated to Ross Hall and Pearson Hall, respectively, in 1973.

1884 2004 Demolished English/ Business
Old Main 1874 1902 Burnt down Administration
Storms Hall

Named for Albert Boynton Storms (April 1, 1860 – July 1, 1933), the 6th president of ISU. It was completed in 1966. Along with Knapp Hall, it was demolished in an implosion on July 19, 2005. [31]

1966 2005 Imploded Albert Boynton Storms Residency
Knapp Hall

Named for Seaman Asahal Knapp (December 16, 1833 – April 1, 1911), the second president of ISU. It was completed in 1966. Along with Storms Hall, it was demolished in an implosion on July 19, 2005. [31]

1966 2005 Imploded Seaman Asahal Knapp Residency


Year Event
1860 Construction starts on Farm House
1884 Construction of English Office Building finished
1891 Construction of Morrill Hall finished
1891 First run of Dinkey on July 4
1892 Addition made to the English Office Building
1892 Construction of The Hub
1895 Severe water shortage; classes cancelled; spurred construction of the Marston Water Tower
1897 Construction for the Campanile was started on Central Campus
1897 Construction of the Marston Water Tower
1903 Construction of Marston Hall finished
1904 Construction first started on what would be the Alumni Hall
1897 End of operation of Dinkey; start of operation of an electric streetcar
1908 Construction of Central Building finished
1908 President's, Vice President's, and Treasurer's offices moved from Office Building to Beardshear Hall
1920 Edgar W. Stanton dies and 26 bells are added to the carillon in the Campanile (36 bells total)
1929 Construction of the Memorial Union finished
1938 Central Building renamed to Beardshear Hall
1940 English department moves into Office Building and is renamed to English Office Building
1941 The Fountain of Four Seasons is sculpted by Christian Petersen.
1954 13 more bells were added to the carillon in the Campanile (49 bells total)
1967 Bessey Hall opens for use
1967 1 more bell was added to the carillon in the Campanile (50 bells total)
1969 Construction of Stephens Auditorium finished
1973 English and speech departments relocate from English Office Building to Ross Hall & Pearson Hall, respectively.
1978 Alumni Hall placed on the National Register of Historic Places
1978 The Marston Water Tower is disconnected from use
1982 The Marston Water Tower is added to the National Register of Historic Places
1983 Marston Hall placed on the National Register of Historic Places
1984 Library named the W. Robert and Ellen Sorge Parks Library
1996 Morrill Hall determined unsafe for occupancy
1997 Restoration of the Marston Water Tower
1999 Central Campus is listed as a "medallion site" by the American Society of Landscape Architects
2003 Control of the Memorial Union was transferred to ISU
2004 English Office Building demolished
2004 The Gerdin Business Building, a new high-tech 111,000 square foot (10,000 m2) building equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, opens to provide more space for the college which was previously located in Carver Hall.
2005 Two of the Towers residence halls, Knapp and Storms, demolished by implosion
2007 Newly renovated Morill Hall holds grand opening; houses Christian Petersen Art Museum [32]
2009 Renovations of Snedecor Hall are to be completed and the building is to be opened in May
2013 Renovations of MacKay Hall and Lagomarcino Hall begin [33] [34]


  1. ^ It's a Fact: Iowa State University Archived February 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Iowa State University website.
  2. ^ Gaines, Thomas (1991). The Campus as a Work of Art. New York: Praeger Publishers. p. 155.
  3. ^ "History of Campus Buildings at Iowa State University". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  4. ^ Swans Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine from the Iowa State Library’s special exhibits section
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "History". Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University. 2014. Archived from the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. ^ Christian, Michele. "From Prairie Sod to Campus Cornerstones: WATER TOWER". Iowa State University Special Collections Department. Retrieved October 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= ( help)
  9. ^ "Iowa State Alumni Association". Iowa State Foundation.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Bergstrom Indoor Facility". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012.
  12. ^ "Beyer gymnastics facility". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012.
  13. ^ "Beyer Pool". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012.
  14. ^ Iowa State University Library. " History of the Campanile Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine"
  15. ^ Iowa State University Alumni Association. " Ring Symbolism"
  16. ^ Iowa State University Alumni Association. " Official University Mace"
  17. ^ Iowa State Daily
  18. ^ ISU Facility Planning & Maintenance
  19. ^ "College of Engineering Virtual Tour: Coover Hall". Iowa State University. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  20. ^ "Coover Building Renovation". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2007.
  21. ^ "Alumni Hall". Iowa State University.
  22. ^ a b c "Center Facts" (PDF). Iowa State Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 2, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  23. ^ "Hixson-Lied". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012.
  24. ^ "Jacobson Athletic Building". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on June 14, 2015.
  25. ^ ISU only I-A school to honor African-American in stadium name
  26. ^ "Lied Recreation Center". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012.
  27. ^ Gieseke, Dave (October 19, 2009). "Iowa State University basketball complex dedication ceremonies held; lead gift announced". Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^,235
  31. ^ a b Lund, Eric. " Towers demolition goes smoothly in front of 10,000 viewers Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Iowa State Daily, November 13, 2003.
  32. ^ " Morill Hall to reopen Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Iowa State Daily, March 7, 2007.
  33. ^ Campbell, Lynn (February 14, 2013). "School of Education leaders look to Lagomarcino remodel to improve visibility". Iowa State University. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  34. ^ Campbell, Lynn (March 25, 2013). "MacKay Hall remodel to bring better learning environment". Iowa State University.


42°01′35″N 93°38′47″W / 42.02639°N 93.64639°W / 42.02639; -93.64639 (Iowa State University)