Celebration for Leath on Central Campus


Photo: William Deaton/Iowa State

President Steven Leath and his wife Janet Leath walk down the sidewalk toward the luncheon. The picnic was Thursday, Sept. 13, on Central Campus to celebrate Leath’s installation.

Thaddeus Mast

A celebration for the soon-to-be-installed president of Iowa State, Steven Leath, was on Central Campus Thursday with a brief speech and lunch.

Leath will be installed as Iowa State’s 15th president Friday at Stephens Auditorium.

“It’s a big week for me,” Leath said.

At the lunch on Central Campus, however, he spoke mostly about the students.

“The students really make this university,” Leath said. “The student body and the needs of the students is the No. 1 priority.”

Several hundred students showed up to see Leath speak and to eat a lunch of hamburgers and chips. The pep band also played for the waiting students, accompanied by Cy and the cheer squad.

“I hope he does his best to lower tuition or at least put my tuition to good use,” said Abigail Merchant, junior in English.

Other students had money on their mind when they discussed their hopes for Leath’s presidency.

“I think he’s committed to making college at Iowa State more affordable, expanding our campus facilities and resources and continuing to raise our profile nationally,” said Brian Good, junior in political science.

Erskine Bowles, former president of the University of North Carolina, will give the keynote speech, titled “Conversation on the National Debt” at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Memorial Union. Bowles will also introduce Leath during Friday’s official installation at 10 a.m. in Stephens Auditorium. A reception will follow at 11:30 a.m. in Stephen’s Celebrity Cafe.