Editorial: Happy birthday to Iowa State


The ISD Editorial Board celebrates Iowa State’s 163rd birthday and highlights some of the best programs and organizations of the university. 

Editorial Board

Iowa State University celebrated its 163rd birthday March 21. 

The university was established by the state legislature in 1858 and was originally called Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. As a land-grant university, Iowa State is founded on three ideals: access, practical education and shared knowledge

Iowa State excels in these areas. Here are some specifics:

The university has an amazing amount of accessible research opportunities available for undergraduate students. Faculty wants to work with students, and although COVID-19 has impacted research at Iowa State, there are still a large number of opportunities for students

There is even individual advising for undergraduate research. If you want to get involved, you can. 

Be sure to take advantage of the undergraduate research opportunities that are available over the summer, too.  

Juniors and seniors can apply for an undergraduate research assistantship, which is a paid research opportunity to encourage preparation for graduate school. The deadline has passed for this year, but incoming sophomores and juniors should definitely consider this as an option for paid work next year. 

Research is something students should not pass up. As an undergraduate, it helps you develop communication skills, analytical skills and self-confidence, and for those considering graduate research, these opportunities help you build a competitive application. 

Iowa State offers quality research opportunities with amazing faculty members who want as many students involved as possible. 

In addition to the focus on student research, Iowa State has many organizations and resources to support students.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity, the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success, the Veterans Center, the Office of Equal Opportunity and the International Students and Scholars Office all work to support students from diverse backgrounds. 

There’s also the Academic Success Center, which supports students through tutoring, supplemental instruction and other academic resources. It’s not too late to request tutoring if you find yourself struggling at this point in the semester. 

We highly recommend taking a moment to read through the websites of these organizations and learning more about what they do, the programs they have and the resources available for students, because there’s a lot. 

Another fantastic Iowa State experience we want to highlight is the Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE), a yearly forum focused on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State and elsewhere. While this year’s ISCORE has already happened, there is a collection of stories available covering most of the sessions that took place. 

In short, Iowa State is a phenomenal university with great resources. While there are always ways to improve, it’s important to recognize the good parts. 

Everyone chooses this university for a reason, whether it’s for finances, majors or something else, and there are times when we need to be reminded why we chose to come in the first place. All the things listed above are just some of the reasons why Iowa State is a great place to attend. 

Happy (late) birthday to Iowa State.