Interim President highlights graduation, construction with Regents


Maggie Curry

Interim president Benjamin Allen took his allotted time with the Regents to highlight faculty, graduates and construction progress on campus.

4098 bachelor’s degrees and 492 master’s degrees were awarded at spring graduation, Allen told the Regents. 64% of graduates remain in Iowa and Iowa State has a 95% placement rate, according to the presentation.

“This might be a record-breaking commencement in terms of how long it took,” Allen said on the graduation ceremony, which had a record number of students.

He also presented the 70 year anniversary of the Ames Laboratory, which partners with the U.S. Department of Energy. The lab began during World War II for research during the Manhattan Project. Iowa State is the only university in the country to have a Department of Energy lab on its campus, Allen said.

He highlighted Anumantha Kanthasamy, who received a grant for research on Parkinson’s Disease and the effects of pesticide exposure and Auriel Willette’s research in Alzheimers.

Allen also addressed the construction on campus, including the Bessey Hall addition, which will be completed for fall classes. Construction is nearing completion on the Advanced Teaching and Research Facility as well. Both are expanding lab, classroom and office space for departments in the sciences and researchers on campus. This summer the university is beginning construction on the Student Innovation Center. 

Allen addressed Iowa State’s ranking by as 11th in the nation to apply to and the rating’s particular interest in the university’s virtual reality center.