Located in Ames, Iowa, the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm was chartered in 1858 and became the United States' first land-grant college when it took advantage of the 1862 Land-Grant Act (signed by President Abraham Lincoln and also known as the Morrill Act after Senator Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont). Following the provisions and intent of the Land-Grant Act, the school was open to anyone, including women and minorities, from the first year of classes in 1868-69. The first commencement was held in 1872 with 26 graduates. The first graduate degree was conferred in 1877. In 1898, the school was renamed Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, then it became Iowa State University of Science and Technology in 1959.

Iowa State University was one of the pioneers of agricultural education, and created the nation's first state veterinary school in 1879. It also was a leader in what is now called Family and Consumer Sciences, beginning that College in 1871. The Cooperative Extension Service evolved from the 1880's Farmer's Institutes and now assists and instructs Iowans in many subjects.

Iowa State University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The University includes nine Colleges (Agriculture, Business, Design, Education, Engineering, Family and Consumer Sciences, Graduate, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine) and 59 academic departments, along with seven Extension areas. There are 100 bachelor's, 109 master's, 83 Ph.D and one professional (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree programs. The University is especially renowned for its physical sciences and engineering as well as agricultural programs.

About 27 000 students are currently enrolled at ISU, including about 4000 graduate and 400 veterinary students). There are almost 1800 faculty. The beautiful, park-like central campus is built on over 1700 acres and was designed in 1906 by Olmsted Brothers (who also designed New York's Central Park). There are also nearly 10 000 additional acres of research farms and tracts in the surrounding area. One of the University's most beloved symbols, the Campanile houses a 50-bell carrillon which is played daily at noon.

VEISHEA, the annual all-University spring open house, was first organized in 1922 and is still the largest student-managed festival in the United States. The world's first electronic digital computer, the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, or ABC, was built in the 1930's by ISU professor John Vincent Atanasoff and his student, Clifford Berry. George Washington Carver got his bachelor's (1894) and master's (1896) degrees at ISU before going on to a distinguished career in education and agricultural research. Carrie Chapman Catt was valedictorian of the Class of 1880 at ISU before she founded the League of Women Voters and worked for passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

During World War II, Iowa State chemists Frank Spedding, Harley Wilhelm and others developed a process to purify Uranium for the Manhattan Project. As a result, the Atomic Energy Commission (later the Department of Energy) organized the Ames Laboratory on the Iowa State campus in 1947. Ames Lab is operated by Iowa State University under a grant from the Department of Energy. The partnership has produced many advances in science and technology over the years that have increased the prestige of the both Lab and the University.

Iowa State University athletic teams are nicknamed the "Cyclones" after the destructive tornado season of 1895 that preceeded the football team's 36-0 upset of Northwestern University. The mascot since 1954 has been a red and gold cardinal bird, named "Cy". Currently, supported sports include basketball, track and field, swimming, soccer, football, tennis, golf, gymnastics, volleyball and others.

Iowa State University http://www.iastate.edu
Ames Laboratory http://www.ameslab.gov

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