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Iowa History Daily: February 25 - University of Iowa

Iowa History Daily: On February 25, 1847, the Iowa General Assembly voted inside today’s “Old Capitol” in Iowa City to create a State University of Iowa to serve as the state’s institution of higher learning. The resultant University of Iowa still offers opportunities for Iowans to learn.

Iowa’s first official university, the state passed the legislation only 59 days after formal admission to the United States. In passing the legislation, the General Assembly noted: “Its object shall be to provide the best and most efficient means of imparting to men and woman, upon equal terms, a liberal education through knowledge of the different branches of literature and the arts and sciences, with their varied applications.”

Further stipulation of the General Assembly and the Iowa Constitution clearly dictated a State University would be established in Iowa City “without any branches at any other place.” Eight years later, 1855, the first instruction took place on the campus of the State University of Iowa in Old Mechanics Building (current location of Seashore Hall. The first class consisted of 124 total students, including 41 women.

Nine initial departments made up the listings in the first course catalog issued in 1856-57, and Amos Dean presided over the fledgling Hawkeyes as the first President. In October of 1964, the Iowa Board of Regents officially changed the name to The University of Iowa, and today the institution offers over 200 areas of study. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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