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Sesquicentennial, 1858-2008

Iowa State 150

Senate Resolution 475, March 6, 2008

Congratulating Iowa State University of Science and Tecnology-- (Senate - March 06, 2008)

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 475.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A resolution (S. Res. 475) congratulating Iowa State University of Science and Technology on its 150 years of leadership and service to the United States and the world as Iowa's land-grant university.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.

Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I rise today to speak on behalf of my alma mater, Iowa Sate University, and recognize it upon its 150 years of leadership and service to the United States and the world as Iowa's land-grant university.

Iowa State has a colorful and progressive history. The university was founded under the Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862. Representative Justin Smith Morrill, who wrote the bill, and Abraham Lincoln, who signed the act into law in the midst of the Civil War, had the vision to establish a public institution that provided and still provides a top flight, affordable education for people of all walks of life.

Iowa was the first State to accept the terms of the Morrill land grant and pioneered all three parts of its mission. The act calls for schools that provide ``access to all, regardless of race, gender, or class.'' The act also limits funding to only schools that conduct "Practical Research." Finally, the Morrill Land Grant Act calls for the schools provided for to serve significant "outreach'' in the surrounding community.

Iowa State has certainly lived up to those lofty words of the Morrill Act. Iowa State University has been home to some of the most important technological and agricultural advances in history. Professor John Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry of ISU have been credited with the invention of the electronic digital computer in the late 1930s. When they constructed the Atanasoff-Berry computer, they were the first to incorporate the seven basic principles of modern computing.

Professor Henry Gilman laid the foundation for the modern plastics industry with his research in polyethylene materials. In the 1920s, ISU was home to the development of hybrid seed corn. Professor Orland Sweeney conducted pioneering work on soybean oil extraction and producing ethanol from corn and other plant materials in the 1930s.

Iowa State has produced such esteemed graduates as George Washington Carver, a man who shattered the glass ceiling for minority inventors, women's rights activist Carrie Chapman Catt, and astronaut Clayton Anderson, just to name a few.

John Garang, who earned a Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State, not only went on to serve as vice president of Sudan, but in his role as leader of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army worked to end his country's violent civil war.

One cannot forget to mention that Mildred Day, the inventor of Rice Krispies treats, also graduated from Iowa State. In addition to Mildred, former CEOs of Boeing, Dow Corning, 3-M, and Lockheed Martin have all claimed Iowa State University as their alma mater, as do I.

I attended ISU on a Naval ROTC scholarship. The program covered my books and tuition, as well as $50 a month to cover extra expenses. I was well taken care of at ISU. With NROTC and a loan from the National Defense Scholarship Program, started under President Eisenhower, I was able to make it through college and flourish.

It is my honor today to stand in support of my resolution honoring Iowa State for its long and storied history of graduating men and women who are creative, productive, and innovative. As the ISU fight song goes, "Loyal sons forever true, and we will fight the battle through. And when we hit that line we'll hit it hard ev'ry yard for I.S.U."

Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, today I support this resolution to honor the service and leadership of Iowa State University. I am cosponsoring this resolution because I know firsthand the substantial contributions that Iowa State has made to both Iowa and the Nation as a whole. In fact, as one of the first land-grant universities, it has led the way in technology advancement and outreach.

Iowa State University will celebrate 150 years of service to the United States this month. The university is a leader in agricultural, engineering, and computer science technologies. They have been pioneers in the education of minorities and women. Because of these advancements, Iowa State University is recognized throughout the world as a standard for excellence in education, practical research, and outreach through extension.

Iowa State is a great representative for the people of our State and will continue to leave an important legacy for our Nation. It is with great respect that I introduce this resolution in honor of Iowa State University's 150th year anniversary.

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and that any statements relating to the resolution be printed in the Record.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 475) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

S. Res. 475

Whereas Iowa State University of Science and Technology was established by the Iowa General Assembly on March 22, 1858, as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm in response to the State of Iowa's desire to provide higher education opportunities to farm families and working classes in Iowa, predating the passage of the Federal Morrill Act by 4 years;

Whereas on September 3, 1862, Iowa became the first State in the Nation to accept the terms and conditions of the Morrill Act creating the land-grant system of colleges and universities;

Whereas the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm, known today as Iowa State University of Science and Technology (Iowa State), received Iowa's land-grant charter on March 29, 1864, making it one of the first land-grant institutions in the Nation;

Whereas Iowa State was a pioneer in all 3 parts of the land-grant mission, including--(1) access to all, regardless of race, gender or social class, being the first land-grant institution to be coeducational from its opening, with 16 women in its first class and later students including future suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, an 1880 graduate, and George Washington Carver, the first African American student, who earned a bachelor's degree in 1894 and a master's degree in 1896, and was also the institution's first African American faculty member; (2) practical research, establishing the Nation's first Engineering Experiment Station and domestic economy experimental kitchen, and one of the first agriculture experiment stations; and (3) outreach, including some of the earliest land-grant institution outreach activities such as the establishment of the Farmers Institutes in the winter of 1869-70 by Iowa State President Adonijah Welch, and the organization of the Nation's first county Extension Service in 1903 in Sioux County in northwest Iowa by Professor Perry Holden;

Whereas some of the most important technological advancements of the modern world were the result of research at Iowa State, including--(1) the development of hybrid seed corn in the 1920s; (2) pioneering work on soybean oil extraction and producing ethanol from corn and other plant materials by Professor Orland Sweeney in the 1930s; (3) the invention of the electronic digital computer in the late 1930s by Professor John Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry, whose Atanasoff-Berry Computer was the first to incorporate the 7 basic principles of modern computing; (4) the foundation for the modern plastics industry laid by polyethylene research by Professor Henry Gilman; (5) development of the process still used today to refine pure rare-earth materials, including reactor-grade uranium, by Professor Frank Spedding and Harley Wilhelm, as a result of Iowa State's key role in the Manhattan Project during World War II; (6) development of modern livestock animal genetics by Professor Jay Lush; and (7) the first field-testing of a genetically altered plant (tobacco) in 1987 and genetically altered tree (poplar) in 1989 by Professor Robert Thornburg;

Whereas Iowa State hired one of the first permanent campus artists-in-residence, with sculptor Christian Petersen holding that position from 1934 to 1955 and providing hundreds of sculptures and other art objects to the university, whose Art on Campus collection today includes more than 600 major public works of art;

Whereas Iowa State has had a technology transfer office since 1935, longer than all but one other university in the Nation, and is acknowledged today as a national leader in putting technology to work, being cited as a ``model of economic development'' and ``licensing powerhouse'' in a 2007 study commissioned by the National Science Foundation;

Whereas Iowa State University is today spearheading new advances in science and technology, including new materials, information sciences, green architecture, biological research, and the development of biorenewable fuels and other resources to support the bioeconomy and the Nation's independence from nonrenewable petroleum resources; and

Whereas more than 257,000 degrees have been awarded by Iowa State, and its graduates include heads of State, leaders of industry, great humanitarians, and gifted scientists, whose work has improved the quality of life for people worldwide: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

  1. congratulates Iowa State University of Science and Technology on its 150 years of outstanding service to the State of Iowa, the United States, and the world in fulfilling its mission as a land-grant university; and
  2. thanks the State of Iowa for its visionary leadership in the beginning of the land-grant movement in the United States of America.