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Sesquicentennial celebration

History of Iowa State: People of Distinction

Sponsored by the University Archives, Iowa State University Library

Copyright 2006

 

H. Summerfield Day

 

H. Summerfield "Pete" Day was born February 22, 1910 in Chicago, Illinois to Herbert J. and Eda Rundstrom Day. He graduated from Maine Township High School in Des Plaines, Illinois, and received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1933. He took graduate work at Harvard University during the 1933/1934 school year.

Day began his career as an archeologist for the National Park Service. He was in charge of excavations at Historic Jamestown [Virginia] in 1934 and 1935. He later worked on excavation of Indian burial mounds and village sites, including those at Ocmulgee National Monument [Macon, Georgia] and Hobbs Island [Madison County, Alabama].

From 1941 to 1943, Day worked as a draftsman and designer for chemical warfare arsenals at Huntsville, Alabama and Denver, Colorado. He then served as a stress engineer for Douglas Aircraft in Chicago until 1945. From 1945 to 1949, he worked for several architects in the Denver area, and then operated his own architectural firm in Grand Junction, Colorado until 1959.

Day joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Architect's Office in 1959 as Associate Architect. He became Supervising Architect at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1964. He became Iowa State University's University Architect in 1966 and continued in that position until 1975. During this time, he served as Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, and was a member of the Physical Facilities Committee and the Traffic Committee.  From 1975 until his retirement in 1980, he served as Program Assistant in the Architect's Office, and spent much of this time period completing The Iowa State University Campus and its Building. This book, a comprehensive history of Iowa State's physical facilities from 1859 to 1979, was published by the University in 1980.

Day's professional memberships included the American Institute of Architects, the Association of University Architects, the Society for College and University Planning, and the Ames City Planning and Zoning Commission and City Zoning Board of Adjustment. He was a member of the United Church of Christ-Congregational, Triangle Fraternity, the Ames Kiwanis Club, and Mesa Lodge #55, AF and AM, Grand Junction, Colorado. He maintained an interest in archeology throughout his life, and also enjoyed travel and stamp collecting.

Day married Martha Elizabeth "Betty" Vinje on January 4, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois. They had two sons, Herbert Vinje and Russell Peter. H. Summerfield Day died September 2, 1986 in Ames, Iowa, and is entombed at Mount Hope Cemetery Mausoleum in Urbana, Illinois.

Resources available online

 

Iowa State University Campus and Its Buildings

 H. Summerfield Day was Iowa State University's University Architect from 1966 to 1975.