Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

11-11-08

Contacts:

Manjit Misra, Seed Science Center, (515) 294-6821, mkmisra@iastate.edu

Joan O'Brien, Iowa Seed Association, (515) 262-8323, joano@agribiz.org

Del Koch, Committee for Agricultural Development, (515) 294-4166, dkoch@iastate.edu

Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704, kuester@iastate.edu

George Washington Carver sculpture to be unveiled at ISU's Seed Science Center

AMES, Iowa -- A life-sized sculpture of George Washington Carver, an iconic figure at Iowa State University, will be dedicated at a ceremony outside Iowa State's Seed Science Center at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the corner of Wallace Drive and Osborn Road on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Carver spent his life working with seeds and plants and was a groundbreaking researcher and botanist who developed new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes and many other plants. He began his career in research, teaching and writing in 1891 as the first African-American student in Iowa State's history and later as the first African-American member of the school's faculty.

This is the only life-sized sculpture of the famous scientist anywhere in the world from the maquette sculpted by Christian Petersen in 1949. Petersen was Iowa State's artist in residence from 1934-55.

Manjit Misra, director of the Seed Science Center, said a sculpture of Carver was the right choice to stand at the entrance to the center which recently opened a new, 5,000-square-foot addition.

"He learned about plants and seeds here on campus," said Misra. "And his findings are magnificent. But it is not just research that made this man so special. He really believed that service was the measure of our success -- not money or number of patents, but how much you have helped people. In his research and his life, he has shown us the way."

Carver also predated the "green" trends of today. He once said that whatever can be made from chemicals and petroleum, he could make from plants.

The ceremony is in conjunction with the annual convention of the Iowa Seed Association taking place in Ames Nov. 18-19.

Carver will make an appearance later in the day in the form of Iowa State alumnus Paxton Williams. Williams will perform his one-man play "Listening to the Still Small Voice: The Life and Works of George Washington Carver" at 6 p.m. in the Suffolk Room at the Holiday Inn hotel located at 2609 University Boulevard in Ames. The performance is free and open to the public.

Funding for the George Washington Carver sculpture, which will be in the Art on Campus Collection, was provided by the Committee for Agricultural Development.

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Quick look

A life-sized sculpture of George Washington Carver will be dedicated at a ceremony outside Iowa State's Seed Science Center at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 18.

Quote

He really believed that service was the measure of our success -- not money or number of patents, but how much you have helped people. In his research and his life, he has shown us the way.

Manjit Misra, Director of the Seed Science Center