Iowa State University is an internationally prominent university that seeks to become even better. Iowa State's aspiration to be the nation's premier land-grant university is closely linked to the University's historical and continuing mission as Iowa's land-grant university.
The enduring educational philosophy that characterized the nation's first land-grant colleges contains four key elements that are as relevant today as in the late 1800s. These defining characteristics are: access regardless of race, creed, gender, or economic background; the marriage of practical and liberal education programs; a balanced and broad notion of scholarship including both applied and basic research; and service to the people of Iowa through outreach programs that help them make better decisions.
Iowa State University embraces its land-grant heritage and responsibilities with an institutional orientation toward science and technology. Building on the University's tradition of strength in science and technology, and the synergy between these areas and the liberal arts and social sciences, Iowa State seeks to become even stronger and more distinguished in its teaching, research, and outreach efforts.
Iowa State University is dedicated to educational service of the highest standard, and encourages the highest aspirations and intellectual development of all students, faculty, and staff. It challenges them in the quest for new knowledge and its transmission, preservation, and application for the betterment of society.
Iowa State University recognizes its responsibilities to a wide range of constituencies, addresses their needs and concerns, and draws from the potentials of its various constituencies, particularly its alumni, to improve and support the University.
Iowa State University is a community that is inspired by the beauty of its surroundings and dedicated to intellectual excitement and creativity. It is a community where ideas are vigorously debated and rigorously tested, that understands the value of science and technology in today's world, and that appreciates the richness of human experience expressed through the arts and humanities. Iowa State University is a community reaching out both to translate knowledge into action and to serve as a resource for strengthening and enhancing the social, economic, and physical environment of the state, the nation, and the world.
Three ideas, each closely tied to our land-grant heritage, capture the spirit of Iowa State University:
"Science with Practice" - ISU's motto that appears on the University's seal.
"We come to college not alone to prepare to make a living, but to learn to live a life," - quotation of M. J. Riggs, a graduate of the class of 1883, whose words are etched in stone above the stairs in the west entrance of the Memorial Union.
"It is simply service that measures success," - statement made by alumnus George Washington Carver