Iowa State University (ISU) is a public university in Ames, Iowa with over 28,000 students. It was founded in 1858 as a land-grant agricultural college, became a state college in 1898, and received university status in 1959. Today, ISU awards bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
ISU defines its mission as one of “discovering, developing, disseminating, and preserving knowledge.” In keeping with this, the University operates agricultural extension offices in Iowa counties. The extension courses offer non-credit programs for farmers, gardeners, students, and other people interested in any level of horticulture. A branch campus offering credit courses is located in Des Moines.
The first building, Farm House, was constructed in 1860. The most famous and recognizable structure, the Campanile, was completed in 1898. Since that time, the University has grown to include hundreds of buildings on over two thousand acres. In addition to the regular assortment of classroom buildings, residence halls, and other standard facilities, ISU features two greenhouses, a dairy farm, an ice arena, a conservatory, butterfly exhibit, gardens, and a nationally recognized arboretum. The ISU campus was one of only three to be recognized as a “Medallion Site” by the American Association of Landscape Architects in their centennial listings.