Alliance for Iowa State
-Make Your Voice Heard-

Iowa State University remains true to its land-grant mission. More than 150 years after its founding, Iowa State continues to focus on service to the state, applying knowledge to help solve problems and educating citizens.

Abraham Lincoln signed the law that gave birth to the land-grant universities. These colleges were founded on three big ideas:

  • Open higher education to all
  • Teach practical classes
  • Share knowledge far beyond the campus borders

Iowa State University was founded on the ideals that higher education should be accessible to all regardless of race, gender, or economic circumstance, and that the university should teach liberal arts and practical subjects to provide an outstanding quality of life for future citizens. These ideals are integral to the land-grant institutions, a special class of university created by the Morrill Act, passed by Congress in 1862. Iowa was the first state to accept the law's provisions.

Chartered in 1858 as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm, it became the nation's first land-grant institution when the Iowa General Assembly awarded it the state's land-grant charter in 1864. Iowa State subsequently pioneered the idea of Extension - extending the University's knowledge to people throughout the state. Iowa State Extension is a vital element in fulfilling the land-grant mission, with offices in every county. The University's charter included in the State of Iowa Code affirms these ideals:

"Iowa State University of science and technology is a public land-grant institution serving the people of Iowa, the nation, and the world through its interrelated programs of instruction, research, extension, and professional services. With an institutional emphasis on areas related to science and technology, the university carries out its traditional mission of discovering, developing, disseminating, and preserving knowledge."

Committed to the community

Iowa State University is ranked 20th among U.S. public universities by Washington Monthly magazine for its commitment to community service; research and advanced degrees; and its success in graduating students from lower-income families.


Iowa State's Mission: Create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place. 


Read previous messages from the Alliance for Iowa State at

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The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. 


The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State University alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa while focusing its advocacy on

state legislators and public policy makers.