The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0557; fax (319) 335-0558

Release: Immediate

Four UI presidents to speak about University's past, present and future

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A historic gathering of University of Iowa presidents will mark the university's 150th birthday. Four UI presidents will be together on stage at Hancher Auditorium Sunday, Feb. 23 to discuss the past, present and future of the university. The event is part of the UI's Founders Day Celebration, marking the 150th anniversary of the UI's founding on Feb. 25, 1847, only 59 days after Iowa became a state.

The forum, called "Presidential Voices," is free and open to the public, although tickets must be ordered through Hancher Auditorium's box office. The event will begin at 3 p.m. and be followed at 5 p.m. by a reception in the Hancher lobby.

UI President Mary Sue Coleman will be joined by her three immediate predecessors: Willard L. (Sandy) Boyd, James O. Freedman, and Hunter Rawlings III. Boyd with lead off the forum with a talk titled "Education -- Iowa's Never-Ending Frontier." Rawlings will follow with a talk on "American Universities at the End of the 20th Century." Freedman will then speak about "The Future of Higher Education." Coleman will then respond to the comments of the other presidents. If time permits, the presidents will then take questions from the audience.

Boyd, who served as UI president from 1969 to 1981, has returned to the UI as a professor in the College of Law. He is president emeritus of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and currently serves on many national and regional arts and law boards and associations.

Freedman served as UI president from 1982 until 1987, when he became the president of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. In a recent New York Times article (Saturday, Jan 4), Freedman is characterized as a "shy, self-effacing scholar" who has transformed Dartmouth "from a college known for its fraternities and athletes" into one that is also a haven for intellectuals. He also completed work on a book on higher education, Idealism and Liberal Education, published in 1996 by the University of Michigan Press.

Rawlings served as UI president from 1988 to 1995, when he was named president of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. As he did while UI president, he also holds the faculty rank as professor of classics. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Council on Education.

Coleman became the UI's 18th president in the final days of 1995. In addition to traveling widely across Iowa and the nation, she has endorsed the UI's strategic plan and has worked with faculty and staff to articulate a set of five core values for the University -- learning, community, responsibility, integrity and quality -- as well as indicators of progress for the strategic plan. Before coming to the UI, she was provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico.

Samuel L. Becker, UI emeritus professor of communication studies, will be the moderator for the event, which will also feature two musical selections, "The Old Gold Hymn" and "Alma Mater, Iowa," performed by the University Choir under the direction of William Hatcher, professor of music. Music for the reception will be provided by the UI Jazz Ensemble.

To order free tickets for the event, call the Hancher Box Office at (319) 335-1160 or 1-800-HANCHER.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in "Presidential Voices," please contact University Relations at (319) 335-0557.