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Iowa Wesleyan University is a private four-year
liberal arts college A liberal arts college or liberal arts institution of higher education is a college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communicat ...
in
Mount Pleasant, Iowa Mount Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Henry County, Iowa, Henry County, Iowa. The population was 9,274 in the 2020 United States census, 2020 census, an increase from 8,668 in the 2010 United States census, 2010 census. It was founded ...
. It ranks as Iowa's first co-educational institution of higher learning and is the oldest of its type west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and b ...

Mississippi River
. The university is affiliated with the
United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a worldwide mainline Protestant The mainline Protestant churches (also called mainstream Protestant and sometimes oldline Protestant) are a group of Protestant denominations in the United States that contras ...

United Methodist Church
. The university was founded as the Mount Pleasant Literary Institute in 1842, and was known as Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute from 1843 to 1855, Iowa Wesleyan University from 1855 to 1912, and Iowa Wesleyan College from 1912 to 2015. The name reverted to Iowa Wesleyan University in 2015. Two campus buildings,
Old Main Old Main is a term often applied to the original building present on college or university campuses in the United States. The building serves today as home to administrative offices, such as the president or provost, but in its early inception may ...
and the Harlan-Lincoln House, are listed on the
National Register of Historic Places The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
. The latter, the former summer home of
Robert Todd Lincoln Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926) was an American lawyer, businessman, and politician. He was the eldest son of President of the United States, President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, and the only one of their ...

Robert Todd Lincoln
, is now a museum featuring various artifacts from the Harlan and Lincoln families.


History

In 1841 a group of Methodist settlers in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, met and began lobbying the Iowa territorial legislature to establish an institute of higher learning in their burgeoning community. On February 17, 1842, the legislature granted a charter for the Mount Pleasant Literary Institute, soon to be renamed as Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute. Despite the charter, organization and fund raising were slow going at first. Twenty acres of land was donated for the campus by four Mount Pleasant residents in March 1843. That same month, organizing officials hired Reverend Artistides J. Heustis as the institution's first president. From February 1855, the school was known as Iowa Wesleyan University, honoring
John Wesley John Wesley (; 2 March 1791) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which ha ...

John Wesley
, the founder of Methodism The institution's name was modified to Iowa Wesleyan College in 1912, reflecting its contemporary status as a four-year baccalaureate degree institution of higher learning. On August 10, 2015, Iowa Wesleyan officially adopted its new name: Iowa Wesleyan University, reflecting its broad educational opportunities and its roots as one of the oldest four-year co-educational church-related universities west of the Mississippi River. The university occupies a 60-acre central campus of historic red brick buildings and modern structures, including some listed on the
National Register of Historic Places The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
. The chapel, built in 1896, received a complete renovation and restoration in the early 21st century. Iowa Wesleyan is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to offer academic programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Music Education degrees. Undergraduate enrollment at the college is approximately 600 full-time students. Christine Plunkett has been president of the university since August 2019.


Academic programs

Students at Iowa Wesleyan can gain a variety of degrees in the fields of Business, Education, Fine Arts, Human Studies, Language and Literature, Nursing, and Science. In the late 1960s, Iowa Wesleyan started its Responsible Social Involvement program or RSI. Now called Service Learning, the program has two main goals: # Service to the greater community, and # Having students participate more actively in their own education. Service Learning allows students direct experience outside the traditional realms of textbooks, classrooms, and professors. Additionally, all students at Iowa Wesleyan are required to complete an approved internship through the Office of Field Experience.


Student life

Iowa Wesleyan University offers many activities for students outside the classroom, including the Student Government Association, the Student Union Board, Intramurals, Hall Councils, Student Ambassadors, as well as a number of performing groups such as the Concert Choir.


Greek life

Greek life has a rich history at Iowa Wesleyan University. The Beta chapter of
Alpha Xi Delta Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ or A-''"Zee"''-D ) is a women's Fraternities and sororities in North America, fraternity founded on April 17, 1893 at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois, United States. Alpha Xi Delta is a member of National Panhellenic ...
sorority was the oldest sorority on campus, being on campus since 1902. It is the oldest chapter of Alpha Xi Delta in the country. Currently, Iowa Wesleyan University has 3 active Greek organizations, which include Theta Sigma Rho sorority, Zeta Psi Mu fraternity, and Omega Delta Alpha fraternity. The P.E.O. Sisterhood was founded at Iowa Wesleyan University on January 21, 1869. Greek organizations that have had chapters on campus include:
National Panhellenic Conference The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) is an umbrella organization for 26 (inter)national women's Fraternities and sororities, sororities throughout the United States and Canada. Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek alphabet#Use ...
(NPC) Sororities: *
Pi Beta Phi Pi Beta Phi (), often known simply as Pi Phi, is an international women's fraternity founded at Monmouth College Monmouth College is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college in Monmouth, Illinois. Monmouth is a selective, exclusively ...
, 1868–2004 *
Phi Mu Phi Mu () is the second oldest female fraternal organization A meeting of West_Germany.html"_;"title="Freemasons_in_West_Germany">Freemasons_in_West_Germany_(1948). A_fraternity_(from_Freemasons_in_West_Germany_(1948).">West_Germany.html"_;"t ...
, 1914–1943 *
Zeta Tau Alpha Zeta Tau Alpha (known as or Zeta) is an international Fraternities and sororities in North America, women's fraternity founded on October 15, 1898 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its Internati ...
, 1918–1987
North American Interfraternity Conference The North American Interfraternity Conference (or NIC; formerly known as the National Interfraternity Conference) is an association of collegiate men's fraternities A meeting of West_Germany.html"_;"title="Freemasons_in_West_Germany">Freemas ...
(IFC) Fraternities *
Phi Delta Theta Phi Delta Theta (), commonly known as Phi Delt, is an international secret and social fraternity A fraternity (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was ...
, 1871–2009 *
Beta Theta Pi Beta Theta Pi (ΒΘΠ), commonly known as Beta, is a North American social Fraternities and sororities in North America, fraternity that was founded in 1839 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. One of North America's oldest fraternities, it cur ...

Beta Theta Pi
, 1868–1915 *
Delta Tau Delta Delta Tau Delta (), commonly known as Delt, is a United States-based international Greek letter Fraternities and sororities, college fraternity. Delta Tau Delta was founded at Bethany College (West Virginia), Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia ...
, 1875–1980 *
Sigma Phi Epsilon Sigma Phi Epsilon (), commonly known as SigEp, is a social college fraternity A meeting of Freemasons in West Germany (1948).">West_Germany.html" ;"title="Freemasons in West Germany">Freemasons in West Germany (1948). A fraternity (from La ...
, 1913–1976 *
Lambda Chi Alpha Lambda Chi Alpha (), commonly known as Lambda Chi, is a college Fraternity in North America, which was founded at Boston University in 1909. It is one of the largest social fraternities in North America, with more than 280,000 lifetime members ...
, 1924–1974 *
Tau Kappa Epsilon Tau Kappa Epsilon (), commonly known as TKE or Teke, is a social college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Com ...
, 1947–1954 *
Phi Kappa Tau Phi Kappa Tau (), commonly known as Phi Tau (), is a Fraternities and sororities in North America, collegiate fraternity located in the United States. The fraternity was founded in 1906. As of January 2022, the fraternity has 161 Chartered Chap ...
, 1968–1984


Athletics

Iowa Wesleyan teams are known as the Tigers. The university is a member of the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics College athletics encompasses non-professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activi ...
(NAIA), competing in the
North Star Athletic Association The North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) is an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA college athletic conference that began play in the 2013–14 school year. The conference currently has eight full member institutions in Iowa, ...
(NSAA) for football, the
Heart of America Athletic Conference The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC or The Heart) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in Iowa Iowa () is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States The Un ...
(HAAC) for wrestling and the
Continental Athletic Conference Continental may refer to: Places * Continent * Continental, Arizona, a small community in Pima County, Arizona, US * Continental, Ohio, a small town in Putnam County, US Arts and entertainment * Continental (album), ''Continental'' (album), an al ...
for all other sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track & field and wrestling. Women' sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball and wrestling. Prior to July 2021, the Tigers were members of the following athletic organizations: *2021–present
Continental Athletic Conference Continental may refer to: Places * Continent * Continental, Arizona, a small community in Pima County, Arizona, US * Continental, Ohio, a small town in Putnam County, US Arts and entertainment * Continental (album), ''Continental'' (album), an al ...
(CAC) -
North Star Athletic Association The North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) is an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA college athletic conference that began play in the 2013–14 school year. The conference currently has eight full member institutions in Iowa, ...
(NSAA) -
Heart of America Athletic Conference The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC or The Heart) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in Iowa Iowa () is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States The Un ...
-
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics College athletics encompasses non-professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activi ...
(NAIA) * 2017-2021 - St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC)- Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) - National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III * 2013-2017 - St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC)- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III (provisional member while associated with the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) * 2012-2013 - Independent - NAIA * 1995-2012 - Midwest Collegiate Conference - NAIA * 1993-1995 - American Midwest Conference - NAIA * 1974-1993 - Independent - NAIA In 2015 and 2017, the men's basketball teams qualified for the USCAA Division I national tournament. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, the women's basketball teams qualified for the USCAA Division I national tournament. The 2016 team finished as the national runner-up. In 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2011, the men's basketball teams qualified for the NAIA Division II national tournament. In 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the women's basketball teams qualified for the NAIA Division II national tournament. In 1995, the men's basketball team qualified for the NAIA Division I national tournament. From 1989 to 1991, Hal Mumme was head American football, football coach, with Mike Leach (American football coach), Mike Leach as his offensive coordinator. It was at Iowa Wesleyan that they developed the air raid offense.


Notable alumni

*Warren Wallace Beckwith, minor league baseball player and historical figure *Bill Bedenbaugh, Co-Offensive Coordinator/OL Coach (University Of Oklahoma) *William Andrews Clark, United States Senate, United States Senator and business magnate *Clement Isong, second governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria *George B. Corkhill, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia prosecuted Charles J. Guiteau for the assassination of James A. Garfield *Dana Holgorsen, head football coach (University Of Houston) *Davey Lopes, former manager, Milwaukee Brewers baseball team; 16-year Major League Baseball career *Jessie Wilson Manning (1855-?) - author, lecturer *Arabella Mansfield, Belle Babb "Arabella" Mansfield, first woman lawyer in the United States *John H. Mickey, 17th governor of Nebraska (1903 to 1907) *Ola Babcock Miller, Iowa Secretary of State *Sandy Sandberg, American football player *James Van Allen, an astrophysicist who discovered the Van Allen radiation belt circling the earth *Peggy Whitson, former NASA Chief of the Astronaut Office, Chief Astronaut and first female commander of the International Space Station


References


External links


Official websiteOfficial athletic website
* * {{authority control Iowa Wesleyan University, Liberal arts colleges in Iowa Educational institutions established in 1842 Education in Henry County, Iowa Buildings and structures in Henry County, Iowa USCAA member institutions Mount Pleasant, Iowa Private universities and colleges in Iowa