Raymond A. Pearson
(1873-1939; president 1912-26)
Portrait painted in 1942 by artist Frank Johnson
Son of an Indiana railroad executive, Pearson was a Cornell University graduate in dairy industry, did government and commercial dairy laboratory work, and in 1903 returned to Cornell to organize a department of dairy industry. He headed the New York Department of Agriculture for four years prior to his appointment as president of Iowa State. Pearson completed the divisional organization of undergraduate programs; strongly promoted the graduate program, which was given divisional status in 1915; broadened extension service; and gave wholehearted support to "big-time" goals in athletics. Campus construction during his administration surpassed that of any other era prior to the post-World War II boom: 14 buildings in service during the 1960's were constructed during Pearson's term. Pearson resigned to become president of the University of Maryland.