Charles E. Friley
(1887-1958; president 1936-53)
Portrait painted in 1953 by artist James Murray Haddow
A Louisiana native, Friley graduated from Texas A & M, did advanced work in educational administration at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, then returned to his alma mater, where he became founding dean of the school's science division. Coming to Iowa State in 1932 as dean of industrial science, he evidenced his administrative abilities in an effective revision and expansion of the division's instructional and research programs. He became president after five months as acting president. His 17-year term was the longest of Iowa State's first 11 presidents, and spanned higher education's most turbulent era, from the closing phase of the Depression through World War II and into the post-war "educational revolution." It was an administration characterized by emergency efforts, the most notable among them Iowa State's participation in the Manhattan (atomic research) project. Friley was directly responsible for Iowa State's establishment of the nation's first educationally-owned and operated television station.