Special Collections and University Archives spring exhibition opening and Douglas Biggs presentation planned for March 13.

Student Life at Iowa State: 1869-90, a presentation by Dr. Douglas Biggs, is planned at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 13, in the Memorial Union Sun Room, 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa. Biggs is a professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. This lecture complements the Iowa State University Library Special Collections & University Archives exhibition, We Are ISU: Snapshots of Student Life, which opens March 13 on the 4th Floor of Parks Library and in Room 403. 

In his lecture, Dr. Biggs will explore a number of the student life issues over the first two decades of the university’s history from the time the first class arrived in 1869 to the 1890s. The Iowa Agricultural College of the 1890s was a very different institution than the one that opened its doors in 1869. His talk will center on student challenges faced because of Iowa State’s isolation from the rest of the world, the relationships students had with each other and with the college as a whole, issues over the requirement for manual labor, and the fight over the colonizing of fraternities and sororities on campus.

Dr. Biggs was born in Ames, Iowa, where his father taught geology and earth science at Iowa State for his entire career. Dr. Biggs holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in history from Iowa State and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has written extensively about the political culture of late medieval England, specifically the reigns of Richard II (1377-99) and Henry IV (1399-1413). In late 2009, Dr. Biggs became interested in the history of his home town and his undergraduate alma mater. This has led to several publications, a book, and public lectures on historical subjects in Ames about Ames and ISU. In Fall 2017, Dr. Biggs received the prestigious Pratt-Heins Foundation Faculty Award for Outstanding Service to the UNK Community in the Area of Research/Scholarship.

Department of History
Student Affairs
Ames Historical Society
University Lectures

Contact Rachel Seale, outreach archivist, for more information.