Iowa Wesleyan University
"Old Main" on the Iowa Wesleyan campus
Former names
Mount Pleasant Literary Institute (1842–1843)
Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute (1843–1855)
Iowa Wesleyan College (1912–2015)
MottoLearning in Community: An Academic Vision
TypePrivate college
Active1842–2023
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
Location, ,
United States
CampusRural
ColorsPurple & White
   
NicknameTigers
Sporting affiliations
NAIAContinental
NAIA – NSAA (football)
NAIA – HAAC (wrestling)
MascotWesley the Tiger
Websitewww.iw.edu

Iowa Wesleyan University was a private university in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, United States. It was Iowa's first co-educational institution of higher learning and the oldest of its type west of the Mississippi River. The institution was affiliated with the United Methodist Church.[1] It closed at the end of the 2022–23 academic year due to financial challenges.

Two campus buildings, Old Main and the Harlan-Lincoln House, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The latter, the former summer home of 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.[2] On February 17, 1842, the legislature granted a charter for the Mount Pleasant Literary Institute, soon to be renamed as Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute.[1] Despite the charter, organization and fund raising were sluggish 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.[2]

From February 1855, the school was known as Iowa Wesleyan University, honoring John Wesley, the founder of Methodism[1] 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 College changed its name to Iowa Wesleyan University.

The university occupied a 60-acre central campus of historic red brick buildings and modern structures, including some listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The chapel, built in 1896, received a complete renovation and restoration in the early 21st century.

Iowa Wesleyan was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Closure

Facing potential closure in 2018, the university was able to continue operating after receiving donations from alumni and a $26 million loan from the USDA. In 2023, the university's board of trustees voted unanimously in favor of closure after Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds determined that a loan of $12 million would not be feasible. Once the university closed, the campus became the responsibility of the United States Department of Agriculture.[3][4] The Mount Pleasant Community School District later bought practice fields and the central part of the campus for about $1.2 million.[5]

Undergraduate enrollment at the college was approximately 600 full-time students at the time of its closure. The final president of the university was Christine Plunkett, from 2019 to 2023.

Student life

Beginning in late mid-1800s, Iowa Wesleyan maintained an active Military Department, in which students organized as a corps of cadets received training under the guidance of United States Army officers.[6] Among Iowa Wesleyan's commandants were Ulysses G. McAlexander (1891 to 1895) and Charles L. Hodges (1895 to 1897)[7]

Greek life

Greek life had a rich history at Iowa Wesleyan University. The Beta chapter of Alpha Xi Delta sorority was the oldest sorority on campus, being on campus since 1902. It was the oldest chapter of Alpha Xi Delta in the country. At the time of closure, Iowa Wesleyan University had 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 (NPC) Sororities:

North American Interfraternity Conference (IFC) Fraternities

Athletics

The Iowa Wesleyan athletic teams were the Tigers. The university was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), competing in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) for football, the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) for wrestling, and the Continental Athletic Conference as its primary home for all other sports as of the 2022–23 academic year.[8]

Iowa Wesleyan competed in 16 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball,[9] cross country, football, golf, soccer, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball,[10] cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball and wrestling.

From 1989 to 1991, Hal Mumme was head football coach, with Mike Leach as his offensive coordinator. It was at Iowa Wesleyan that they developed the air raid offense.

In 1995, the men's basketball team qualified for the NAIA Division I national tournament.

In 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011, the men's basketball teams qualified for the NAIA Division II national tournament.

In 2006,[11] 2007,[12] 2009,[13] 2010,[14] and 2011,[15] the women's basketball teams qualified for the NAIA Division II national tournament.

In 2014,[16] 2015[17] and 2016,[18] the women's basketball teams qualified for the USCAA Division I national tournament. The 2016 team finished as the national runner-up.

In 2015[19] and 2017,[20] the men's basketball teams qualified for the USCAA Division I national tournament.

In 2022 [21] and 2023 [22] the women's basketball team qualified for the NAIA single division national tournament.

In 2023 [23] the men's basketball team qualified for the NAIA single division national tournament.

Conference affiliations

The Tigers were members of the following athletic organizations:

Notable alumni

References

  1. ^ a b c "Iowa Wesleyan University history". Iowa Wesleyan University marketing office. 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Historical Sketch and Alumni Record of Iowa Wesleyan University". Mount Pleasant News-Journal. 1917. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  3. ^ Dorsey, Collin (28 March 2023). "Iowa Wesleyan University to close in May". KWWL. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Iowa Wesleyan University Announces Closure". Iowa Wesleyan University. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  5. ^ Swayne, Mollie (2023-08-29). "Mount Pleasant community pushes back against school district's purchase of parts of Iowa Wesleyan". KCRG-TV. Retrieved 2023-08-30.
  6. ^ Ball, Timothy Horton, ed. (1902). Genealogical Records of the Dinwiddie Clan of Northwestern Indiana. Crown Point, IN: J. J. Wheeler. p. 80 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Iowa Wesleyan College (1917). Historical Sketch and Alumni Record of Iowa Wesleyan College. Mt. Pleasant, IA: Mt. Pleasant News–Journal. p. 121 – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ "IW Athletic Quick Facts". Iowa Wesleyan University. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "Iowa Wesleyan Men's Basketball Record Book". archive.org. 24 March 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  10. ^ "Iowa Wesleyan Women's Basketball Record Book". archive.org. 24 March 2023. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  11. ^ "DakStats WebSync". DakStats. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  12. ^ "DakStats WebSync". DakStats. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  13. ^ "DakStats WebSync". DakStats. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  14. ^ "DakStats WebSync". DakStats. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  15. ^ "DakStats WebSync". DakStats. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  16. ^ "USCAA Basketball Tournament" (PDF). USCAA. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  17. ^ "USCAA Basketball Tournament" (PDF). USCAA. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  18. ^ "USCAA Basketball Tournament" (PDF). USCAA. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  19. ^ "USCAA Basketball Tournament" (PDF). USCAA. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  20. ^ "USCAA Basketball Tournament" (PDF). USCAA. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  21. ^ "2021-22 NAIA Women's Basketball Opening Round Schedule". naia.org. 12 March 2022. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  22. ^ "2023 NAIA Women's Basketball First & Second Round Schedule". naia.org. 8 March 2023. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  23. ^ "2023 NAIA Men's Basketball First & Second Round Schedule". naia.org. 9 March 2023. Retrieved March 28, 2023.

Further reading

40°58′21″N 91°33′08″W / 40.9725°N 91.5522°W / 40.9725; -91.5522 (Iowa Wesleyan University)