Iowa State University

01/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2023 08:30

George Washington Carver Day in Iowa celebrated at Iowa State University Feb. 1

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State University will celebrate the state of Iowa's first George Washington Carver Day on Feb. 1 with a program featuring speakers from three states, student readings and Carver-inspired foods.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union, with a pre-program reception at 5 p.m. and program at 5:30 p.m. The event also will be livestreamed, with details at www.cals.iastate.edu/george-washington-carver-day. Free posters and buttons marking the inaugural Carver Day in Iowa will be given away at the event.

Last June, Gov. Kim Reynolds approved Senate File 2380, an act to designate Feb. 1 each year as George Washington Carver Day. Carver is only the third person to be recognized by the state with a day of recognition; the other two are Herbert Hoover and Norman Borlaug. Carver was Iowa State's first Black student and faculty member before leaving for a lifelong career at Tuskegee Institute (now University) in Alabama. He introduced improved farming systems and developed hundreds of food products from plants such as peanuts, sweet potatoes and others native to the southern United States.

Dewayne Goldmon, USDA senior advisor for racial justice and equity, will deliver the keynote address at the Feb. 1 program at Iowa State. Goldmon earned his Ph.D. in agronomy at Iowa State, and was the 2020 recipient of the George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award from ISU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The program also will feature reflections on Carver's life and legacy from:

  • Wendy Wintersteen, president, Iowa State University
  • Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president emeritus, World Food Prize Foundation
  • Marsha Kelliher, president, Simpson College
  • Olga Bolden-Tiller, dean, College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University
  • Simon Estes, F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Artist in Residence, ISU Department of Music and Theatre
  • Daniel J. Robison, Endowed Dean's Chair, ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Throughout the program, ISU students, faculty and staff will deliver a series of readings from Carver's writings.

The pre-program reception at 5 p.m. will feature refreshments inspired by Carver's work. At 7 p.m., the concluding reception will feature Legacy Ice Cream produced by the ISU Creamery. The peanut butter and butterscotch ice cream with chocolate-covered rice crisps was created by a team of food science students to honor two outstanding Iowa State alumni - George Washington Carver, who performed extensive research on peanut products, and Mildred Day, who developed Rice Krispie treats.

A web page on George Washington Carver Day includes more information on the Feb. 1 program, links to download a poster on the inaugural Carver Day in Iowa, and other resources to learn more about Carver's life and times.