University of Iowa

History of Community Engagement at Iowa

The University of Iowa has a long and proud tradition of serving the public through civic engagement. Faculty, staff, and students have long worked with communities across Iowa, the nation, and world to enhance educational opportunities and improve people’s lives. Many of the buildings on campus are named after individuals who were deeply committed to serving the public good, including Thomas MacBride, of MacBride Hall. MacBride was a renowned professor of natural science whose work in the field of botanical studies carried well beyond the classroom walls to help shape many environmental and geological projects across Iowa. In addition, MacBride developed the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory in 1909, a lab that still stands today and provides valuable educational opportunities for students, and community engagement opportunities for Iowa.

Today, the University of Iowa’s commitment to community outreach and engagement is strong. In 2015, the University of Iowa was honored to be selected by The Carnegie Foundation to receive the Community Engagement Classification. This award signifies the university’s continual commitment and institutionalized practices of community engagement that align with our mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices.

Office of Outreach and Engagement Staff