University of Iowa Firsts

1st  public university in Iowa, founded in 1847

1st  U.S. public university to admit women and men on an equal basis when doors opened in 1855

1st  university to accept creative work in the arts in lieu of a written thesis

1st  public university in the country to grant a law degree to a woman (Mary B. Hickey Wilkinson, 1873) and to an African American (G. Alexander Clark, 1870)

1st  U.S. public university to play an African American on a varsity athletic squad (Frank Kinney Holbrook, 1895)

Home to the 1st  daily campus newspaper west of the Mississippi (1901) and the first female college newspaper editor (1907)

1st  university to devote a program to rehabilitating children with disabilities

1st  tax-supported college to establish a school of religion

1st  American university to broadcast television, and a pioneer in developing educational TV (1933)

1st  Big Ten institution to appoint an African American to an administrative vice president post (Philip Hubbard, 1966)

1st state university to officially recognize a gay student organization (1970), offer insurance to employees’ domestic partners (1993), and include optional questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on the application for admission