Iowa Wesleyan University Celebrates Founders Day

Today, February 17, 2023, Iowa Wesleyan University will celebrate its Founders Day and commemorate 181 years since its founding. Iowa Wesleyan will be hosting a series of events for students, faculty, and staff across campus throughout the day.

Founders Day allows the community to reflect on IW’s history as the oldest co-educational institution in Iowa. Since the Iowa Territorial Legislature granted a charter for the Mt. Pleasant Literary Institute on February 17, 1842, Iowa Wesleyan has committed to fostering a student-centered community and providing an assessable and affordable education. Today, IW is ranked as a top regional college in the Midwest. Notable alumni include Belle Bab Mansfield (1866), the first woman to be admitted to the bar in the United States; James Van Allen ’35, discoverer of the earth’s radiation belts; Clement Isong ’54, one of the most celebrated governors in Nigerian history; and Peggy Whitson ’81, the first female commander of the International Space Station.

“As the regional University for Southeast Iowa, we couldn’t be more proud to acknowledge the historical significance Iowa Wesleyan has had in our community,” said Meg Richtman, Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & Communications.  “Today, we celebrate our rich history while recognizing the labors and love of our community’s past and current members who have devoted so much to making this a special place.”


Iowa Wesleyan University: As Southeast Iowa’s regional comprehensive University, Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.