Skip to main content.
Facts at a Glance Facts at a Glance The University of Iowa

Historical Highlights: 1991-2000

1991—Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Michael Welsh uses gene insertion techniques to successfully correct the defect in human cystic fibrosis cells in a laboratory culture, prompting widespread response from the medical community and the public.

1991—The Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing is created with a $300,000 appropriation from the state legislature. The center is an outgrowth of the Biocatalysis Research Group, a diverse team of 35 faculty representing more than $5.3 million annually in funded research.

1991—Ground is broken for the new College of Business Administration building.

1991—Women's athletics director Christine H.B. Grant is named by the Institute for International Sport as one of 17 Ethics Fellows to study the state of ethics and sportsmanship in society and develop codes of ethics for athletic organizations.

1991—The Center for New Music celebrates its 25th year.

1991—On Friday, Nov. 1, physics and astronomy doctoral student Gang Lu shoots and kills fellow graduate student Linhua Shan, associate professor of physics and astronomy Robert Alan Smith, professor of physics and astronomy Christoph K. Goertz, professor and chair of physics and astronomy Dwight R. Nicholson, and associate vice president for academic affairs T. Anne Cleary. Critically wounded is Miya Sioson, an honors student in Spanish and Portuguese working in the Office of Academic Affairs.

1992—Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Kevin Campbell uncovers the strongest evidence to date that the loss of the protein dystrophin renders muscle more susceptible to deterioration, a significant clue to the disease process of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

1992—Iowa is chosen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the site of the $32 million National Advanced Driving Simulator.

1992—The UI Libraries Information Arcade offers the first fully integrated electronic classroom in the country.

1992—The University of Iowa becomes one of the first universities in the country to make health insurance benefits available for the partners of gay and lesbian staff and faculty.

1992—The Iowa Women's Archives opens at University Libraries, through a proposal by Louise Noun and Mary Louise Smith. The $1.5 million endowment for the archives was raised through Noun's donation of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's painting "Self Portrait with Loose Hair."

T. Anne Cleary Walkway

1992—The university dedicates the T. Anne Cleary Walkway, linking the eastside residence halls to the Pentacrest, named for the former associate vice president for academic affairs who was killed in the 1991 shootings that claimed six lives.

1993—Associate professor of pediatrics Jeffrey C. Murray participates in a four-year, $15-million Human Genome Project grant funded by the National Center for Human Genome Research.

1993—Nora England, professor and chair of anthropology, is named recipient of a five-year, $285,000 "genius" grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her work studying Mayan linguistics and preserving Mayan culture.

1993—Playwrights Workshop alumnus Robert Olen Butler wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

1993—University facilities sustain more than $4 million in damage when record rainfall raises the Iowa River more than two feet above flood stage. Among buildings hardest hit were Hancher Auditorium, where water reached the orchestra pit, and Mayflower Hall, where water displaced the building's 1,000 residents. Among the closest calls was the campus water treatment plant, where crews worked round the clock to ensure a safe water supply.

1993—Health sciences at the university are reorganized under a new vice president responsible for overseeing the Colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, as well as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and statewide health service units. Henri Manasse is named to the post.

Pappajohn Business Building

1994—The College of Business Administration opens its new John Pappajohn Business Administration Building, the largest classroom building on campus. More than $13 million has been pledged through the Foundation to endow professorships, underwrite scholarships, and fund educational programs.

1994—University Hospitals and Clinics begins construction of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion, a $113-million addition to be completed in 1995.

1994—Funds from a $7.3 million contract with the National Library of Medicine establish the National Library for the Study of Rural Telemedicine at the university. One of the laboratory's goals is to use the state's fiber-optic network to link state health care providers with resources at UIHC and the College of Medicine.

1994—The Truman Capote Literary Trust and the Writers' Workshop announce the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and the Truman Capote Fellowships in Creative Writing, which will provide more than $100,000 a year to the University of Iowa Foundation.

1994—University President Hunter R. Rawlings III accepts a position as president of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

1995—Provost Peter E. Nathan is named acting university president.

1995—Mary Sue Coleman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico, is named the 18th president and the first woman president of the University of Iowa.

1995—New freshmen entering the university in the fall of 1995 can take advantage of a new four-year graduation plan, which assures that they can earn a degree from Iowa in four years if they meet certain qualifications.

1995—The University of Iowa and Iowa State University share the bulk of a $22 million estate left by F.W. Miller of Rockwell City.

1995—The Board of Regents, State of Iowa approves the naming of the Voxman Music Building in honor of School of Music emeritus professor Himie Voxman.

1995—University Writers' Workshop graduate Philip Levine receives the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

1995—By attending a live, interactive teleconference orientation session, a group of Mason City area students are the first to use the state's new fiber-optic network to learn about the University of Iowa.

1995—David C. Johnsen, a nationally recognized researcher and educator in pediatric dentistry, becomes the dean of the College of Dentistry.

1996—The Ophthalmology Department moves into the Eye Institute in the new Pomerantz Family Pavilion at University Hospitals and Clinics. The new pavilion replaces the 1927-vintage facilities of the General Hospital. The facilities include 53 examination rooms, two state-of-the-art operating suites, a refractive laser surgery room, and faculty and support staff offices.

1996—The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children chooses the College of Education as its new headquarters. The council will coordinate the activities of more than 40 member countries from its administrative space at the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

1996—Des Moines venture capitalist John Pappajohn and his wife, Mary, contribute $1.5 million to expand Iowa's which is then renamed the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. The center develops entrepreneurship education for students and for Iowa citizens. Daryl Erdman is named director of the center.

1996—As part of an on-going effort to strengthen East Asian studies, the Office of the President announces plans to create an endowed chair jointly funded by the Korea Foundation of Seoul, the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization of Iowa City, and E & M Charities of Muscatine. The Stanley-Korea Chair will be created in one of the university's social science departments.

1996—Students interested in the history of the book and the art of book design and production can now earn credit for their studies in a new graduate-level program offered by the Center for the Book. The nondegree certificate in Book Studies/Book Arts and Technologies is the only certificate program of its kind in the United States.

1996—Based on its outstanding academic programs for Latinos, The University of Iowa is listed as one of the strongly recommended universities for Latinos, according to the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.

1996—College of Medicine researchers map the gene for a form of age-related macular degeneration, a finding that may provide scientists with valuable insight into the leading cause of blindness in older Americans.

1996—Iowa workshop faculty member Jorie Graham receives the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. All three finalists—Donald Justice, Charles Wright, and Graham—are university graduates and all have been members of the Writers' Workshop faculty.

1996—Students in the College of Law launch The Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, one of the few such journals in the country.

1996—The Olympic torch passes through Iowa City and the university campus. A brief ceremony is held at Hancher Auditorium.

1996—Jon Whitmore, dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, is named University of Iowa provost.

1996—Iowa is one of six universities chosen for a new national program to address high-risk drinking among students. Funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, the program allows the UI to develop plans for a campus/community coalition to investigate the issues involved.

1996—The University of Iowa begins a year-long sesquicentennial celebration of its founding on February 25, 1847.

1997—The College of Engineering begins a $26 million building modernization project. Due to be completed in 2001, the facility will reopen as the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences.

Schaeffer Hall

1997—Schaeffer Hall, home of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is rededicated after undergoing an $8.9 million renovation project.

1998—The University of Iowa College of Law brings four Nobel Prize winners and more than 30 human rights speakers to campus for Global Focus: Human Rights '98, a university-wide, yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights.

1998—University of Iowa Foundation dedicates the Levitt Center for University Advancement, named for benefactors Richard and Jeanne Levitt. The Wyrick Rotunda is named for Darrell Wyrick who directed the Foundation from 1966 until his retirement in 1998.

1998—The College of Medicine breaks ground for the 214,000—square foot Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility.

1999—The College of Business Administration becomes the Henry B. Tippie College of Business to honor Henry B. Tippie, a 1949 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Commerce. Tippie's support to the college exceeds $30 million.

1999—Sandra Bowman Damico, a professor and recent director of Emory University's Division of Educational Studies, is named dean of the University of Iowa College of Education.

1999—The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performs the world premiere of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's "C Sharp Street-B Flat Avenue" as part of the 1999-2000 Millennium Festival, the nation's most ambitious and extensive performing-arts millennium celebration.

1999— Researchers at the UI Center for the Book create a handmade paper to support the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence in their new encasements at the National Archives Rotunda in Washington, D.C..

1999—Mary Sue Coleman, John Keller, and Michael J. Welsh are elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

2000—College of Liberal Arts creates a new department of cinema and comparative literature which offers bachelor of arts degrees in comparative literature and cinema, as well as undergraduate minors in both those areas of study. Graduate programs in the new department include master's and doctoral degrees in comparative literature and in film studies and MFA degrees in both translation studies and in film and video production.

2000—The University of Iowa joins other universities in establishing a code of conduct for all companies manufacturing goods which bear the university's trademarks.

2000—The UI College of Liberal Arts holds dedication ceremony for the new Biology Building East at the corner of Iowa Avenue and Dubuque Streets and the new skywalk designed by Siah Armajani.

2000—P. Barry Butler, chair of mechanical engineering, is named dean of the College of Engineering.