Greenlee School history
This spring Iowa State University begins celebrating
100 years of excellence in journalism and communication.
In 1905 the state’s first journalism program began at Iowa State
offering of a one-credit class in agricultural journalism.
The department was officially recognized in 1925 as the Department of Technical
Journalism in the College of Agriculture, offering majors in agricultural and
home economics journalism. A master’s program in technical journalism
was first offered in 1947.
In 1969, the program was renamed the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.
During the late 1980s the program’s future was uncertain. In 1989, the
consulting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick, which looked for unnecessary duplication
at the three state-supported universities, recommended Iowa State cut the journalism
and mass communication program.
But, with the leadership of then department chair Tom Emmerson and the support
of the university and alumni, the Regents eventually voted to retain the program.
As part of that vote, the Regents mandated that the department be moved from
the College of Agriculture to what’s now called the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences.
In addition, Jl MC and the telecommunicative arts program, which was formerly
under the Department of Speech Communication, were required to merge. The pairing
resulted in the journalism department offering an emphasis in electronic media
A celebrated event in 1990 was the Iowa State Daily’s centennial. First
named the Iowa Agricultural College Student, the student-run newspaper was
launched Aug. 7, 1890.
The department in 1991 saw advertising studies evolve from an emphasis area to
a major of its own.
Also during the early 1990s electronic media studies students and faculty found
themselves witnessing, if not involved in, a legal battle surrounding the sale
of the university-owned television station. The Iowa Supreme Court eventually
authorized the Iowa Regents to sell WOI-TV to Capital Cities Communications Inc.
And in 1998 the program became the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
as a result of a $9 million gift from Iowa State alumni Robert and Diane Greenlee
of Boulder, Colo. The Greenlees’ generous gift is one of the largest ever
given to Iowa State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Two anonymous gifts also financed the $2 million facelift of Hamilton Hall in
2003. The improvements included the addition of a student lounge and seminar
room and the renovation of the Reading Room, three classrooms and faculty and
Today, Iowa State is recognized for building a solid reputation that has received
national accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism
and Mass Communications since 1948. Iowa State’s Greenlee School has
become the largest and most comprehensive journalism and communication program