Oldest...on Campus at UNI

The following web display features photographs of many of the "oldest" artifacts on the University of Northern Iowa campus.  It includes buildings, newspapers, and catalogs, to name a few.  All actual photographs and artifacts can be found in Special Collections and University Archives.

The Oldest Surviving Building

The Honors Cottage is the oldest surviving building at UNI.  It was constructed in 1890 and 1891 at a cost of $6,000.  The building was originally used as the president's cottage until the present-day president's home was finished in 1909.  The house then became a student hospital, a nursery school, a home for the Dean of Faculty and Vice President, the Ethnic Minorities Culture and Education Center, and now the Honors Cottage.




The Oldest Surviving Classroom Building

Lang Hall is the oldest surviving classroom building on campus.


Lang Hall


Originally called the Auditorium, the building was constructed in 1900 at a cost of $120,000.  It contains classrooms, faculty offices, and a large auditorium. Several academic departments are also located there.  In July 1997 the Board of Regents appropriated funds for the much needed renovation of Lang Hall.

The Oldest Residence Hall

Bartlett Hall, which cost $475,000 to build, is the oldest residence hall at UNI.


Bartlett Hall


The building was constructed unit by unit. The first unit was completed in 1915, the second in 1916, and the last in 1923.  It originally provided living space for around 550 women.


Bartlett Hall


In 1985, after some renovation, the first wing was closed off from the other wings and became the home of the Student Services Center. The rest of the hall houses both male and female students.

The Oldest UNI President to Take Office

When William Ruud came to UNI in 2013, he was the oldest man to take the office of President.  President Ruud began his work here at the age of 61.  As you can see in the list below, three presidents were 38, three were in their mid-forties, and four were in their fifties.

Age of UNI Presidents When Hired

William Ruud (2013-2016) 61 years old

Benjamin Allen (2006-2013) 59 years old

Mark Nook (2017-    ) 58 years old.

Robert Koob (1995-2006 ) 54 years old

John Kamerick (1970-1983) 51 years old

James Gilchrist (1876-1886) 45 years old

Malcolm Price (1940-1950) 45 years old

Constantine Curris (1983-1995) 43 years old

Orval Latham (1928-1940) 38 years old

James Maucker (1950-1970) 38 years old

Homer Seerley (1886-1928) 38 years old


The Oldest Exterior Sculpture

Just east of Russell Hall is the oldest exterior sculpture on campus. The piece, named "Symphony in Three Forms," was created by Don Finegan, a UNI Professor of Art.

Oldest ArtDon Finegan
The artwork was put into place shortly after construction on the building was completed in 1962.  President Maucker had made a decision that all new buildings constructed on campus must have an original piece of artwork placed nearby.  This policy is still followed today.

The Oldest Yearbook

The oldest yearbook, titled The Normal Eyte, was produced in 1905.  The following year the name of the yearbook was changed to The Pedagog.  From 1907 on, the yearbook was published under the name Old Gold.


Oldest Yearbook


Yearbooks have not been created every year at UNI.  From 1970 through 1978, the publication ceased, but then picked up again in 1979.  Unfortunately, history is repeating itself, as the Old Gold ceased publication again in 1998.

The Oldest Surviving Schedule of Classes

The oldest surviving schedule of classes, dated fall 1888, is shown here. UNI, then named the Iowa State Normal School, opened for classes in 1876.


Oldest classes


The Oldest University Catalog

The oldest catalog was published when UNI was known as the Iowa State Normal School. The Iowa State Normal School Catalogue was first distributed in 1876, the year the school first opened.  Below is the title page from this catalog.  Its content is similar to current catalogs, including a list of faculty, a description of the curriculum, and an outline of expenses and fees.


Oldest ISNS


The Oldest Surviving Student Newspaper


Oldest Newspaper


This is the oldest surviving student newspaper, dated February 1878.  The paper was called The Students' Offering.  This issue is actually the second issue produced by the school.  The first issue does not seem to have survived.

The Oldest Surviving Photograph of Campus

Oldest Photograph
This is a copy of the oldest photograph of the UNI campus. It was taken from the northeast in about 1870, when the school was still the Soldiers Orphans Home.  The main building you see is Central Hall. If it were still standing today, it would be located in the area southwest of Lang Hall.



Actual exhibit and web version prepared by Library Assistant Susan A. Basye, August 1997; updated, January 28, 2013 (GP); last updated September 11, 2017 (DH).