Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Jan. 23, 1998

Carver Stamp

Carver honored on postage stamp

by Steve Jones

One of Iowa State's most distinguished alumni will be honored by ISU and the Ames post office. A first-day sale and cancellation ceremony for the George Washington Carver "Celebrate the Century" commemorative postage stamp is Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m.

The ceremony will take place in the north lobby of Carver Hall, named for the famous African American botanist, agriculturist and educator.

Public sale of the Celebrate the Century (CTC) stamp sheet for the years 1910 to 1920, which includes the George Washington Carver stamp, will follow the program. Special "Carver Hall Station" envelopes will be provided at no cost after the ceremony. First-class postage must be affixed to the envelope for cancellation.

The CTC stamp sheet ($4.80) and souvenir postmarks will be available at Carver Hall until 3 p.m. They will be available at the Memorial Union postal station from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

George Washington Carver was Iowa State's first African American student and faculty member. He began his college career as an art student at Simpson College, Indianola. However, because of his interest in botany, a Simpson faculty member urged him to study agriculture at Iowa State.

Carver received a B.S. degree in 1894 and an M.S. in 1896 at Iowa State before joining the school's agriculture faculty.

In 1897, Booker T. Washington asked him to join the staff at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama. Carver gained worldwide acclaim at Tuskegee for developing hundreds of new products from peanuts, sweet potatoes and pecans. He died in 1943.

"Iowa State University is extremely proud of the fact that George Washington Carver began his remarkable career as a plant scientist at this university," said President Martin Jischke. "The fact that he had the opportunity to pursue a university education and the impact he had on our world as a result of this opportunity show the importance of the land- grant movement on the development of our nation. We're delighted that the U.S. Postal Service has chosen to honor Carver with one of its 'Celebrate the Century' commemorative stamps and we're looking forward to celebrating the issuance of this stamp on Feb. 3."

The CTC stamp program is the largest stamp program in U.S. Postal Service history. The Carver stamp is on a sheet of 15 designs highlighting the years 1910 to 1920. Other CTC subjects include U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe, the Panama Canal and World War I.

The CTC program marks the first time Americans can select stamp subjects honoring significant people, events and trends of the 20th century. Subject matter for the first decades (1900s through the 1940s) has been chosen by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. The public will vote on subject matter from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Those attending the Carver ceremony Feb. 3 will have the opportunity to be among the first Americans to vote for their favorite stamp subjects from the 1950s. Ballots also will be available at all post offices.

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