Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 31, 2000

Parks portrait unveiling is April 14

by Steve Sullivan
Former Iowa State President W. Robert Parks and his late wife, Ellen Sorge Parks, will be honored Friday, April 14, when a portrait of them is unveiled in the library. The main library was named in honor of the Parks in 1984.

The ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the upper rotunda on the second floor of the library. The public is invited. President Martin Jischke and Olivia Madison, dean of Library Services, are scheduled to speak.

Parks was the 11th president of Iowa State, serving from 1965 to 1986. He is the longest-serving president in the university's history. During his tenure, the university experienced its most expansive period of growth. Three new colleges -- Business, Design and Education -- were created; 40 undergraduate degrees and 30 graduate majors were added; and enrollment increased by 90 percent.

Ellen Sorge Parks was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin. She was an avid user and supporter of the Iowa State library, describing it once as "the essence of the university." She died in May 1999.

Artist Kurt Anderson, St. Paul, Minn., painted the portrait. Anderson's work has been displayed in galleries across the country. His writing and artwork also have been widely published.

Anderson is the son of Peg and Karl Anderson, Tucson, Ariz. Peg Anderson served on the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, from 1983 to 1987, during the final years of Parks' tenure as ISU president.

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