George Washington Carver received his bachelor's (1894) and master's (1896) degrees from Iowa State, served as a faculty member and later joined the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He gained an international reputation for his plant research and creation of more than 300 products from peanuts. In 1994, Iowa State posthumously awarded him a Doctor of Humane Letters, and in 1998, an all-university celebration carried his name.
In 2008 Iowa State University established an endowed faculty in chair in honor of George Washington Carver, who was the first African-American student and faculty member here.
George Washington Carver: from the CALS Diversity Program
Dr. Andrew Manu was selected as the first recipient of the George Washington Carver Endowed Chair in 2009. He will conduct an academic program in sciences related to agronomy and the bioeconomy and is expected to teach both undergraduate and graduate courses.
"As George Washington Carver rightfully said, 'No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind.' Dr. Carver left a legacy for humanity through his impact on the scientific community, farmers, policy makers and the entire world. It is a pleasure for me to honor this legacy as the inaugural George Washington Carver Chair," said Manu.
"My vision is to work collaboratively with faculty, staff and students, and the community as a whole to use this generous endowment in pursuit of Carver's dream through diversity enhancement at Iowa State, promotion of excellence in teaching and research in natural resource management and commitment to service to humanity," he added.
Living Carter's Legacy: an article about Dr. Manu's important role in STORIES magazine
Manu also is an Iowa State alumnus. He earned master's and doctorate degrees in soil morphology and genesis from Iowa State in 1979 and 1984. A native of Ghana, Manu earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Ghana in 1975.
He joined the Iowa State faculty in 2001 after working for Texas A and M University, the U.S. Agency for International Development in Niger and Alabama A and M University.
Manu also serves as professor-in charge of the George Washington Carver Academy at Iowa State. The academy is a four-year scholarship and academic support program for high-achieving multicultural students. Manu encourages and mentors academy scholars, giving his students a lot of the credit.
Let me introduce you to George Washington Carver: from University Museums
Among the many hats Manu wears, one is as a researcher. One of his projects is the Low Altitude Remote Sensing Research Initiative, in which he and his student are refining use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) for practical applications. Experience gained is being translated to Africa, where Manu has been leading a student travel course to his home country of Ghana since 2012. With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development through the International Fertilizer Development Center, they have been developing models from drone data to better forecast end-of-season rice yields from mid-season aerial information. “If we are able to predict a deficit of rice in the middle of the growing season, that gives the local government more time to import what people are going to need or plan to export to take advantage of a surplus,” says Manu.
George Washington Carver Research Internship: engaging the minds of high school and undergraduate students
Dr. Manu shares more about George Washington Carver and his work here at Iowa State with the Associaton of African Universities in the video below.
Take a look at actual correspondence from George Washington Carver while he was at Iowa State in the Digital Archives.