ISU celebrates scientist, inventor and alum George Washington Carver

Today is George Washington Carver Day in Iowa, and a Des Moines attorney will portray the world-famous agricultural scientist at their shared alma mater of Iowa State University. When he was an honors student at I-S-U, Paxton Williams wrote a one-man show about Carver, and has since performed as Carver hundreds of times across the United States and in several other countries.

As part of I-S-U’s second annual Carver Day celebration, Williams will tell Carver’s story at 5:30 P-M in the Durham Great Hall of the Memorial Union. The I-S-U Museums also has three George Washington Carver exhibitions opening today. Williams says it’s important to keep Carver’s story and legacy alive and relevant for new generations.

In 1891, Carver became I-S-U’s first black student and a few years later, he became the campus’ first black faculty member. Carver is credited with introducing improved farming systems and he developed hundreds of food products from peanuts, sweet potatoes and other plants. In his portrayal of Carver, Williams says he’ll dress the part.

Williams has served as executive director of the George Washington Carver Birthplace Association in Diamond, Missouri. He also served as associate producer for an Iowa P-B-S documentary on Carver and was the content expert on a National Geographic Reader Series book on Carver. In 2022, the Iowa Legislature voted to establish February 1st as an Official Day of Recognition in honor of Carver.



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