Presidential installation: James Hilton

President, 1953-1965

James Hilton became president of Iowa State College on July 1, 1953, and was to be installed in February or March the following year. However, Hilton lobbied the state board of education to cancel the installation, arguing that Iowa State should focus energy and funding elsewhere.

It wasn't an easy battle. Large celebratory installations were a tradition and several members of the board of education balked at Hilton's suggestion.

"I don't think we have enough ceremonies," said one board member, Mrs. Willard Archie. "I am in favor of making it quite an occasion."

Hilton successfully countered, saying he preferred to direct energy into Iowa State's 100th anniversary in 1958 and installation funding, which could be as much as $7,000 to $8,000, to other purposes.

President Hilton retired in 1965 and died in 1982.