Sally Kay Mason (2007-2015)

Sally Kay Mason

Oil on canvas by Sergei Chernikov, 2018

Historic flooding struck the University of Iowa campus in 2008, less than one year after Sally Mason assumed the presidency. During her tenure, the campus underwent extensive replacement of facilities, including Hancher Auditorium, the School of Music, and the School of Art and Art History. A new children’s hospital and biomedical research center were also significant additions.

Mason received a bachelor of arts degree in zoology from the University of Kentucky in 1972 and, two years later, earned a master of science degree from Purdue University. In 1978 she was awarded a Ph.D. in cellular, molecular, and developmental biology from the University of Arizona. She was an associate dean at the University of Kansas and served as the provost of Purdue University before coming to Iowa.

A strong advocate of improving accessibility to higher education, Mason built extensive partnerships with Iowa community colleges, among other initiatives.

Sally Kay Viparina was born in New York on May 29, 1950. She married Ken Mason, a biologist, educator, and author.