Walter Albert Jessup (1916-1934)

Walter Albert Jessup

Oil on canvas by Sidney E. Dickinson, 1931
Gift of the class of 1928

First as an educator and later as University president, Walter Jessup won important support to improve and enlarge the University of Iowa. He later led the Carnegie Corporation in New York.

Jessup received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Earlham College in 1903 and the Master of Arts degree from Hanover College in 1908, both in Indiana. In 1911, he received the Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Columbia University.

He became professor and dean of Iowa’s School of Education in 1912. During his 18 years as president, the campus expanded from 42 to 324 acres, the faculty nearly doubled from 273 to about 500, and the student body nearly tripled to 10,000. Within the College of Liberal Arts, several schools emerged: Journalism, Religion, Fine Arts, and Letters.

In 1934, Jessup became president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in New York, and, in 1941, took on the additional duty of president of the Carnegie Corporation.
Jessup was born in Richmond, Indiana, on August 12, 1877.

He married Eleanor Hines on June 28, 1898, and they adopted two children. He died in New York City on July 5, 1944, at age 66.