Iowa City Elementary School to be Named for Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Alexander

Friday, July 11, 2014

One of four newest schools to be in the Iowa City School District now has a name of a distinguished engineering alumnus to go with it.

The Iowa City School Board unanimously approved the new names in a 5-0 vote, including the name of Engineering graduate Archibald Alexander (BS 1912 civil engineering). 

A member of the College of Engineering's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, Alexander was born in 1888 in Ottumwa, IA, and was the first African-American football player at the University of Iowa and the first African-American to receive a civil engineering degree from the UI.  As an engineering professional, he was responsible for leading numerous high profile projects, including freeways and apartments, airfields, sewage systems, power plants and trestles.

Alexander also was appointed Governor of the United States Virgin Islands by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954 -- the first Republican governor there since the establishment of the civil government.  In 1947, the UI named Alexander one of 100 outstanding alumni among 30,000 graduates.

The elementary school is planned for Sycamore Street and Daniel Place in Iowa City.

A naming committee of 23 teachers, residents, students and district administrators met in June to work on developing the name recommendations. The district also solicited ideas from community members via email, social media and other means in June.