Positive, Engaged, Supportive

Faculty and staff speaking to students

Our students and alumni agree—our faculty and staff’s connection with students is what makes our college truly extraordinary. Recent survey results show 73 percent of alumni felt the college took a personal interest in them. The top five words our alumni use to describe the college are: outstanding, solid, strong, excellent and respected. Seventy-five percent of our graduates report they are likely to recommend the college.

Our alumni continue their connection to CALS through our national-award-winning STORIES magazine, STORIES Online monthly e-newsletter, alumni events and social media. Alumni identify the top ways they connect with the college as: read STORIES magazine, read STORIES Online e-newsletter; advocate; contact faculty or staff; and attend alumni events.

CALS alumni are strong supporters of the college and university. Forty-two percent have donated to Iowa State University and 20 percent have donated to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. More than 5,500 are paid members of the ISU Alumni Association and 689 are Campanile Members.

Cyclone State, Global Connections

Graduating student hugging another personMore than 24,000 of our college’s 46,376 alumni live in Iowa. Sixty-eight percent of our new grads stay in the state and begin their careers in Iowa following graduation. Other top states of residence include Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and California. Three percent of agriculture and life sciences alumni live abroad with concentrations in Canada, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Mexico.

Our graduates are in demand with a 98.5 percent placement rate. The top 10 employers of CALS graduates are: Iowa State University; U.S. Department of Agriculture; DuPont Pioneer/Corteva; Universities and Colleges; the State of Iowa; Deere & Co.; Monsanto; U.S. Armed Forces; U.S. Forest Service; and Cargill, Inc.

Awesome Impact

The college’s national-award-winning young alumni program, The Curtiss League of Awesomeness offers alumni under age 40 opportunities to recruit, advocate and raise awareness for the college. With 254 members, the program has experienced nearly 200 percent growth from 85 members in 2014. The league boasts an overall engagement rate of 93 percent.

Distinguished Alumni

Faculty and students speaking at round tablesU.S. secretaries of agriculture and education, congressmen and a vice president of the United States built their careers on the foundation of an education from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Farmers, teachers, college deans, university presidents, entrepreneurs and CEOs occupied Curtiss Hall as students. Graduates who went on to feed the world, improve human health and protect the environment launched their careers at Iowa State University.


To honor our distinguished graduates the college offers five awards. (Recipients listed by award can be viewed on the Alumni Awards page.)

  • Emerging Iowa Leader Award: Honors College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni who have taken on significant leadership roles early in their careers in bettering agriculture and life sciences in Iowa through communications, education, relationship-building, engagement and are providing outstanding alumni service.
  • Floyd Andre Award: Honors a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumnus or friend who has made outstanding contributions to production agriculture, agricultural business or has had a significant impact on Iowa agriculture.
  • George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award: Honors a distinguished College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni or friend who has demonstrated outstanding achievement or leadership in making significant, influential or innovative contributions to society.
  • Henry A. Wallace Award: Honors a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumnus or friend who has achieved notable professional achievements nationally or internationally and brought distinction to themselves, the college and the university through their significant contributions.
  • Outstanding Young Professional Award: Honors a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences early- or mid-career alumnus who has distinguished themselves through significant advancement and achievement in their discipline, field or area of expertise.