The University of Iowa

Calvin Hall

Samuel Calvin

Honoree: Samuel Calvin
1840 - 1911


  • Distinguished UI faculty member
  • In 1873, Calvin joined the State University of Iowa as Acting Professor of Natural Science and Curator of the University Cabinet; a year later he was promoted to full professor
  • Researcher with a national reputation as a scientist and writer. His main focus was invertebrate paleontology and in the course of his work he named some 30 species of fossils and had eleven species named for him
  • Discovered the fossil remains of fish in the Devonian beds of Johnson County
  • Geologist and curator of the UI Museum of Natural History
  • Appointed Iowa State Geologist from 1892 until his death in 1911
  • Contributed over 70 scientific articles; one of the founders of the Baconian Club formed for the mutual interchange of thought and the discussion of scientific topics; active member of the Geological Society of America (of which he became president in 1908), the Paleontological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Geographic Society, the Iowa Academy of Sciences, and the Davenport Academy of Sciences. He was one of the founders and editors of The American Geologist.
  • Great friends with Thomas Huston Macbride (Macbride Hall)

Calvin Hall


Description of facility:

Originally located on the Pentacrest, Calvin Hall is best known for its dramatic relocation in 1905. When Macbride Hall displaced Calvin Hall on the Pentacrest, it also took over its core functions. Calvin Hall was eventually renamed after a distinguished faculty member who taught there—Samuel Calvin, a geologist and curator of the Museum of Natural History. Today, it contains a variety of student services offices. A boulder beneath the south façade commemorates the 1855 decision to admit women on the same basis as men; Iowa was the first state university west of the Mississippi River to do so.

Address: 5 West Jefferson Street
Year built: 1885
Additional building information: Calvin Hall

Aerial View of Campus