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Virgil M. Hancher Papers

Identifier: RG05.0001.011

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Scope and Contents

Material related to Virgil Hancher's term as thirteenth president of the University of Iowa, 1940-1964.


  • Creation: 1940-1964


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Virgil Melvin Hancher served as the thirteenth president of the University of Iowa, from 1940 to 1964.

A Rhodes scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Hancher led the university for a quarter-century, a period of unprecedented growth for the campus.

Trained in the law, Hancher received the B.A. degree in 1919 and the degree of Juris Doctor in 1924 from the University of Iowa. From Oxford University in England, he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in jurisprudence in 1922 and the Master of Arts degree in 1927.

A strong advocate of higher education, Hancher often appeared before the Iowa Legislature to appeal for greater funding for the university during the post-World War II enrollment boom. He was nationally recognized for his service to higher education, including terms as chairman of the American Council of Education and as president of both the State Universities Association and the National Association of State Universities.

Hancher was born on a farm near Rolfe, Iowa, on September 4, 1896. He married Susan Cannon on June 9, 1928. They had three children. Hancher died on January 30, 1965, in New Delhi, India, while serving as a consultant in higher education for the Ford Foundation. He was 68.


278.25 Linear Feet

Method of Acquisition

These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the Office of the President at various times. The collection inventory below was prepared by Xuefan Sun on July 3, 1996. Guide posted to the Internet 2000; revised December 2006.

Related Materials

Freimuth, Vicki Sue Beckman. "An Analysis of Virgil M. Hancher's Methods of Speech Preparation and Revision in Three Representative Addresses." M.A. thesis, University of Iowa, 1967. 126 pp. Includes biographical sketch. Main.

Hancher, Susan. "Oral History Interview." University of Iowa Oral History Project, 19. 54 pp. 1976. Archives.

Hancher, Virgil M. "The Summing up." Iowa Business Digest 35, no. 2 (February 1964): 3-8. Also in Iowa Alumni Review 17, no. 4 (June 1964): 4-8, illus. Includes reminiscences of freshman year, 1914-1915. Main; Archives (Iowa Alumni Review only).

David McCartney, December 2006
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242