At Iowa Wesleyan University, student education doesn’t end in the classroom. This small but diverse community creates a positive and dynamic campus culture unlike any other. The campus community offers unique opportunities to experience a multi-cultural environment through performances, international celebrations, festivals, music, art, and more.
As one of the first colleges in the country to institute a service learning program, Iowa Wesleyan encourages students to be engaged in the local community through acts of service. Service Learning is a form of experiential learning where students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to address genuine community needs. Students volunteer their time in local schools, nursing homes, and at regional venues for community events, such as the Old Threshers Reunion, to name a few. Learning through service is an integral part of the student experience in and out of the classroom.
From engaging with the local community theater to the annual student-led Variety Show, Iowa Wesleyan students from around the world share their interests and talents with the Southeastern Iowa region.
The IW music department provides students a wide range of opportunities to showcase their talents, which greatly benefits the campus and local communities. Choral Ensembles include the IW Concert Choir, Primae Voces, and The Mount Pleasant Chorale. Instrumental Ensembles include the IW Chamber Band, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Ensembles, and the Southeast Iowa Band.
Iowa Wesleyan is also the home of the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra (SEISO). Students are regularly invited to attend performances. Students are also encouraged to audition to join SEISO; Iowa Wesleyan students are regularly represented in the orchestra.
The P.E.O. Memorial Building on campus houses the Iowa Wesleyan Art Gallery, which regularly features local artists’ work in various mediums, including sculpture, photography, painting, linocut printing, and others. Graduating art students get to place their work on display in the art gallery at the end of the academic year.
Gallery shows often include a reception or artist discussion in which students and the community have an opportunity to meet and hear from the current featured artist(s).
Iowa Wesleyan regularly hosts touring acts, including comedians, musicians, acrobats, and others. These acts help expose students and community members to a variety of narratives and art forms without having to leave campus. Iowa Wesleyan’s diverse student population also provides many opportunities for students and the community to engage in global celebrations, including the Dashain Festival, Black History Month, Holi, and more!
Iowa Wesleyan provides platforms for students in all areas to use their voices and talents to improve the community and the world. Students are encouraged to start their own organizations. They are also often invited into decision-making committees, allowing a student voice in major institution changes. Students are not passive observers of campus culture; they shape it.
Iowa Wesleyan encourages students to share their voices and narratives through the Voices of IW, a platform specifically designed to house the creative works and perspectives of students, alumni, and the community.
The campus is home to the Harlan-Lincoln House, a museum of local, state, and national significance. The museum houses memorabilia from the families of Senator James Harlan and President Abraham Lincoln, whose families are associated with the house. The Harlan-Lincoln House welcomes hundreds of people to the Harlan family home each year to learn more about the Harlan family, the Harlan-Lincoln family, and the continuing legacy of the home for Iowa Wesleyan University and Mount Pleasant.