President Harlan served Iowa Wesleyan from 1853 to 1855 and 1869 to 1870. Harlan was elected president in 1853; however, his presidency only lasted two years since he resigned on April 20, 1855, to become the first Republican Senator from Iowa in the United States Congress. Later, he was re-elected president of the school in 1869 until the board found a new president. Because he retained his residence in Mount Pleasant, he remained in close association with the University. Elected a trustee in 1855, he served until he died in 1899, acting as president of the board for 15 years. After he retired from the Senate in 1873, he devoted much time to university affairs. The marriage of Harlan’s daughter, Mary, to Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln, provided a tie between Iowa Wesleyan and the Lincoln family. As a result, the University was designated an eventual heir of the Lincoln estate, and the campus home of Harlan is maintained as a memorial museum today.