CAROL GRANT (BS ’52 home economics) has been a docent, donor and friend of Iowa State’s University Museums for more than 40 years. But it was a couple of “chance encounters” while an Iowa State student that set the stage for her passionate service to the arts.
“My father and I visited retired Iowa State College President Raymond Hughes while he was living in the Memorial Union,” Grant recalled. “President Hughes embraced the objective of including an aesthetic component with a science- and technology-based education, with the goal of having more well-rounded graduates.”
During the Depression in 1935, President Hughes had hired Danish-born sculptor Christian Petersen as the nation’s first artist-in-residence at a university. Petersen still was teaching at Iowa State when Grant was a student, and she was fortunate to enroll in a sculpting class with the now-renowned artist.
After graduation, she married John A. Grant (BS ’52 zoology). For the next 10 years, the couple lived in New York, Colorado, Washington, and Minnesota before returning to Ames to live. Their family includes two daughters and a son, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
At 86, Grant chairs the University Museums Curator’s Associates; she also is member and former chair of the University Museums Advancement Council. In 1992, she was elected to the ISU Foundation Board of Governors and became Governor Emeritus in 2015. Her enthusiasm and drive helped to expand University Museums to include the Christian Petersen Art Museum (in Morrill Hall on central campus) and the Anderson Sculpture Garden.
In addition to her work with University Museums, Grant also is a charter member and docent of Reiman Gardens, served three terms on the board of Ames Community School District, and volunteered with the Octagon Center for the Arts. She has received the State of Iowa Volunteer Award, has been recognized for her advocacy for children with Dyslexia, and honored nationally for her work as a Doncaster wardrobe consultant.
“My life reflects family, working in business endeavors, education, public office, church and volunteer activities, and each area is a story of its own,” Grant said. “Family, love of art, memories, exercise, books, occasional travel and good food, new and old friends, good health, and a glass of wine sustain my life now. Maybe something wonderful will move into my sight! I’m staying on my path.”
She said her parents, and growing up in Council Bluffs, started her on a life-long mission of service to others.
Director and Chief Curator of University Museums, Lynette Pohlman: The University Museums has many treasures – art, facilities and people. Carol has contributed her vision, energy, time and resources to align the University Museums stars to advance the educational and aesthetic mission of ISU and University Museums.