The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Simpson, City of Indianola, to host George Washington Carver events in February

+++To+celebrate+Carver%2C+Simpson+is+hosting+a+three-day+celebration+for+the+Indianola+community+that+is+free+and+open+to+the+public.+%0A
To celebrate Carver, Simpson is hosting a three-day celebration for the Indianola community that is free and open to the public.

After Gov. Reynolds officially named Feb. 1st George Washington Carver Day, the Indianola community and Simpson College have been holding events to celebrate Carver’s time in Indianola. 

“Great Americans don’t just happen,” said Elodie Opstad of The Record-Herald and Indianola Tribune. “It takes community for greatness to unfold and grow. Winterset, Indianola, and Simpson College did something incredibly right for GW Carver, and that’s something to remember, celebrate, and continue.” 

Born into slavery in Missouri, Carver did not move to Iowa until he was 24 years old. He was accepted at Highland University in Kansas but was declined when they saw he was Black, fearing his admission would hurt funding. 

After being denied admission, he moved to Winterset in 1888. While in Winterset, he found his love for the arts and applied to Simpson College. 

“The story of George Washington Carver is a great example that a dream deferred does not necessarily mean a dream denied,” said Tisha Carter-Smith, Associate Director for Multicultural and International Affairs at Simpson College.

He was the second Black student to be accepted into the college where he studied art and piano. Simpson tried to make Carver feel as welcome as possible, furnishing the shack he was staying in to make his living space better. 

“Simpson College was an institution whose instructors took notice of him, his interests, talents, and aptitudes. Whose classmates befriended him,” Carter-Smith said. “Going back to 1890, we’ve been cultivating a community where we accept everyone with open arms; where together we create a supportive community where we can all grow and learn together.”

Carver was quoted saying, “At Simpson, the kind of people there made me believe that I was a human being.”

Carver invented 300 uses for the peanut, helping farmers in the South end their dependence on cotton growth after the Civil War. Carver also created new uses for sweet potatoes, soybeans, and pecans. Carver is named as the crop rotation pioneer, founding the ideas behind regenerative farming practices that are still in use today. 

Celebrations to be held in the Simpson, Indianola community:

To celebrate Carver, Simpson is hosting a three-day celebration for the Indianola community that is free and open to the public. 

Thursday, Feb. 1: Carver Birthplace Association Speakers will hold a discussion in Hubbell Hall at Kent Campus Center at the college from 2-3 p.m. Following, there will be a presentation of Carver artifacts in the Matthew Simpson Room at College Hall on campus from 3-4 p.m. Finally, there will be a medal ceremony for those awarded the Carver Medals at Smith Chapel from 7-8:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 2: the events start with the symposium in Hubbell Hall from 10-11:30 a.m. Students will present their research and semester-long projects to the public to showcase their hard work. From 3-4 p.m., another presentation of Carver artifacts will be shown in College Hall., West Hill Brewery will also sell its Peanut Beer after 4 p.m. to honor Carver’s agricultural accomplishments.

Saturday, Feb. 3: the Indianola community will be hosting a variety of events for the public to finish the celebration of Carver. 

“There is certainly something for everyone,” said Opstad. “Get a coffee, join the fun and learning, then stay for lunch and shop local!”

On the Indianola Square from 10 a.m. to Noon:

Cocoa for Kids and Plant a Seed will be at Uncommon Grounds. Attendees will be offered a cup of cocoa and plant seeds to take home with them. 

Make a Fresh Flower Pocket Posey will be at the Mason Ouderkirk Law Office. You can be just like Carver, who always wore a flower in his pocket! 

Storytime and Special Exhibit will be at the Corner Sundry. The storytimes will be held at 10, 10:45, and 11:30 a.m. with songs in between and an exhibit from Carver National Birthplace Monument Park. 

Circle ‘Round the Square Scavenger Hunt at Region Bank Hallway. Start a treasure hunt with clues to take you around the square. 

Tasty Carver Treat and Photo Display at Savor the Rise and Pageturners. There will be a special treat for kids using a Carver recipe and photos of downtown Indianola from when Carver was a student. 

Movie and Special Exhibit at Salem Connection. A 20-minute film explaining Carver’s life will be shown at Salem Connection with showtimes at 10:15, 11:00, and 11:45 a.m., along with artwork by Indianola and George Washington Carver School students. 

“Whether you would like to know more about George Washington Carver, network, learn about innovations in food production, or try peanut beer, I encourage you to check out the full list of events,” said Smith.

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