University Museums

Title: Gordon Eaton, President of Iowa State University, 1986-90
Name: Portrait
Date: 1991
Medium: Oil on linen
Dimensions: 45 x 34 in. (114.3 x 86.4 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Commissioned by University Museums with funds from the ISU Foundation. In the Presidential Portrait Collection, Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Parks Library
Object Number: U91.12
More Information
Gordon P. Eaton was the 12th President of Iowa State University (1986-1990). He served as president from July 1, 1986 until October 19, 1990, when he became Director of the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory at Columbia University.

Dr. Eaton came to Iowa State from Texas A & M University, where he had been Dean of the College of Geosciences, Provost, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. From 1967 to 1981, Dr. Eaton served in several scientific and administrative capacities with the US Geological Survey, including Scientist-in-Charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Associate Chief Geologist at the national headquarters in Reston, Va. He was a member of the Wesleyan University faculty from 1955 to 1959 and the University of California, Riverside, faculty from 1959 to 1967.

Dr. Eaton received the B.A. in geology with high honors and distinction in 1951 from Wesleyan University, and the M.S. in geology in 1953 and Ph.D. in geology and geophysics in 1957 from the California Institute of Technology. He is an established scholar and scientist in regional geology and geophysical synthesis and interpretation. He has publisher numerous articles and papers in the fields of mineral resources, regional gravity and tectonic patterns, ground water investigations, and mining geophysics.

Dr. Eaton is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America. He served as chairperson of the Geophysics Division of the Geological Society of America in 19789-79. He received the US Government Senior Executive Performance Award in 1980.

Under his leadership Iowa State experienced significant expansion in its research capabilities, including the establishment of several new national research centers and the more the doubling of external funding for research and educational program from 1986 to 1990. The University also expanded its role in international affairs, including the signing in 1986 of a landmark research and exchange agreement with the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agriculture Sciences in the Soviet Union.