Virgil Hancher

Virgil Hancher

1896 - 1965
  • Thirteenth president of the University of Iowa (1940-1964)
  • Led the university for a quarter of a century during a period of unprecedented growth for the campus
  • Rhodes scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa
  • Hancher received a B.A. degree in 1919 and the degree of Juris Doctor in 1924 from the University of Iowa
  • Received a B.A. degree in jurisprudence in 1922 and the M.A. degree in 1927 from Oxford University in England
  • Chairman of the American Council of Education and president of both the State Universities Association and the National Association of State Universities

Building Information

Street Address
141 East Park Road
Year built

Although a performing arts center was included in the 1930s plan for the Arts Campus, it was not until the 1960s that funds for that purpose were obtained. The succeeding campaign led ultimately to the October 30, 1972, dedication and opening of Hancher Auditorium. Since then, it has been a magnet for performing artists.

The facility was closed following the flood of 2008. The UI's largest flood recovery project replaces the original, flood-damaged Hancher at a level 7 feet above the 500-year flood level. The project includes a large 1,900-seat, multi-purpose proscenium theater, front of house and back of house support spaces, rehearsal room, and administrative offices.