Laura Christensen Dailey

Honored by:Larry and Susan Donaldson
Brick location:A:28  map

She set a standard for achievement and excellence in education which has had a tangible and lasting impact on her entire extended family. She has upheld the standards and spirit of Iowa State University throughout her life and her career, supporting events including sports and theater; friends of Iowa State including faculty and staff; special university occasions and above all the ideals of democratic education.


Laura Christiansen Dailey was born September 9, 1913 in Urbana, IL but grew up on a farm in Story County, the daughter of Verna (Johnson) and Nels Christensen.

She graduated from Ames High School and from Iowa State University. She was a member of several honoraries and received her degree as an honor student in home economics journalism. Following graduation she served for several years as a reporter for the woman’s page of the Washington D.C. Times Herald.

In 1938 she was married to William Dailey in Ames, and the couple spent the first ten years of their married life on a farm near Roland, moving to Ames in 1950. From 1953 until her retirement in 1980, she was employed by the ISU Alumni Association and the Development Office. For 27 years she earned the affection and admiration of alumni around the world who regarded her not only as a fine editor, knowledgeable speaker, ombudsman and unofficial alumni archivist, but as a personal friend. For several years she served as editor of the Iowa State Alumnus and at the time or her retirement was Assistant to the Director of Alumni Affairs. She was well known as the author of the book, Green Hills—A Pictorial History of Iowa State. In 1980 she was recipient of the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. She truly expressed the great spirit of Iowa State.

She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Ames. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1978 and by her son, William Dailey Jr., in 2007. She is survived by her daughters Susan Donaldson (Larry) of Nevada, IA and Christie Dailey of Chicago, IL; granddaughters Sarah Dailey of Madison, WI and Amy Williams (Clayton) of New Orleans, LA; great-grandchildren Kyle Dailey, Barrett Williams and Hudson Williams.


Bells of Iowa State

Green hills for thy throne, and for crown a golden melody
Ringing in the hearts of all who bring thee love and loyalty.

Dear Alma Mater, make our spirits great,
True and valiant like the Bells of Iowa State.


Original biography submitted 11/7/01

Additional information submitted 3/4/2013