Laura Jeffers Younggreen

Honored by:Ann Younggreen Sullivan
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I have chosen to honor my mother by including her name in this plaza of heroines. I am pleased that I can remember her in this way and I think it would please her to find her name in this place surrounded by memories of Iowa State. I have been inspired, motivated and taught by many memorable women. I have admired both homemakers and history makers, but it was always my mother's voice that I heard when I faced life's challenges and it is her wisdom that I seek as I chart my journey through middle age.

Of the things my mother taught me, many stand out, but more often I think of what she did not teach me and what she discouraged me from believing. I grew up unwilling to subscribe to conventional "wisdom" about women's abilities or limitations. "You don't have to pay any attention to that," my mother would say. Thanks to her, I was prepared to study architecture at Iowa State and pursue a career in a field dominated by men.

Laura Garnet Jeffers as born January 27, 1909, in Buena Vista County, Iowa, on a farm near Laurens, the youngest child of five.

She attended rural schools and graduated from Marathon High School. She skipped a few grades in country school and was only 16 when she entered Iowa State College, in 1925. She majored in dietetics and joined Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She graduated in 1929 with a B. S. in Home Economics and received further training in dietetics at Women's Hospital in Detroit and Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She became a registered dietitian and her first professional position was at Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, IA. After that, she worked as a dietitian at hospitals in Kentucky, Colorado and New York.

In 1941, she returned to Iowa and married Daniel G. Younggreen; beginning a second career as a wife and mother on a farm in Palo Alto County. In 1957, they bought a farm near Laurens and lived there until they retired and moved to Laurens in 1979. Dan and Laura Younggreen had two children and were proud to send them both to Iowa State: Ann, who graduated B. Architecture in 1965, and Larry, who was a junior in civil engineering when he died in 1966. Laura Jeffers Younggreen died in 1987 at the age of 78.