In the 1840s, the frontier community of Mount Pleasant was zealous for culture and concerned for the educated person. The Territorial Legislature was aware of the need for schools, and it enacted into law and founded on February 17, 1842, the incorporation of a Literary Institute at Mount Pleasant in Henry County.
One year later, on or before March 8, 1843, twenty six men from Mount Pleasant signed Articles of Association for the purpose of erecting The Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute, under the charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Iowa Wesleyan University proudly continues its affiliation with the United Methodist Church and is recognized as Iowa’s first independent, faith-based, co-educational institution of higher learning and one of the oldest of its type west of the Mississippi River.
Today, Iowa Wesleyan University has grown into a top-tier university in the Midwest region of the United States and serves students of all ages and cultures and provides numerous educational, cultural and athletic opportunities, for personal and professional growth.