Archie Alexander is an Iowa native and the first African-American graduate of from the College of Engineering from the University of Iowa. He also studied at the University of London, and Howard University also rewarded Alexander with an honorary doctorate degree in engineering.
He started his own company at age 26 and is responsible for several large-scale projects including the Tuskegee Airfield and the University of Iowa central heating plant, power plant, and a steam tunnel beneath the Iowa River.
Alexander was involved in the political sector as well. He was appointed to a committee investigating the social and economic conditions in Haiti in the 1930s, and was appointed Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands by President D. D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.
Archie’s story reminds me how important it is for us to know who paved the way for us in this world. We must never forget the brave men and women who were not only “the first” but who also decided to show the world their best.