Alice Van Wert Murray


"For many years, I have known of the good work that Alice has been doing for the state of Iowa and especially for Iowa women... her warm , humane, and persistent approach has invariably proved to be most effective."
—W. Robert Parks, 1984

Alice Van Wert Murray, in addition to being an active farm owner-operator, has been a "super-volunteer" all of her life. Her primary concerns have been rural women, safety issues, Iowa State University (ISU), 4-H, and the Presbyterian Church. Born in 1912, the Minnesota native graduated from ISU in 1934 and has remained a devoted and active alumna, recognized many times by the university for her contributions. Throughout her life, Murray has been concerned with international understanding and was an eight-time delegate to the Associated Country Women of the World Conference. Out of her farming background evolved an interest in safety, and, as a leading representative of the National Safety Council, she was an innovator on many safety campaigns, initiating Iowa's first defensive driver course. Murray has also been an advocate for women and children on numerous state advisory committees on day care, education, and environmental health. Currently, she works at promoting and developing Living History Farms, founded by her husband William Murray. Murray was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1985.

UPDATE:Murray was nominated for the Helen LaBaron Hilton Recognition, awarded to an ISU alumnus for outstanding community leadership as well as leadership in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences Alumni Association and the University Alumni Association, 1999; named one of eight Most Outstanding Rural Women Whose Lives and Contributions Have Bridged Generations, 1998; named one of 150 Iowans Who Made a Difference in 150 Years of Agricultural Progress (1996 book written by Don Muhm); received the Distinguished and Meritorious Service Award from the American Farm Bureau, 1992; was elected to the Board of Governors of Living History Farms, 1992; and received the Award for Outstanding Contributions while serving on the Board of Trustees of the Iowa Safety Council, 1987. She serves on the Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation Board and various Living History Farms committees and is a volunteer ambassador for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and a volunteer for Green Hills Retirement Community Care.