Roberts Hall Namesake: Maria M. Roberts

Roberts Hall

Maria M. Roberts

Maria M. Roberts was born in Dunlap, Iowa on June 29, 1867. She entered Iowa State College in February, 1887
Miss Roberts joined the Pi Beta Phi sorority and was the first president of the local YWCA.

Maria graduated from Iowa State in 1890 and shortly afterwards became a member of the Mathematics Department faculty - at the salary of $400.00 a year. In 1908, Maria was named Vice-Dean of the Junior College.

In 1918 Maria collaborated with Julia Trueman Colpitts and published the first edition of Roberts and Colpitts Analytical Geometry. They published a revised edition in 1926.

In 1920 Maria was named Dean of the Junior College. She continued as Dean and Professor of Mathematics until 1933, when she became Dean Emeritus and Director of Student Loans.

The class of 1890 presented $5,000.00 to establish a student loan fund in her honor and one of the Women’s dormitories was named Roberts Hall in her honor.

During her 50th class reunion in 1940, two years before her death at the age of 75, classmates presented her portrait to the University and President C.E. Friley conferred upon her the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa with these words:

"Maria M. Roberts, inspiring teacher and devoted friend of thousands of men and women who have studied at the Iowa State College; scholar, author, loyal colleague, wise and helpful counselor of youth, strong and courageous advocate of all that is worthwhile in the development of the human life and spirit, distinguished graduate of the Iowa State College; to whose welfare you have devoted your life; on recommendation of the General Faculty and with the unanimous approval of the State Board of Education, it is my high privilege to confer upon you the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, with it's accompany in rights, privileges and obligations. In token where of we invest you with the hood of the college and present to you this diploma."