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Ben Allen

Ben Allen

University president | Northern Iowa, 2006-12 | Class of 1974

Next year marks a half-century of marriage for former UI lovebirds Ben and Pat Allen.

One of their favorite chapters was set in Champaign-Urbana, where she earned her undergrad degree in sociology while he was pursuing his Ph.D.

“We had very little money,” says Ben (’74), who’d go on to be president at the University of Northern Iowa, “but we had the greatest resource possible — the university — and enjoyed the experience immensely.

“There are so many special places on campus but if forced to select one, I would select the library complex. I would spend much of my time working on my course work and dissertation in the Stacks of the main library while Pat would be using the undergraduate library for her studies. 

“We would often meet in the tunnel between the two libraries for lunch because of the vending machines in that location.”