Berry, George Othello (B.S. , 1935[?]; D.V.M., 1938)

Graduation headshot of George O. Berry

George Othello Berry was born 15 July 1913 in St. Paul, MN, the second child of George W. Berry, a carpenter, and Bertha Oldham Berry, a waitress in private service. Young George attended Mechanic Arts high School in St. Paul before attending Iowa State College. Though Berry’s undergraduate days at ISC are not currently known to this project, his Northern Pacific Railway personnel file indicates that Berry received a B.S. from Iowa State University (sic), which suggests that he returned to ISC later to embark on a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (Ancestry, n.d.).

As a summer job, after graduating from ISC with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1935, Berry worked as a waiter for the Northern Pacific Railway Company from August to September that year (a job his father also held by that time). His subsequent seasonal employment as a railway waiter–June-September 1936, June-September 1937, June-October 1938, and December 1938-January 1939–carried him through his D.V.M. coursework, which he completed in spring 1938, and also tided him over after graduation, before he was hired as a junior veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 1939 (Ancestry, n.d.). The Winter 1939 edition of the Iowa State Veterinarian tells us that Dr. Berry was hired to work on Bang’s Disease (aka Brucellosis) with the Bureau of Animal Industry (Kuennen, 2022; “Alumni News,” p. 61). Minnesota was ramping up focus on that devastating disease in farm animals in 1939 as part of a state-federal partnership with the Bureau of Animal Industry (Fitch and Boyd, 1940). 

Later in 1939, after securing a full-time position with the U.S.D.A., Dr. Berry married Thelma E. Sayles in Hennepin County, MN, on 22 June. The newlyweds were living with George’s parents in St. Paul, MN, at the time of the 1940 Census. By the time of the 1950 Census, the couple had divorced, and Dr. Berry, continuing his work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was married to Rozelle. The couple had three children (“Berry,” 1993).

Dr. George Othello Berry died 22 March 1993 in Hennepin County, MN, and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Maplewood, MN.


Photo credit: Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. (1938). [Graduation portrait of George O. Berry]. Iowa State University. Retrieved from

Alumni news. (1939, winter). The veterinary student. Iowa State University. Retrieved from (n.d.). U.S., Northern Pacific Railway company personnel files, 1890-1963 for George Othello Berry, File Number 174619.

Berry. (1993, Mar. 23). Star Tribune, p. 16. Retrieved from

Fitch, C. P.,  and Boyd, W. L. (1940, June). Brucellosis or Bang’ s Disease of farm animals. (Bulletin 348). University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from 

Kuennen, Brad, ISU Veterinary Medicine early graduates of color, University Library, Iowa State University,. Retrieved from

Munday, Reuben Abraham (M.S., 1935)

Headshot of Reuben Abraham Munday

Reuben Abraham Munday (Mundy) was born in Berea, Kentucky on  10 February 1900, to Reuben H. and Sallie Ann Simms Munday. He married Gustine Elizabeth “Bettye” Alexander.

Munday earned a Bachelor of Science from Hampton Institute in 1927, a Master of Science from ISC in 1935, and a Ph.D. in Poultry Genetics from Massachusetts University in 1947. Between 1928 and 1937, he was listed as an instructor of Poultry Husbandry at the Tuskegee Institute.  In 1935, when attending the banquet held by the Iowa State Alumni Association for Frederick D. Patterson’s inauguration as President of Tuskegee,  he was listed as the head of the Poultry Husbandry Division at the same university. 

Shortly after, he became the Director of Agriculture for Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College from 1937-40. While at the school, he also served as the Head Football Coach in the 1937 and 1938 seasons. He was later drawn back to Tuskegee to serve as the Head of the Division of Animal Science and full Professor in the 1940s. He died in Tuskegee, Alabama on 18 July 1972.

Iowa State College Dissertation Title: The effect of selection on egg production in single comb white leghorn fowl, 1935

Iowa State University Catalog Record: 

Floyd, Rhetta Stone Ragland Hurd  (M.S., Child Development, 1942)

Headshot of Rhetta S. Ragland

Rhetta Cabrere Stone was born 7 January 1915 in Temple, TX, one of five children born to French Franklin Stone and Clotilde Cabrere Stone. She graduated from Prairie View Normal and Industrial College (now Prairie view A & M University). Following graduation, Rhetta moved to California, where she married John Garfield Ragland on 18 August 1937, in Los Angeles County. Not long after their marriage, Rhetta was teaching in Phoenix, AZ, while John stayed in Los Angeles (Chappel, 1938). By 1940, according to the U.S. Census, the couple were living even further apart, and Rhetta had found work as a Home Supervisor for the County of Hopkins, TX.

Rhetta Stone Ragland came to Iowa State College to earn her Master’s in Child Development, which she achieved in 1942. While in Ames, in fall 1941, she lived at 704 Crawford Avenue, the home of Earnest and Carrie Dannatt.

Following graduation, Rhetta began teaching at Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (later Prairie View A & M University) in 1942 and was listed as “MS, Iowa” in the October 1942 “Newsletter” (Prairie View, 1942). Since her fellow ISC alumna, Anna K. Morrison began teaching at Prairie View the same year and is also listed as having an M.S. from “Iowa,” it’s likely that the university was simply not aware that Iowa State College needed to be distinguished from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa).

By 1943, Rhetta and John Ragland had divorced (“Signal Clock,” 1943), and in 1946 she married Lt. William Peyton Hurd in Los Angeles, CA, on 20 September 1946 (California Eagle). Later in life, Rhetta married for a third time, to Walter Floyd, becoming Rhetta Floyd. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she was mentioned in Jet magazine several times because of her society connections and the celebrations that she hosted or attended (“Society World,” 1986, 1989, 1990).

Rhetta Stone Floyd passed away on 30 June 2003 in Camarillo, CA.

Iowa State College Thesis Title: Differences between White and Negro children in two W.P.A. nursery schools as revealed by selected indexes of psychological development, 1942 

Iowa State University Library Digital Repository Link:


Photo credit: Photo credit: Prairie View A&M University. (1943). Rhetta Ragland [Photograph]. 1943 The panther, p. 46. Retrieved from  

California, county marriages, 1850-1952 [database with images]. (2021). FamilySearch. John Garfield Ragland and Rhetta Cabrere Stone, 16 Aug 1937; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 2,114,026.

California eagle. (1946, 10 Oct.). California eagle, p. 5.

Chappel, Helen F. (1938, Jun. 9). Chatter and…some news. California eagle, p. 8-A.

Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College. (1942, Oct.). Newsletter – October 1942., Vol. 12(2). Retrieved from

Signal clock at Prairie View installed. (1943, Nov.-Dec.). The Prairie View Standard, p. 7.

Society world. (1986, Oct. 20). Jet, vol. 71(5), p. 32.

Society world. (1989, May 1). Jet, vol. 76(4), p. 32.

Society world. (1990, Sept. 10). Jet, vol. 78(22), p. 32.

Calloway, Nathaniel Oglesby (B.S., Chemistry, 1930; Ph.D., Chemistry, 1933)

Headshot of Nathaniel Oglesby Calloway

Nathaniel Ogelsby Calloway was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, on 10 October 1907, as one of the five children of James N. Calloway and Marietta (aka Mary E., aka Mamie) Oglesby Calloway. His father had been enslaved when young but had gone on to receive a college degree. Calloway began his studies at Iowa State College in 1926, working toward a Bachelor’s of Science in Organic Chemistry, which he received in 1930. During those undergraduate years, he was a member of the ISC Debate Team. Following his B.S. he enrolled in the Organic Chemistry Ph.D. program at Iowa State, working with Dr. Henry Gilman. Calloway earned his Doctorate in Organic Chemistry in 1933, becoming the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Iowa State. He maintained regular contact with Dr. Gilman via correspondence after completing his degree. Many of those letters are in the Gilman papers in Iowa State University Special Collections. While attending ISC, Calloway lived at 1204 3rd Street, the Walter G. Madison home; 218 Lincoln Way, the Archie and Nancy Martin House; and 2928 Wood Street, the home of ISC alumna Willa Juanita Ewing’s family, the Charles Anthonys.

Dr. Calloway married Henriette Mabel Fulton of Des Moines, Iowa, on 29 August 1933. After graduating, he became a chemistry professor and then Head of the Department of Chemistry at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1935. According to a letter from fellow Iowa State alumnus A. C. Aldridge, Dr. Calloway was present at the inaugural event for Tuskegee’s new President, Frederick D. Patterson, ISC class of 1921 and 1927. In 1936, Dr. Calloway took up a position as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Fisk University which he held until 1940. In 1939, he started looking seriously for jobs in industry, because marital problems led to his position being difficult at Fisk with its strict Quaker administration (Calloway, 1939). Following his divorce from his first wife, Calloway married three more times, his last wife being the former Mary Ann Borucki (“Dr. Calloway Dead” 9). 

Calloway, seeing no opportunities for advancement at Fisk, left the university in 1940, taking up graduate coursework in the University of Chicago’s Pharmacology Department (Calloway, 1940). His work at the University of Chicago went well initially, though Calloway expressed frustration with how little chemistry was actually involved in Pharmacology. In 1941 he won a 2-quarter fellowship in Pharmacology, was able to be employed during the summer full-time to earn money, and then received an assistantship that allowed him to teach in Pharmacology the next school year (Calloway, 1941). By spring 1943, however, the racism present at the school had begun to chafe; he “ran into so much racial prejudice at Chicago University in regard to clinical facilities” that he decided to leave the school for one “more liberal in its attitude” (Calloway, 1943). He graduated with his M.D. from the University of Illinois Medical School in December 1943.

After that, Dr. Calloway went on to be an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois in the 1950s and early 1960s; Chief of Medical Service at the Tomah, Wisconsin, Veterans Administration Hospital from 1963-1966; and the Madison, Wisconsin, General Hospital, from 1966 until his death on 3 December 1979. When not engaged in medical work, Dr. Calloway was a leader in the African American community in Chicago and nationally. According to Notable Black American Scientists, “his role in reorganizing the Chicago chapter of the Urban League [as its President from 1955 to 1959]…helped transform it from an embarrassment for the national organization to one of its most successful chapters” (Krapp, 1998, p. 54). He later served as the National Director of the Urban League from 1959-1962. When he became a Lecturer in the Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1970, “his…teachings on genetics and race…helped debunk racist notions of white superiority” (Krapp, 1998, p. 54); Calloway argued that “Often what are called racial differences are social and economic differences” (Krapp, 1998, p. 55). Also in 1970, Iowa State University honored Dr. Calloway with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Unfortunately, Calloway’s life was not without controversy. He was ousted from his Urban League Directorship for distancing the organization from early 1960s’ activism, and later, being accused of over-prescribing dangerous drugs to his patients in Madison (Krapp, 1998).

Because of his family’s long association with Tuskegee University, Dr. Nathaniel Calloway is buried in the university cemetery.

Iowa State College dissertation title: Condensation reactions of furfural and its derivatives

Iowa State University Library permalink:


Calloway, Nathaniel. (1939). Gilman letter, 5 January 1939, Henry Gilman Papers, Iowa State University Special Collections Department, RS 13/6/52, Box 8, folder 8/12.

Calloway, Nathaniel. (1940). Gilman letter, 9 October 1940, Henry Gilman Papers, Iowa State University Special Collections Department, RS 13/6/52, Box 8, folder 8/12.

Calloway, Nathaniel. (1941). Gilman letter, 13 August 1941. Henry Gilman Papers, Iowa State University Special Collections Department, RS 13/6/52, Box 8, folder 8/12.

Calloway, Nathaniel. (1943). Gilman letter, 15 June 1943. Henry Gilman Papers, Iowa State University Special Collections Department, RS 13/6/52, Box 8, folder 8/12.

Dr. Calloway dead at 72. (1979, December 13). Tuskegee News. p 9. Accessed 4 January 2022.  

Krapp, Kristine M., ed. (1998) Nathaniel Oglesby Calloway, in Notable Black American scientists, Gale/Cengage Learning. pp. 54-56.

Biography available at  HBCU Connections at Iowa State University  Nathaniel O. Calloway 

Photo Credit:

Ross, Addie Lee (M.S., Home Economics Education, 1932)

Addie Lee Ross earned a master’s degree in Home Economics Education from Iowa State College in 1932. After graduation, she became a faculty member of the home economics department at Prairie View State Normal & Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M University) in Texas.

Iowa State College Dissertation Title: Development of the vocational home economics program for negroes in Mississippi, 1932

Iowa State University Catalog Record: 


Biography available at  HBCU Connections at Iowa State University  Addie L. Ross  ( )