Friday, September 30, 2011

New Iowa State University president Steven Leath talks about family, love of flying

Minutes after Steven Leath was introduced as Iowa State University’s 15th president on Tuesday, he dined with a group of freshman students and outgoing President Gregory Geoffroy.  “I left the press conference, and had dinner with students,” Leath told The Des Moines Register today. During the interview, Leath talked about his family, their Christmas tree farm and his new hobby of flying personal aircraft.

It has been a whirlwind week for Leath, who spent parts of three days on campus last week meeting students, faculty and administrators.  Gov. Terry Branstad called Thursday to congratulate and welcome him to Iowa. His first of many phone conversations with Geoffroy is scheduled next week, he said.  Leath said he will spend several days in Iowa each month before moving to Ames permanently sometime in January. He begins his job as ISU president on Feb. 1.  Leath met his wife, Janet, while they were both students at the University of Delaware. Married for 30 years, they have two sons.

Leath earned his pilot license three years ago, and often flies to his family’s cabin and Christmas tree farm. Both are located in the mountains of North Carolina, near where his youngest son attends college at Appalachian State University. Leath’s oldest son works as an agriculture aid to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

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