A Simpson College professor is the first winner of the Iowa History Prize and an award of 90-thousand dollars. The award was created by Humanities Iowa to honor an Iowa history scholar and promote general public conversation on Iowa History. The first winner, William Friedricks, says Simpson has projects underway to promote state history.

Friedricks says they have a speakers program underway at the school that he says have brought in big crowds. They are also providing grants to elementary schools through their Iowa history center to take students on Iowa oriented field trips. Friedricks says the school will also offer on-line courses in Iowa history.

Friedricks says he did a survey and found only seven of the colleges and universities in the state had Iowa history courses, so they will offer the courses on-line. Humanities Iowa says the prize is modeled on the Iowa Poet Laureate program. The award will be given out every two years.