Former Iowa Lt. Governor Joy Corning posthumously honored
A University of Northern Iowa alumnae and political figure in women’s and family rights was posthumously honored with the 2020 Women of Achievement Award, which will be commemorated with a plaque on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge in Des Moines.
An Iowa public servant and politician, Joy Cole Corning served as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 1991-1999, and during her time in politics spearheaded issues on diversity, protected women from violence and improved the lives of foster children. She died in 2017 at age 84.
Corning established the Joy Cole Corning Endowed Leadership Lecture Series at UNI in 1999, which has provided students and the larger Cedar Valley community with access to leaders from around the world. Past speakers the series has brought to UNI’s campus include Madeleine Albright, Laura Bush, the Dali Lama and Sally Ride.
“Joy Cole Corning represents everything that UNI strives to instill in our students” said UNI President Mark A. Nook. “Her commitment to social justice and fairness are a wonderful example to all of our students and graduates, and this award further highlights her status as an Iowa icon.”
The 2020 Women of Achievement Awards were bestowed by Women Lead Change, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group dedicated to the advancement, development and promotion of women, their organizations and their impact on the economy and future workforce.
Corning graduated from the Iowa State Teachers College, now known as UNI, in 1954 with a degree in kindergarten and primary education. She also served as a state senator in Black Hawk County before becoming the Lt. Governor in 1991.