The founding of the university in 1867 created a unique community in what had been a prairie. Within a few years, this creative mix of teachers and scholars produced innovations in agriculture, engineering and the arts that challenged old ideas and stimulated dynamic new industries. Projects ranging from the Mosaic web browser to the discovery of Archaea and pioneering triumphs in women's education and wheelchair accessibility have helped shape the university's mission into a double helix of innovation and real-world change. These essays explore the university's celebrated accomplishments and historic legacy, candidly assessing both its successes and its setbacks. Experts and students tell the eye-opening stories of campus legends and overlooked game-changers, of astonishing technical and social invention, of incubators of progress as diverse as the Beckman Institute and Ebertfest.