The Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing was established in 2011, through a generous gift from CLAS alumna Marilyn Y. Magid and family of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the name of the late Frank Magid, who believed that writing was a key component of a liberal arts and sciences education and a successful career. Frank Magid earned both BA and MA degrees in sociology from the UI in 1956 and 1957, respectively. In 1957, while a CLAS professor of social psychology, anthropology, and statistics, he launched Frank N. Magid Associates, which has since become the world's largest research-based strategy consulting company focused on media, entertainment, and communications. After spending many years as part of the DIvision of Interdisciplinary Programs, the Magid Center joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Office as part of their Outreach and Engagement Hub in July 2022,.
The Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing takes seriously its mission to offer students at the University of Iowa the unique opportunity to enhance their academic, creative, and professional communication skills by focusing on the written word. In addition to sponsoring the Certificate in Writing, the Magid Center also oversees several student literary publications including Boundless, earthwords, Ink Lit Mag, Fools Magazine, the Iowa Chapbook Prize, and Wilder Things; supports the Iowa Writers Living-Learning Community (in association with UI Housing and Dining); and is home to the Iowa Youth Writing Project, a K-12 literacy outreach non-profit, the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, a selective summer camp for aspiring high school writers, and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.