The NAIADS was a synchronized swimming club here at Iowa State University. Visit us in the reading room on the 4th floor and check out the NAIADS Records (RS 22/7/0/9). We’re open Monday-Friday from 10-4.
This weekend the Iowa State University’s Track and Field teams (@) are heading to Northern California for meets (click here for further details). In light of a busy upcoming April full of track and field events , this week’s #TBT pictures are blasts from our Track and Field’s past.
|The Iowa State University Men’s Track and Field program has a history that goes back to 1905.|
|Women’s Track and Field began at Iowa State University in 1974. The Track and Field program features many indoor and outdoor sports including, but not limited to, sprints, relays, hurdles, long and high jumps, shot put, and discus.|
Drop by our reading room to check out more Iowa State University sports photographs! We’re open Monday – Friday from 10-4.
Johnny Orr, Iowa State University men’s basketball coach from 1980-1994, joined the Cyclone Nation at a difficult time for the men’s basketball program; the team was struggling to maintain coaches and had not been to an NCAA tournament since 1944. Within four short seasons, Johnny Orr led Iowa State to the second round of the 1984 NCAA tournament against his former team and staff at the University of Michigan. Orr was the head coach at University of Michigan for 12 years and chose to leave for the struggling ISU program with a pay raise of $11,335. Bill Fieder, the 1984 Michigan head coach, served as Orr’s assistant coach in 1976 when the Wolverines progressed to the NCAA Final Four. Orr was more than excited to go up against his old colleague and stated that he was “sure when we get on the court together, we’ll have something to say to each other.”
On March 16, 1984, Iowa State defeated the University of Michigan, ranked 5th in the nation at that time, 72-69. Johnny Orr told the Des Moines Register that this was his “greatest victory ever as a coach,” even though he had 339 victories and sent a team to the Division 1 national championship. He later stated, “We took a program that couldn’t do anything. Everybody thought I was nutty. But now we’ve beat Michigan.”
Unfortunately, the Cyclones fell to North Carolina State in the next round, 70-66, and were knocked out of the tournament. After retiring from ISU men’s basketball after 14 years, Johnny Orr attended his very last Iowa State game November 17, 2013, once again beating Michigan 77-70.
For more information on ISU men’s basketball and Johnny Orr, come see the Men’s Basketball Media Guides, RS 24/5/0/6, and the Men’s Basketball Subject Files, RS 24/5/1, here at the Iowa State Special Collections and University Archives.
The Olympics are here! Which makes this the perfect time to highlight our very own Cyclone Olympians, information on and photos of whom can be found right here in the Special Collections Department. Originally I wanted to write about all of our Olympians, but there are just too many – we had four in the 2012 London Olympics alone! So, for sanity’s sake, I’m going to feature only our gold medalists. We have had seven gold medalists over the years, six of whom wrestled for the gold, and one who overcame many hurdles for it (literally). Banners dedicated to them currently hang in Hilton Coliseum. Read on to learn about our Iowa State Cyclone Olympic Gold Medalists.
Glen Brand (Wrestling, 174 lbs, 1948): Originally from Clarion, Iowa, Brand (1950, Civil Engineering) wrestled for the Cyclones from 1946-1950. During that time, he lettered in 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1950. He placed 3rd in the NCAA Wrestling Championship in 1946, followed that up with 2nd place in 1947, and won the title in 1948. Also in 1948, he earned a spot at the London Olympics and later won gold in the 174 lb. class, returning home as a legend.
Dan Gable (Wrestling, 149.5 lbs, 1972): Perhaps our most famous Olympian and wrestler, Gable (1971, Physical Education) was one of two Cyclones who won the gold in wrestling in the 1972 Munich Olympics. He never gave up a single point at the games that year. His college career was stellar as well: he was defeated only once, and that was in the NCAA finals his senior year. Gable came to ISU from Waterloo, Iowa, and wrestled for the Cyclones from 1966 to 1970, becoming a three-time Big 8 Champion (1968, 1969, 1970) and two-time NCAA Champion (1968, 1969). After graduating from ISU, he became head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa, where his star continued to rise as he became the U of I’s all-time winningest coach from 1976-1997.
Ben Peterson (Wrestling, 198 lbs, 1972): Peterson (1972, Architecture) was also a Cyclone gold medalist at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He later went on to win the silver in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. From Comstock, Wisconsin, Peterson joined the ISU wrestling team in 1968 and wrestled through 1972. During his time here, he became a two-time NCAA Champion (1971 and 1972), a three-time Big 8 Champion (1970, 1972, 1973), and an Olympic gold medalist (1972). He is currently (2014) the only Cyclone wrestler to win 2 medals in the Olympic games.
Nawal El Moutawakel (Track and Field, 400 Meter Hurdles, 1984):
Our only non-wrestling Olympic gold medalist was El Moutawakel (1988, Physical Education), who won the top prize in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She came from Casablanca, Morocco to Iowa State University in 1984. She ran track at ISU beginning that year until 1987. During that time, she won the 1984 NCAA 400 meter hurdle championship and became the second woman to win the Relays Triple (Texas, Kansas, and Drake relays). She overcame real-life hurdles as well while at ISU, losing her father, losing her coaches in a 1985 plane crash, and suffering a knee injury. On a happier note, however, she was not only the first Cyclone woman to win gold, she was the first African woman, Muslim woman, and Moroccan woman to win it as well.
Kevin Jackson (Wrestling, 180.5 lbs, 1992):
ISU’s current wrestling coach, Jackson (1991, Human Sciences), won gold in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Jackson started his college career at LSU but when the school dropped their wrestling program, he transferred to ISU as a senior. He red-shirted at ISU during the 1985-1986 season and wrestled in the 1986-1987 season. That season he helped the Cyclone wrestling team win their most recent NCAA championship. Not only is he an Olympic gold medalist, but he is also a two-time World Champion in wrestling. He is one of just five wrestlers in United States history to have three career world-level titles. Jackson took over the head wrestling coach position from fellow Olympic champion Cael Sanderson in 2009.
Cael Sanderson (Wrestling, 185 lbs, 2004):
From Heber City, Utah, Sanderson (2002, Art and Design) joined the Iowa State wrestling team in 1997, red-shirting for that first season. He never lost a single match while wrestling for the Cyclones, breaking Dan Gable’s record. He also became a four-time NCAA Champion (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002) and four-time Big 12 Champion (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002). Sanderson won his gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. After graduating in 2002, Sanderson stayed on with the Cyclones and became head wrestling coach in 2004, leaving in 2009 for Penn State where he currently coaches.
Jake Varner (Wrestling, 211.5 lbs, 2012): Varner (2010, Criminal Justice) came to us from Bakersfield, California, in 2005. He red-shirted in the 2005-2006 season, and then wrestled for the Cyclones from 2006-2010. While at Iowa State he became a two-time NCAA Champion (2009, 2010), and a two-time Big 12 Champion (2008, 2010). Varner won his gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, becoming our latest Olympic champion.
With these seven and Iowa State’s many other Olympic athletes – including silver and bronze medalists – the Cyclones have a proud Olympic tradition going. More information on our Olympians can be found in an earlier blog post. We also have an entire blog post devoted to Dan Gable. Want to learn more about Iowa State’s wrestling program in general? We have programs, media guides, news clippings, and various subject files in RS 24/12 for your viewing pleasure. If women’s track and field is more appealing, we have news clippings, media guides, and subject files in RS 24/23. The finding aids for these and other Department of Athletics collections can be found here. Contact us or stop by, and we’ll happy to help you out! In the mean time, go enjoy the Olympics. USA! USA!
A new online digital collection, containing highlights from the Jack Trice Papers and University Photographs, is available for viewing. 90 years ago this October, an Iowa State legend lost his life from injuries sustained during his first college football game. John G. Trice, better known as Jack, was born in 1902 in the small town of Hiram, Ohio. He later attended high school in Cleveland at East Technical High School, where he had a stellar football career. When his high school coach, Sam Willaman, left to coach at what was then Iowa State College, Trice followed to study animal husbandry with the ultimate goal of going south to help fellow African-Americans in their farming endeavors. While at Iowa State, Trice participated in both track and football, though he is best known for the latter. While just about everyone who has ever been associated with Iowa State knows the story of Trice’s first and last game with the college, here it is for those who are not familiar with it.
On October 6, 1923 Iowa State College (now University) played the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Trice was excited to play in his first college football game and, according to his “last letter,” felt like he had something to prove. In the second play of the game, Trice broke his collar, but said he was alright and kept playing. Then, during the third quarter, University of Minnesota players tackled Trice, forcing him to the ground and crushing him. Although he again claimed to be fine, he was taken out of the game and sent to the hospital. After an examination, the doctors decided that he was fit to travel, and he returned to Ames with the rest of his team. Not long after, on October 8, 1923, Jack Trice passed away from internal bleeding due to injuries from the game. According to a hospital record, he died of traumatic peritonitis following an injury to his abdomen. He left behind a young wife, Cora Mae, whom he had married just that previous summer and who was devastated by the news. Jack Trice is the only athlete to have died as a result of playing for Iowa State.
The night before the game, Trice wrote a letter, part of which is pictured below. It not only gives us a glimpse into what he was thinking and feeling the night before the big game, but it shows that he may have had some sense of what was to come.
the most poignant excerpt reads as follows:
“The honor of my race, family, and self is at stake. Every one is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field. “
Jack Trice made history even before the fated football game. He was Iowa State College’s first African-American athlete, which is made more significant by the fact that this was the early 1920s and many schools, especially in the South, did not have integrated teams until the 1950s and 1960s. Not everyone viewed Trice’s involvement on Iowa State’s team as a good thing. The states of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma all refused to let their schools play against an African-American; essentially what they said was that either Trice would not play in the games against them, or there would be no football game. As expected of that time, Trice faced prejudice and discrimination, and yet he kept going. It does seem, however, that he and his fellow teammates got along well enough.
Today, a bronze statue of Trice, erected in 1987, stands near Jack Trice Stadium, the only Division I-A stadium named after an African-American. The stadium, built in 1975 to replace Clyde Williams Field, was finally named after Trice in 1997 after a long promotion to name it after him that started in 1973. It was originally named Cyclone Stadium in 1984 and the playing field was named Jack Trice Field at that time as well. Now the stadium and bronze statue stand as a commemoration of a young man who sacrificed all for his team, his race, his family, and himself.
For more information on Jack Trice, in addition to what can be found in the online digital collection, feel free to contact us or stop by the Special Collections Department to view the physical collection. To see what the collection contains, click here. To learn more about Jack Trice Stadium, please see collection RS 4/8/4. Come on in and see us!
Iowa State has quite a number of Olympic gold medal winners in freestyle wrestling, including the well-known Dan Gable. Pictured above is Glen Brand who was one of the first Iowa State alumni to win a gold medal (1948). He graduated in 1950 in civil engineering. The original photograph can be found in the University Photograph Collection (RS 24-12-A, box 1963).
The 2012 Olympics are now in full gear – only one week left until the closing ceremonies! Did you know that Iowa State has quite a few alumni who have competed in the Olympic Games? (More on how you can find additional information here in the Special Collections Department can be found at the end of this posting.) Below is a listing of our alumni who have received Olympic medals:
Glen Brand: 1948 gold medal in wrestling
Nate Carr: 1988 bronze medal in wrestling
Dan Gable: 1972 gold medal in wrestling
Jeff Grayer: 1988 bronze medal in men’s basketball
Danny Harris: 1984 silver medal in 400 hurdles
Kevin Jackson: 1992 gold medal in wrestling
Nawal El Moutawakel (Morocco): 1984 gold medal in 400-meter hurdles
Ben Peterson: 1976 gold medal in wrestling
Cael Sanderson: 2004 gold medal in wrestling
Chris Taylor: 1972 bronze medal in wrestling
Sunday Uti (Nigeria): 1984 bronze medal in 4×400 relay
Although it would be too extensive to highlight all the medal winners listed above, there are a few we’ll take not of in this post. More on current and past Olympians with Iowa State connections can be found in the Thursday, July 26, 2012 issue of the Iowa State Daily.
We should not leave out Ron Galimore from this post. Galimore (1981 speech communications) was the first African American to be named to the U.S. men’s gymnastics Olympic team. Unfortunately, he was unable to compete in the 1980 Olympics due to the United States’ boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. This was due, in part, to the USSR invading Afghanistan.
Ron Galimore is pictured (far right) on the cover of the 1981 Cyclone Gymnastics Media Guide (RS 24/08, box 1, folder 7).
Nawal El Moutawakel (1988 physical education) has a very impressive list of firsts, in addition to winning a gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1984 Olympics for Morocco. She was the first Iowa State woman, the first Arab woman, the first African woman, the first Muslim woman, and the first Moroccan of either gender to win an Olympic gold. Not only that, she had a perfect 1984 season at Iowa State, and won the gold medal after her freshman year at Iowa State. 1984 was also the first year the 400 meter hurdle race was held for women. She is active internationally in promoting sports for women, and in 2004 served as Chair of the Olympic Evaluation Commission. In the 2016 Olympics she will chair the Olympics coordination commission (and her impressive list of firsts continues – she is the first woman to ever chair the Olympics coordination commission)!
Nawal El Moutawakel was honored in the 1985 Women’s Track Media Guide on page 10 (RS 24/23/00/06, box 1, folder 1).
Iowa State’s current wrestling head coach, Kevin Jackson (1991 human sciences), won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He transferred to Iowa State for his senior year and became Iowa State’s wrestling Head Coach in 2009.
Cael Sanderson, ISU student-athlete in wrestling, finished his Iowa State career as the only undefeated four-time champion in NCAA history (159-0) in 2002. Two of Cael’s brothers, Cody and Cole, also wrestled at Iowa State with impressive records of their own. Cael won a 2004 Olympic Gold Medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and was formerly Head Coach of Iowa State Wrestling (2006-2009).
And one cannot forget Dan Gable who won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in 1972. More on Dan Gable can be found in a previous blog post.
One resource for finding information on Dan Gable is the 1969-1970 Iowa State Wrestling Media Guide, where he is pictured on the cover and has a feature on him inside (RS 24/12/00/06, box 1, folder 1).
More on Iowa State wrestlers who competed in the Olympics can be found in a recent Iowa State Daily article.
Wondering about how you can find more information on Iowa Staters who have competed in the Olympics? The University Archives maintains biographical files on Iowa State students where you can find news clippings and other publications (RS 21/7/1). Please note that the files on alumni and former students are not comprehensive, but if they made the news there is a decent chance we will have a file with news clippings. Additional information on the athletic career here at Iowa State of current and former Olympians can also be found in various records found under the Department of Athletics. Good places to start are often the media guides, programs and news clippings. Alumni who have gone on to work at Iowa State, such as Cael Sanderson and Kevin Jackson, can be found under the departments where they worked. Sanderson has his own collection (RS 24/12/51), which primarily contains news clippings (1999-2011). We also have a folder of news clippings related to Kevin Jackson under RS 24/3/1.
Photographs can also often be found in the University Photograph Collection, although sometimes you will need to look in other places for images, such as the media guides or the Bomb (Iowa State yearbook).
Occasionally you will find photographs unrelated to the athlete’s sport. Shown above is a photograph of wrestler Glen Brand (gold medal in 1948 freestyle wrestling).
For more on another Iowa Stater who was very much involved in the Olympics, please see our post on Barbara Forker or the finding aid describing the Barbara Forker Papers.
A selection of recent Iowa State publications related to the Olympics, many of which are articles in the Iowa State Daily, can be found in the library’s new Digital Repository (a blog posting by our new Digital Repository Coordinator, Harrison Inefuku, can be found on the Preservation Department’s blog).
If you’re curious about other athletes from the state of Iowa who have won Olympic medals, the recent issue (July 2012) Iowa History Journal has an article by Don Doxie, “Olympic dreams blossom in Iowa”. The periodical is available both in the General Collection (most recent issues in the Periodical Room) and here in Special Collections under call number F616 I59x. In addition, the July 5, 2012 issue of the Iowa State Daily has a listing of ISU alumni who have recently competed in the Olympics. Curious about other Olympic medalists? The official website of the Olympic movement has a database of medalists.
We wish all the current 2012 Olympians who attended Iowa State the best of luck in the 2012 Summer Olympics!
Wrestler Dan Gable looking as though he’s ready for his next match!
This Sunday the annual Cy-Hawk wrestling series (Iowa State versus Iowa) will take place at Hilton. As all you Cyclone fans get ready for the competition, you may want to take a look at the documentary video of Iowa State wresting icon Dan Gable. Gable, Iowa State wrestler and future University of Iowa coach, is famous for having only lost one match in his collegiate career. Gable would finish at Iowa State with a record of 118-1. After graduation in 1971 Gable went on to become the 1972 Olympic gold medalist for freestyle wrestling in Munich, Germany, and did not surrender a single point in the competition.
The video profiles Dan Gable’s high school and collegiate wrestling career and includes comments by Dan Gable, his parents, and coaches. The film footage contains many of his wrestling matches including his one loss in the NCAA finals of his senior year against Washington sophomore Larry Owens. This video was produced by the Media Resources Unit at Iowa State University.
Want to learn more about Dan Gable here in the University Archives? You can check out listings of the collections we have related to wrestling here (look under RS 24/12). These collections will also document Dan Gable’s time here at Iowa State. RS 21/7/1 contains a folder on Dan Gable, and includes news clippings related to his time here at Iowa State, his Olympic victory, and as a coach at the University of Iowa. You can also search the library’s search system for Dan Gable, and then limit your search to “Available in the Library.” This listing will include resources found throughout the library, and includes those here in the Special Collections Department.
An undated image of Dan Gable from the University Photograph Collection (24/12, box 1959). Looks like he’s ready to go to class!
We wish the Cyclone wrestlers the best of luck in this weekend’s competition!
The plain and simple cover of the 1930s era football manual recently donated to our University Archives – inside is some wonderful insight into the Cyclone football team of that time.
A football manual from the 1930s was recently donated to the University Archives, and may have even been written by George Veenker, the football coach at that time. In paging through the manual, you only came across a few photographs. Even so, the manual is itself a wonderful picture of the spirit and advice given to football players years ago! It is fun to imagine the manual tucked away in the dorm rooms of every football player, being read diligently every night (really – we’re sure they did!).
The manual opened to the first page (Introduction).
The manual contains an introduction which describes the reason for the booklet:
“If after being told by a coach about a certain rule, a play or what to do under certain conditions, each player would know and remember his job, the coaching of football would be a bed of roses. If, after having it repeated a certain number of times, all would get the instructions, it would still be alright…” The manual goes on to say that that, however, does not happen on a regular basis and “Some boys will pick it up reading it in the quiet of their rooms quicker than in the hustle and rush on the field…IT IS FOR THIS PURPOSE THIS NOTE BOOK HAS BEEN ASSEMBLED.” (And yes, this final sentence is in all caps!).
The bulk of the book contains advice and strategies for the game. When one looks at the photograph below from a 1938 game, one can only wonder how many of those players were following the advice contained in the manual!
1938 football team
One of my favorite sections is the “Rules and regulations on the care and use of this book” in which the manual explains that “There is a lot of valuable dope in this book which, if gotten into the hands of our opponents, would ruin us…It is secret to the extent that it is the way we really are doing things. It is valuable to them only to that extent and it is plenty.” Players are not to share the manual with anyone, including their other football players! The final part of the section explains that the book is to be eventually turned in and not kept by the player – one can only wonder how many Cyclone football players owned this particular manual while on the team…or if it was the coach’s own personal copy!
The manual contains wonderful pieces of general advice, often in found in all-caps. An example found in the “Morale” section states: “IT NEVER DOES ONE ANY HARM TO HAVE HIGH AMBITIONS AND IDEALS, IF TEMPERED WITH COMMON SENSE AND ABILITY TO STAND DISAPPOINTMENT” (many of these are great sayings anyone, whether or not a football player, would benefit to keep in mind!). Another fun section to read through is the “More than Poetry” section. One paragraph states “Be sure to dance during the season. You have lots of energy to spare anyhow.”
Jack Trice and his teammates in 1923.
One final part of the book I would like to highlight is the page about Jack Trice, and the entire section could be thought of as equivalent to these sayings found throughout since it is quite clear the author meant for Jack Trice to be an example to current football players. The manual states “He had the right attitude, the right spirit and a fine sense of loyalty.” I won’t quote it at length here, but I highly encourage visitors requesting the manual to take a look at this page! (More information on Jack Trice can be found in the finding aid for his papers and on our Flickr page).
The gym plaque mentioned in the section on Jack Trice.
The manual closes with a March 4, 1933 editorial, “There’s Something to Cyclone ‘Spirit'”, by Harold Ingle, sports editor of Iowa State Student. One can think that this manual might be one of those “seeds” mentioned in a paragraph of the editorial: “When we take note of the heroes who are now here and consider what they are doing to remain, we know that there has been planted here a virile seed that cannot die out. Repeat to us the hardships that our pioneer classes endured to plant this seed, and we will tell you of the proud and courageous children who are carrying on in face of even greater difficulties.”
The football manual came to us in fragile condition, and the library’s Preservation Department did a wonderful job in making sure the manual will be well-preserved for future generations! Please take a look at the Preservation Department’s blog post about how the manual was preserved. If you would like to find out about other records we have in the University Archives about football and other athletic teams, click here for a listing of the various collections’ finding aids.
As I listened to the news stories this past weekend leading up to the Super Bowl game of the Packers versus the Steelers, I realized that our own Cyclones and other collections we have here in the Special Collections Department had a few things in common with the history of this year’s Super Bowl team names.
The history of how the Packers and Steelers received their names has been recounted in numerous articles. The Packers got theirs from a Wisconsin meat packing company which helped supply their uniforms, and the Steelers from the steel industry around the Pittsburgh area. Both names are rooted in history and place, just as the Cyclones’ name.
How did our Cyclones get their name? Iowa State’s athletic teams have been known as the Cyclones since 1895. On September 28 of that year the Iowa State football team surprised Northwestern University’s team, and themselves, by scoring an amazing 36 points. Northwestern scored 0 points. The Chicago Tribune described the game the next day:
“Struck by a Cyclone…Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday. At the end of fifty minute’s play the big husky farmers from Iowa’s Agricultural College had rolled up 36 points, while 15 yard line was the nearest Northwestern got to Iowa’s goal.”
Although tornadoes are not necessarily a money making industry here in Iowa, Iowa is nevertheless well known for producing these often terrifying weather phenomena.
More on the history of the naming of the Cyclones can be found here on our online exhibit about the history of Cy. News clippings about that game with Northwestern, along with many others on the Cyclone football teams through the years, can be found in our football news clippings file (RS 24/6/0/0). The University Archives also holds other materials documenting ISU’s football history, including game programs and media guides. If you would like to read a little more about the history of football here at Iowa State, please read a previous post on an exhibit here in Special Collections on Iowa State’s football history (if you would still like to view this exhibit you need to hurry – a new one will soon be taking its place!).
The original Cyclone football team from 1895.
So you would like to do some research related to the names of the Packers and Steelers? Although we obviously do not collect records related to these teams, we do have Iowa papers and records of people and companies related to the industries these teams were named after. In addition to the papers of an Iowa State football player who played for one season with the Green Bay Packers (William Reichardt Papers, MS-8 – however – his papers do not contain much if any documentation related to his football career), we have the records of an Iowa meat packing company, the Rath Packing Company (MS-562). The Steelers? This might be a bit of a stretch, but we have the Sherwood DeForest Papers (RS 9/7/53). DeForest worked for the Agricultural Marketing Department (1954-1977) of US Steel (USX) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and held the positions of Marketing Representative and Manager Marketing – Agricultural Equipment.
Hopefully this post has given you an idea of the variety of collections we hold here in the Special Collections Department of Parks Library, in addition to a little bit of athletic history!
Homecoming festivities for 2010 have begun! Despite the incredibly windy weather, the lawn displays are up, and the food and tents are starting to be set up. Homecoming celebrations have existed here at ISU for many years. Alumni first began celebrating homecoming at Iowa State in 1912, and ever since that first official homecoming event alumni have been coming back to Iowa State to celebrate and participate in its traditions ever since. Our university photograph collection contains quite a number of homecoming images, and we recently scanned and added a number of these to Flickr. One of our students, Hana, did a wonderful job of adding metadata (descriptions) to these images. As another American Archives Month feature on this blog, below is her perspective of the project (to read about another student’s perspective of Special Collections, read this previous post).
My assignment: to caption old photographs of Iowa State’s Homecoming. I was intrigued, mainly because it was a nice break from my usual work in Special Collections. Opening up the box, it was quaint to see old black and white photographs of people in typical 1950s gear talking, laughing, eating, dancing-the conventional college homecoming festivities. But it was a simple picture of parents eating coffee and doughnuts at a reception in the armory that really made me stop and think “Wow, what a completely different world we live in now.” Back then, homecoming activities did not have the “cheesy” connotation that they do now. Pep rallies, bonfires, giant posters-students sincerely enjoyed showing their school spirit. The coffee and doughnuts picture, in some subtle way, allowed me to glimpse how people could enjoy life with such simplicity. This is something I very much admire from that time, over 50 years ago, and even though I obviously never lived in the 1950s, I felt a sense of nostalgia; a longing to live in that era. Now, when I go to work tomorrow, I will again be able to immerse myself in “traditional” college student life and re-live those old memories.
If you would like to relive some of those old memories yourself, as Hana describes above, please visit our Homecoming images on Flickr. We also have a film with highlights (in two parts) from the football season of 50 years ago (1960) on our YouTube Channel (the videos are also available below). One of our online exhibits also has a brief history of homecoming and Cy. In addition, there is quite a significant collection of homecoming records in our University Archives. The finding aid, which includes a brief history of Iowa State’s homecoming activities, is available online. And, finally, come visit us up here on the 4th floor of Parks Library to view our current exhibit on Iowa State football, Ev’ry Yard for ISU.
Part 1 of 1960 football highlights:
Part 2 of 1960 football highlights: