Homecoming at Iowa State

Originating in 1912, Iowa State Homecoming has been a longstanding tradition on campus to celebrate student life and invite back alumni to Iowa State. At the Special Collections and University Archives, we preserve decades of memorabilia from Iowa State Homecoming celebrations and invite everyone to come take a peek at our collection during Homecoming week!

Iowa State Daily 1994 Homecoming newspaper front page, can be found at RS 22/7/0/10, Box 20, Folder 1

Popular Homecoming traditions on campus have centered around the Homecoming football game that ends the week. In preparation, students will hold large pep rallies to hype up the student body.

News paper clipping with title "4000 Ames Boosters at Iowa Pep Meeting- Big feature of evening was presence of original Cyclone team"
Iowa State news paper clipping, can be found at RS 22/7/0/10, Box 23, Folder 8

This newspaper clipping from 1916 elaborates on one of the first Iowa State Homecoming pep rallies that was attended by the ‘original Cyclone team’ and 4000 students and alumni! Ultimately these pep rallies solidify the sense of community that Homecoming week brings to Ames and Iowa Staters.

Another lighthearted tradition at Iowa State has been the lawn displays in preparation for the football game that will poke fun at the opposing team.

Lawn display, image call number: 22-07-G.Homecoming.1662-4-1

Take for example this lawn display on Delta Tau Delta’s lawn in 1950. The text reads “The Egg” and “Crack the Jayhawks” in reference to the Kansas Jayhawks and their bird mascot. Shown is an Iowa State football player cracking ‘the egg’ symbolizing an Iowa State win that weekend.

The Homecoming game itself is often widely attended- especially by alumni.

News paper clipping from 1917, reads "Iowa State Student" on title and game results "Kansas State- 7 Iowa State - 10"
News clipping, can be found at RS 22/7/0/10, Box 23, Folder 8

This news paper article in the Iowa State Student from 1917 exudes Iowa State pride on the win against Kansas State. The article has a section titled “Hail to the team” and proclaims “warriors of the cardinal gold we hail you!”

Aside from football, Homecoming week of course offers numerous other activities on campus for students and alumni to celebrate their Iowa State pride.

Some of the classic Homecoming events are shown in this schedule from 2000 on campus. Events include a 5k Run/Walk, Photo Scavenger Hunt, and Yell Like Hell. Also shown is a Homecoming Concert invitation from 2007 for Iowa Staters to celebrate Homecoming through music!

No matter how you plan to celebrate this week, SCUA wishes everyone a happy Iowa State Homecoming!

#TBT Homecoming Pop-up Exhibition

In light of tomorrow’s Homecoming 2017 Pop-Up Exhibition, today’s post is a #Throwback Thursday to last year’s pop-up exhibition. Below are pictures from October 28, 2016.

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Last year I wrote a blog post about the preparations for Homecoming 2016 to show everyone how much work went into an exhibition, even a temporary one. This year we worked just as hard to put together an exhibit that we hope will evoke nostalgia for visiting alumni and pique the interest of current students, faculty, & staff at Iowa State University.

Please drop by tomorrow to check out what we’ve selected for display. We look forward to seeing you there!


Guest Instagrammer for Society of American Archivists

I was invited this week to be a guest Instagrammer for the Society of American Archivists (SAA). Founded in 1936, SAA is the oldest and largest national professional association for archives and archivists in North America.

I’ve been an SAA member since 2010 and have served on the Security Section (2013-2016) and currently serve on the Committee on Public Awareness. Special Collections & University Archives doesn’t have an Instagram account at this time, so please make sure to follow Society of American Archivist’s Instagram (@saarchivists).

This is a great time to be a guest Instagrammer, this month is American Archives Month and Homecoming Week for Iowa State University, so we should have some great posts!

SCUA Treasures – Leave Your Legacy Homecoming 2016

Tomorrow, from 1-4 pm in room 405 Parks Library, Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) will have selected treasures on display. We will have artifacts, rare books, films, student publications from the 1960s, and other wonderful items from our collections.


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Please drop by. All are welcome!

For the preservation of our treasures, please leave food & drink outside.

CyPix: ISU Alumni Band

In honor of Homecoming, today’s image features the ISU Alumni Band, performing during the 1985 homecoming half-time show.

Iowa State University Alumni Band, where gold and black uniforms, create an "ISU" formation on the football field during the half-time show.
Alumni Band performing during the 1985 Homecoming football game half-time show. RS 21/2/G Box 1501.

The ISU Alumni Band Association was formed in 1981 by Kirk Hartung, a 1979 ISU alum. In collaboration with the marching band directors, he brought together 165 former marching band members from the graduating classes of 1927 to 1981. The band first performed together at the 1981 Homecoming football game, and has performed there every year since. Watch for them during this year’s game against Toledo on October 11!

More information on the ISU Alumni Band Association can be found in the organization’s Records (RS 21/2/4). Be sure to check out our Homecoming photo album on Flickr.

Happy 101st birthday to ISU Homecoming

On November 15 and 16, 1912, Iowa State University held its first Homecoming weekend. The game, which was against arch-rival University of Iowa, was held on the football field known as “State Field,” situated approximately where Parks Library sits today.

The first Homecoming game played at Iowa State on November 16, 1912

More information about the 1912 Homecoming is available online in the Special Collections exhibit about the history of Homecoming at Iowa State University. A number of photos are available on our Flickr site, too!

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