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!
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.
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.
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.
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!