Five Things

Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week.

1) In case you missed it, the VEISHEA task force handed down its final recommendations on July 11 (after asking for an extension of the original June 30 deadline) and President Leath is expected to make a final decision by summer’s end. The task force report, which you can read in its entirety online, recommends discontinuing VEISHEA in its current form; abandoning the VEISHEA name; creating a new, overarching, university-wide event or series of events; and addressing student behavior/reducing the chance of disturbances at university-wide events going forward.

After we reported about the task force recommendations in last Friday’s issue of our electronic newsletter, ISU News Flash, we got quite a bit of feedback from the alumni community. Most viewed the recommendations as negative or pessimistic and had hoped there’d be more emphasis on the final recommendation of addressing student behavior issues while still maintaining the tradition. But some also acknowledged that they aren’t close enough to the situation to understand it fully. Regardless of how you feel about the situation, we can all agree that it’s a sad one. You can read some of the comments we’ve received on our online letters to the editor page, and feel free to add your thoughts here.

2) The Mayor had his pacemaker replaced last Tuesday, so it goes without saying that Cyclone Nation was relieved to see this photo tweeted by his wife, Carol, shortly after the procedure at the Mayo Clinic.

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“The surgery performed this morning at the Mayo Clinic to replace my pacemaker was successful,” said a statement from Hoiberg, who has had the pacemaker since he underwent open-heart surgery in 2005. “I want to thank my doctors and nurses at the Mayo Clinic, as well as everyone that has extended their well-wishes to me. Our family truly appreciates your support.”

Hoiberg had recently learned that his pacemaker was running on reserve power, which meant that that batteries needed to be replaced — a routine procedure for pacemaker users. “It was going to happen eventually,” Hoiberg said.

3) The 2014 American Solar Challenge starts TODAY — and Team PrISUm is ready to race. Omaha and Ames are among the stops planned on this year’s route — so make plans to gather with fellow Cyclones if you can to cheer on ISU’s solar car. Get a virtual Team PrISUm experience on Twitter, where you can track Hyperion’s run at the #ASC.

4) More than a week of picture-perfect Iowa weather has given way to heat indexes over 100 — so that must mean it’s RAGBRAI week. Ugh. (Be safe, everyone!) Once again, RAGBRAI is hosting a college spirit day event — so whether you’re riding or not, beat the heat with your fellow Iowa Staters this Thursday in Greene, Iowa. Wear your Cardinal & Gold!

5) USA Today Sports recently named its top 50 college basketball players for 2014-2015. We’re pretty excited about their pick for No. 10.

Have a great week! Stay cool!

A visit to the George Washington Carver National Monument

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Anyone with a connection to Iowa State University would be proud to see the university’s influences on one of our most beloved graduates highlighted at the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Mo.

Part of the National Park Service, the Carver Memorial is set near Carver’s birthplace on the Moses and Susan Carver farm in southern Missouri. He was born a slave in 1864; his mother was kidnapped when George was a child. He was raised by the Carvers, whose graves are located at the memorial.

The memorial features two main areas: the Carver Discovery Center and the Carver Trail. The Discovery Center is an indoor exhibit where children are encouraged to perform interactive tasks and all ages will learn about Carver’s life and his exceptional research and service. The one-mile Carver Trail winds through woodlands that Carver would have explored as a boy. Visitors will see the 1881 Moses Carver house and statues of Carver as a boy and as a man. Some of the exhibits include recordings of Carver’s voice, which was high and frail due to his bout with whooping cough as a young child.

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As a young man, Carver spent several years in Iowa. He attended Simpson College in Indianola, where he studied art and piano in 1890-91. He studied botany at Iowa State, where he received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science in 1894 and a master of science in 1896. He was Iowa State’s first African-American faculty member before leaving to take a position at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

To get to the Carver National Monument, take Hwy. 71 south from Kansas City. Diamond is just south of Carthage and east of Joplin.

Five Things

Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:

cyclonecity1) This weekend’s Ames Fourth of July parade marked the debut of “CyclONE City,” a tour of 30 life-sized Cy statues that will raise money for local charities and ISU scholarships. The first statue unveiled was “LegaCY,” a Jack-Trice themed Cy created by Heather Johnson and sponsored by Des Moines-based The Weitz Company, which will be managing the south end zone stadium renovation project. (Construction kicks off TODAY, by the way!) The second statue that debuted in the parade is called “What We Love About Ames.” It was sponsored by the university and created by Ames native Sarah Grant of Sticks, Inc., an Honorary Alumni Award recipient. The CyclONE City tour was the brainchild of Leadership Ames Class XXVII; its mission is to “bring a culturally enriching event to Ames that will strengthen ties throughout the community and have a substantial economic impact for local nonprofit organizations.”

If Cy looks familiar, you’re right: Inspiration for the Cy statues came from Michael D’Ambrosi’s bronze Cy sculpture at the ISU Alumni Center.

And if the concept behind “CyclONECity” also sounds familiar, you’re right again. Similar tours have been highly successful in other communities — including Chicago, St. Paul, Kansas City, Omaha, and Iowa City. So it was high time Cy got his moment in the sun. Learn more by watching a fun, short video on YouTube. (And yes, of course that’s Jeff Johnson kissing Cy at the end.)

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2) Want to view all 115 images from the “VISIONS Across America” photography exhibition whenever you want? Well, we can help with that. Associate communications director Kate Bruns spent a good part of the last work week adding the images to the VISIONS Across America website, where you can now browse through them and click to read stories from the blog (every story from the magazine is now also available on the blog). If you prefer to flip through a gallery, stay tuned for the photos to make their way to Facebook sometime this week.

Of course, nothing beats the real thing — so why not make your way to the Brunnier Art Museum to see “VISIONS Across America: Portraits of Iowa State Alumni by Jim Heemstra” before it’s too late? The exhibition closes August 9. Brunnier is open Tues.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 1-4 p.m.

3) Wondering why June 30 has come and gone and you didn’t hear anything about the VEISHEA Task Force’s work? That’s because senior vice president for student affairs Tom Hill, the task force chair, asked President Leath folegoplantsr an extension. The report is now due this Friday, July 11. Stay tuned!

4) In science news, it turns out you’re going to have to keep searching for the answer to the question “What CAN’T you do with LEGOs?” Because it isn’t “build engineered environments for conducting high-level peer-reviewed plant and root research.” Just so you know.

5) Every year the NCAA presents the “Elite 89″ award to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating in each of the NCAA’s 89 championships (Division I, II, III). And this year’s winner in men’s golf came from Iowa State — Collin Foster, a junior in biology from Waukee, Iowa. For more info on the Elite 89 award and a link to vote for Collin as your favorite Elite 89 honoree, visit cyclones.com.

Five Things

Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week.

1) July 1 (tomorrow!) is the official roll-out date of the new Big 12 Conference logo. This is the third version of the mark since the league was created in 1996-97. (And yes, while the logo includes a roman numeral, it is always referred to as “Big 12″ in writing.)

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2) Bloomberg News recently reported on a Federal Reserve Bank of New York study that finds “yes” is the answer to the question of: “Is a U.S. college degree still worth the investment?” Every major, researchers found, returns at least 9 percent, with an average return of around 15 percent. Engineering majors had the highest return on investment, though, at 21 percent. Read the full Bloomberg report here.

hillman3) When Summer Olympics time comes rolling around again, there could be another Cyclone to watch. Christina Hillman, fresh off her back-to-back indoor and outdoor NCAA championships in women’s shot put, placed fifth at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento June 25 — and she’s only a junior. She was the No. 2 collegian in the U.S. field behind Wisconsin’s Kelsey Card. Christina was recently named ISU’s female athlete of the year.

4) In case you needed any more evidence that the U.S. has become extremely polarized when it comes to political views and voting choices, a new ISU study analyzed election data going back to 1997 while attempting to answer the question: “Do elections truly reflect the will of the people?

5) Your summer issue of VISIONS magazine should be on its way (including our cover story on ISU in the 1940s), if it hasn’t already found its way to your mailbox. Packaged with it is the 2014-2015 wall calendar and 2015 travel brochure. Lots of goodies for your summer reading…and summer dreaming.

Friday is Independence Day. Enjoy the holiday! (Ames will be celebrating 150 this 4th.)

The 1940s: Iowa State and a World at War

Originally published in the summer 2014 issue of VISIONS
Historical photos by Special Collections Department / Iowa State University Library

The decade of the 1940s changed the United States and transformed the world. Not surprisingly, these years saw Iowa State College (as ISU was then known) undergo a metamorphosis as well. Since the 1890s, ISC had been nationally known for agriculture and veterinary science, but the crisis of war accentuated Iowa State’s transition to a nationally known college of science, engineering, and technology that joined agriculture as the flagship programs of the institution.

ISC began the decade with roughly the same student demographics that it had had since the turn of the 19th century, but the war changed the fabric of the student body as well. In partnership with the Army and the Navy, Iowa State opened a series of non-collegiate courses and programs to provide technical education for servicemen and training for junior officers. Between 1943 and 1946, when the last class of the Navy V-12 program graduated, over 12,000 men cycled through special military classes at ISC.

Following the war the college combined ingenuity and diligence to meet the challenge of enrolling large numbers of returning veterans. But, perhaps the greatest change, and the one that spoke of the future, came in 1948 and 1949 with a new surge in enrollment, not from returning veterans, but from high school seniors across the state and the nation who sought access to higher education in unprecedented numbers.

Standing watch in Friley arch, 1945 Bomb

Friley Hall was turned into the barracks for the Naval recruits. They ran the dorm like a ship, with bells to toll the hours and sailors to stand watch, like these two in 1944.

The looming specter of war
The decade began with renewed campus and statewide confidence. Iowa’s farm economy had largely recovered from effects of the Great Depression, and ISC’s enrollment had surpassed pre-Depression levels. Student numbers had reached a low of about 3,800 in 1933-34, but enrollment rebounded as the economy recovered and reached over 7,000 by the end of the decade. This influx of students helped convince the legislature to provide funds for a new men’s dormitory in 1940, named after President Charles Friley. But the local and statewide optimism brought on by the economic recovery was overshadowed by the looming specter of the war in Europe.

Beginning in the late 1930s ISC students took increasing interest in the series of European diplomatic crises. Faculty, students, and administration all took anxious notice as President Roosevelt first declared a “limited national emergency” on Sept. 8, 1939, the selective service act on Sept. 16, 1940, and finally an “unlimited national emergency” on May 27, 1941. These acts helped to prepare the country for war, and they also changed the relationship between the federal government and land-grant institutions across the country, compelling colleges and universities to organize for the national defense effort.

In spite of fears and anxieties about international affairs, the carefree lifestyle of the 1930s undergraduate continued largely unaffected by things that to some seemed remote. The “class break” for Homecoming (no classes on Homecoming Friday), VEISHEA, fall and spring formals, fraternity and sorority galas, football, basketball, track and field all continued as largely as before. It was a joyous time for many.

Of course, the event that shattered the hopes and confirmed the worst fears of pre-war America came in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. The effect of the war’s arrival on the campus is perhaps best summed up by a 1944 senior class memory from the Bomb: “About the only thing we remembered about our sophomore year is Dec. 7. It was just before finals, and everyone was more concerned about where they would be winter quarter than about their chem blue book. We saw the first of the defense stamp corsages and the last of the VEISHEA cherry pies.”

More than 4,200 Iowa Staters were in the service by the time this photograph of the Blue Star Flag was taken in 1944.

More than 4,200 Iowa Staters were in the service by the time this photograph of the Blue Star Flag was taken in 1944.

‘Iowa State goes to war’
The war had a profound impact on ISC, and nearly every aspect of curriculum, instruction, and student life focused to support the war effort. The autumn of 1942 saw the cancellation of the Homecoming dance along with a prohibition on lawn displays, and the much-coveted Friday off from classes before Homecoming became a thing of the past.

The college began to house a number of special non-collegiate training programs for members of the armed services. These technical courses varied in length from five to 16 weeks and prepared electricians, firemen, and even cooks/bakers for the Navy. At first, the number of trainees was small and easily housed in a portion of the newly built Friley Hall. The trainees had been inducted into the Navy, received regular pay, held to rigorous discipline, and the floors on which they lived were run as if they were on a ship at sea, with regular watches and bells to toll the hours. The men in these programs were encouraged to take part in college activities, and as the numbers of servicemen on campus grew in 1943 and 1944, they would greatly affect student life.

But large numbers of military trainees lay in the future, and in 1942 a largely pre-war student body worked to support the war effort. The Health and 4-H Club councils mobilized their memberships to knit various garments for the Red Cross to disburse to the troops, while the Science Women’s Club volunteered to write and send cards and letters to Iowa State servicemen stationed around the globe. The college formed the Student War Council composed of both men and women in 1942. The Council encompassed 19 major student organizations and worked to raise money from all parts of campus. In 1943 alone this group raised over $1,700 through the sale of war bonds and stamps to aid the war effort. The Student War Council appointed student wardens to lead blackouts on campus and helped with paper drives.

In 1942-43 the college expanded the academic year to four full quarters (fall, winter, spring, summer) so that a student could accelerate through the curriculum and graduate in only three years and then be deployed for the war effort.

ISC worked hard to meet the uncertainties and stress of having friends, family, and loved ones overseas. The faculty from economics, sociology, and history offered a noncredit team-taught course entitled “The Citizen in the World Crisis,” in the winter and spring quarters of 1942. Many students attended the class, and while there was an academic component, there was just as much discussion to relieve stress and assuage fears.

That same year, a group of women students organized weekly meetings on Wednesday afternoons in the Memorial Union to discuss current issues. As the Bomb reported, topics included women in defense and how college students could aid the victory effort. While special classes and Wednesday afternoon meetings no doubt fulfilled their stated  purposes, they almost certainly acted as venues for students and faculty to share news and stories about friends and loved ones away at the front. But classes and meetings only went so far, and individual groups of students often held all-night vigils clustered around radios listening for war news.

Even though the government encouraged all male students to stay in college until called for the draft, increasing numbers of men leaving campus for military duty left positions open for women who capably filled them. Junior women took over men’s places in roles of major responsibility in VEISHEA and campus publications in 1943.

The Bomb reflected an upbeat attitude toward the war in 1942-43; its opening spread across two pages was headed with the slogan, “We Work to Win!” Homecoming was a subdued affair in comparison to the pre-war years, but VEISHEA went on as usual. The theme for VEISHEA in 1942 was “Iowa State Goes to War,” and not surprisingly it was full of patriotic themes. In spite of the war, VEISHEA drew an audience of 15,000, and for the first time military cadets received their commissions at the celebration. In spite of paper shortages and printing restrictions imposed by the war, the ISC Bomb printed 4,300 copies – the largest in its history. As the Bomb closed its pages for its 1943 edition, it told its readers: “Their feeling is optimistic – We’re here in 1943, we’ll be back for reunion in ’53.”

The 1943 VEISHEA queen, Dorothy Isaacson, was flanked by US Navy cadets rather than by college students.

The 1943 VEISHEA queen, Dorothy Isaacson, was flanked by US Navy cadets rather than by college students.

Sober Reflection
But the “We Work to Win!” positivism of 1942-43 gave way to a more sober reflection on the war in 1944. That year the Bomb opened with a picture of students looking at a Blue Star flag with the number 4,257 under the star, representing the number of ISC men and women in the armed services. The dedication for the 1944 yearbook read simply: “To the men and women of Iowa State in the service of our country, we dedicate this book thoughtfully remembering those of our number who will not see it.”

The year 1944 saw the number of military cadets and the disruption to the normal campus routine that they brought reach their peaks. Between 1942 and 1944 these programs grew in variety and number. The Army introduced an Army Special Training Program (ASTP) course in December 1942 meant to produce highly trained recruits in technical fields, and in July 1943 the Navy added a V-12 program to educate junior officers at Iowa State. All of these Army and Navy trainees needed to be housed in campus-owned facilities, and it was not long before the Army and Navy trainees outnumbered the regular collegiate student body.

To meet the need for cadet housing, first, all of the male students were turned out of Friley Hall, and then all of the women housed in the dormitories east of the Knoll were moved into the fraternity houses (whose men were turned out) to make room for increasing numbers of cadets. As the Bomb put it: “This is the way we live this year [1943-44]….. with servicemen in the dorms, women in the fraternities, and men moved to the edge of nowhere. It wasn’t easy at first when it turned out that there were 23 to one bath, but it was fun and there are always things like that to be straightened out.”

The college achieved that “straightening out” by the spring of 1944. The men who had been spread into housing off campus were pushed into the “Wards.” These were associations of homes in the community that combined to create and maintain some sort of collegiate existence. These “Wards” held their own dances and formals, participated in their own intramural events, and in many respects acted like dormitory floors or fraternities.

Just as the war had disrupted Homecoming, during the war years it disrupted VEISHEA as well. The celebration was shortened to two days in 1943 and one day in 1944, and the celebration in these years possessed a decidedly different tone. Two naval cadets rather than college students flanked the VEISHEA queen in 1944, and the parade was cancelled from 1943 to 1945 to meet the needs of the war effort.

While the students and the college contributed to the war effort in a variety of ways, perhaps ISC’s most historically significant contribution was kept in utmost secrecy: the refining of uranium for the Manhattan Project. Frank Spedding from chemistry and Harley Wilhelm from physics, along with their colleagues and students, developed a process to create “biscuits” of pure uranium metal that could then be refined into fissionable material suitable for an atomic bomb.

Between 1942 and 1945, Spedding and his team produced approximately 1,000 tons of pure uranium metal. In recognition of their work, the government awarded ISC the Army-Navy “E” Award for excellence in war production with four stars, signifying 52 months of service in the war effort. No other educational institution in the country received this award that the federal government had created to recognize wartime excellence in private industry.

Harley Wilhelm led the team that supplied the Manhattan Project with solid "biscuits" of uranium. Pictured in 1948 are Frank Spedding, David Lilienthan, W.A. Waymack, and Harley Wilhelm.

Harley Wilhelm led the team that supplied the Manhattan Project with solid “biscuits” of uranium. Pictured in 1948 are Frank Spedding, David Lilienthan, W.A. Waymack, and Harley Wilhelm.

The post-war campus
By early 1945, the number of Navy and Army cadets on campus lessened as the war wound down. Some of the ISC  men came back to ISC as seniors after serving only nine months on active duty. As the Army and Navy classes were scaled back, ISC students reoccupied the dormitories and fraternities. With the military’s departure, a semblance of normalcy and a longing for peace after four stressful and draining years of war found expression in student  publications. “Peace,” the 1945 Bomb suggested, “is a lot of little things… Smooth, green fields, unscarred by rolling tanks and bursting shells…brilliant sun…the time to lounge in the Union and discuss trivialities… the opportunity to join the morning parade to classes. Yes, peace is a lot of little things.”

As classes opened in the autumn of 1945, ISC saw enrollment blossom. Many of these students were returning veterans who received financial aid through the G.I. Bill to help them achieve a college education. These young men and women stood poised to enter the new post-war world, and the self-confidence expressed in their writing demonstrates that they not only understood the magnitude of the task before them, but that they expected to accomplish it. The students clearly understood the power of technology and their responsibility to use that power for good. “New generations,” the frontispiece to the 1946 Bomb reflected, “will be educated in the concepts of truth.” And Iowa State was to be one of the places where that education would take place.

While ISC could certainly provide the kind of technological education that the students called for, it encountered difficulties in finding places to teach and house them in the first years following the war. In the fall of 1945, enrollment reached 8,400, and then 9,200 the following autumn; 1,100 of them were married. To meet these challenges ISC turned to the federal government and secured a number of surplus structures, which they intended to be temporary that would house and teach students.

With the new influx of married veteran students, ISC needed to respond to meet their housing needs. The War Department responded by providing the college with enough structures to build what became Pammel Court, seen here under construction in 1946.

With the new influx of married veteran students, ISC needed to respond to meet their housing needs. The War Department responded by providing the college with enough structures to build what became Pammel Court, seen here under construction in 1946.

In January 1946, the ISC Student noted that 36 of a planned 150 temporary housing structures were ready for occupancy. This project soon became known as Pammel Court and by 1947 had spread to the north of the Chicago & North Western railroad embankment. Pammel Court reached its peak in terms of size and occupancy in 1947. That year about 3,600 students were spread across 152 trailers, 50 quonset huts with two families each, 79 demountable houses, 704 metal barracks, and 65 private trailer lots.

While conditions were cramped, the students and their families made the best of things. The Court included recreation and daycare facilities, along with a cooperative grocery store that boasted nearly 1,000 members in 1949. Holidays such at Thanksgiving were undertaken on a cooperative basis in Pammel Court during these years, as families  gathered and shared with neighbors.

Nevertheless, there was no disguising the fact that the buildings were government surplus and never intended for long-term student or family living. Constant maintenance problems with the number and variety of buildings plagued college authorities. One of the most frustrating maintenance issues for residents came in the winter of 1948-49. To  escape the cold days of winter, a significant number of rats gnawed their way into some of the buildings. The residents met this challenge by organizing a cadre of “some 75 volunteers [who] undertook a vigorous ‘anti-rat’ campaign which met with good results.”

Cooperative spirit was ever-present in the years right after the war. Here, Elizabeth and Harry Tullis and their daughters Suzanne and Patsy arrive with their portion of a cooperative Thanksgiving dinner with friends in their Pammel Court unit in 1948.

Cooperative spirit was ever-present in the years right after the war. Here, Elizabeth and Harry Tullis and their daughters Suzanne and Patsy arrive with their portion of a cooperative Thanksgiving dinner with friends in their Pammel Court unit in 1948.

Just as the federal government had provided the answer to meet the increased student housing needs, so too did it provide the answer to meet ISC’s needs for classroom space to teach the new students. Fifteen wooden buildings were acquired from the War Department. They housed reading rooms, classrooms, academic offices, graduate assistant offices, and conference rooms. They were drafty and cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

A nationally known school of science and technology
The significant number of new students on campus after the war changed the campus dynamic. Since so many of these students were much older than the pre-war collegian, they acted differently and had to be treated differently. The number and type of student clubs and organizations multiplied in the years after the war.

The 630 Club was one of the most prominent. Formed in the wake of the Cyclones’ disastrous 63-0 Homecoming loss to Oklahoma in 1946, the 630 Club worked to infuse Cyclone spirit on campus. The group did everything it could to boost Cyclone athletics: holding pep rallies, naming the “athlete of the week,” and placing that athlete’s photo in the Memorial Union. The group was such a success that it thrived and continued by the original founders as alumni, which helped transform it into the Cyclone Club.

Over the last years of the decade President Friley received an ever-increasing flow of petitions from students who  organized portions of campus for their causes. One of the largest petitions to reach the president came in the autumn  of 1949 over the issue of Friday classes before Homecoming. Since ISU’s first Homecoming in 1912, Friday classes before Homecoming had been cancelled to prepare for the alumni celebration. While the dance, lawn displays, and barbecue had been restored by 1949, the prohibition on the class break had not been rescinded. So, on the Thursday night before Homecoming, nearly 3,000 students marched on the Knoll with a petition asking President Friley to restore the tradition. At first the president refused, but he finally agreed to give the students Friday afternoon as a  break from classes to prepare for the coming of the alumni.

As the decade drew to a close, college authorities anticipated a drawdown in enrollment as the post-war boom fueled by returning veterans began to fade. Instead, the fall of 1948 saw the freshman class reach nearly 2,800, the largest in the history of the institution. But the number was not as significant as the fact that recent high school graduates  made up the vast majority of the class. In fact, the class was so large that its Freshman Days meeting filled the floor of the Armory.

This great influx of students coming straight from high school reflected not only the demand for access to higher education among post-war Americans, but also the fact that parents now had enough economic resources to provide that education for their children. The last years of the decade also saw ISC’s summer sessions remain heavily  subscribed. In 1948 nearly 3,500 students enrolled in each of the five-week summer sessions – the most in ISC’s history.

The new freshman class of 1948 was so large that it filled the entire floor of the Armory.

The new freshman class of 1948 was so large that it filled the entire floor of the Armory.

The large number of students not only changed the nature of student housing, but also the way the college registered the undergraduate population. Before the war, students had all registered for classes on the floor of the State Gym. Everything was done with paper and pencil. The post-war enrollment boom placed great stress on this system, and the administration soon realized that changes had to be made. In 1949, ISC registrar Jesse R. Sage found a technological solution to the problem. He told the Bomb staff that the college had secured a “modern” IBM punch-card registration system. “The new machines will fall just short of thinking,” the Bomb mused, “since they will alphabetize, sort out desired information, and perform tedious jobs normally requiring many workers.”

As the decade ended, it was clear that going forward ISC would no longer be primarily known for agriculture. The work done by Spedding and Whilhelm’s team for the war effort translated into significant amounts of federal funding, which would continue to enhance research in the post-war years. The Ames Lab and the Atomic Energy Institute meant new federal money and resources for new buildings, faculty, and graduate students. New buildings appeared on campus: Electrical Engineering (now Coover Hall), the Metallurgy Building, the Office and Laboratory building, the Synchrotron building, and Spedding Hall.

Thus, after a chaotic decade, Iowa State College reached the midway point in the 20th century as a nationally known school of science and technology. The carefree innocence of the quiet pre-war past was a rapidly fading memory.  Throughout the 1940s, change came at a hectic pace. The ISC that entered the 1950s was as large as it had ever  been and served a broader constituency, which placed increasing pressure to expand the curriculum and the types of majors that the institution offered. These pressures and expansions served as some of the final pieces in the foundation for the college to become a university in 1959.

Douglas Biggs (’82 history, MA ’86) is an associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Moving forward: What’s next after VEISHEA 2014?

Just a few days after we sent the April issue of Young Alumni News, a Tuesday night riot that destroyed property in Campustown and sent one student to the intensive care unit marked an abrupt, early ending to the VEISHEA 2014 celebration we had just been promoting. In the weeks since, the campus has been working to understand the causes and impact of the disturbance and looking to the future of the more than-90-year-old tradition.

“The true purpose of VEISHEA has been overshadowed by too many acts of this nature,” ISU President Steven Leath told a packed press conference April 9, “which jeopardize the safety of our students and our community; this type of conduct is not going to be tolerated.”

The words were a chilling reality check for tearful VEISHEA organizers, dedicated alumni, and the ISU family. Ten years after then-president Gregory Geoffroy and then-GSB president Sophia Magill organized a task force to respond to a similar VEISHEA disturbance, the community was going through the motions again. On April 17 Leath announced the formation of his task force, of which Magill would again be a member, which would again work to dissect the issue and deliver a final recommendation to him by June 30. But this time, the future of VEISHEA was much less certain.

The task force conducted interviews and held several open forums to collection feedback from the community. You can view comments made at the May 13 open forum for alumni here.

On June 5, the task force voted unanimously to discontinue VEISHEA as we know it. On June 12, it voted 12-3-1 to abandon the name “VEISHEA.” However, it also voted 11-3 to craft a different overarching, university-wide celebration – the possible details of which will be discussed this Thursday at the task force’s next meeting. Stay tuned for the latest developments.

It goes without saying that young alumni were shocked, saddened, and angered by the riot and its aftermath, and that there are strong opinions on all sides about the cancellation of the 2014 event and the future of VEISHEA.  The future is now in the hands of the VEISHEA task force and, ultimately, President Leath. In the meantime, the Young Alumni Council caught up with some students and young grads to hear about their reactions to VEISHEA 2014, what VEISHEA means to them, and what they hope will happen in the coming weeks.

Jason Schuster, Current Student
2013 & 2014 VEISHEA Village Co-Chair
Zwingle, Iowa

Pictured, right

1. How did you first find out about the riot?
I first found out about the riot through social media. As a member of the VEISHEA 2014 Executive Board, I was exceptionally busy that night finishing up course projects, following up with emails, and making plans for VEISHEA events. I happened to check Facebook and saw several posts about the incident as it was unfolding. I then turned to the Ames PD scanner channel for updates.

2. What was your initial reaction?
Pure shock. For months the VEISHEA Executive Board and the VEISHEA Committees had worked very hard to put on events that Iowa State University and Ames Community could enjoy. Because of the events that took place on that Tuesday night, the hard work that hundreds of students, both within VEISHEA and students that participate in the events, was in jeopardy.

3. What does VEISHEA mean to you?

To me, VEISHEA is the only event of its kind that brings both Iowa State University and the Ames community together to celebrate our achievements and showcase everything that defines our great university. From the parade, campus showcase, VEISHEA Village, and food stands demonstrating outstanding clubs on campus to all of the colleges’ open houses, there is much to be proud of. Getting involved with VEISHEA through the VEISHEA Executive Board has been the most memorable experience of my college career. Some of the greatest student leaders on campus work together to organize the largest student-run festival in the country. It is fun to work with people who share a common passion for VEISHEA. No matter where life takes me, I will always be a member of the VEISHEA family.

4. What do you hope will come of the task force’s work?
I hope that the VEISHEA Task Force decides to reinstate future VEISHEA celebrations.


Kallen Anderson (’14 dietetics & family and consumer sciences ed)
Harcourt, Iowa

1. How did you first find out about the riot?
I found out that there were many students out in Camputown about 10:30 pm on Tuesday night. I followed Twitter, Facebook, and listened to the Ames Police Scanner until about 3 a.m. Wednesday as I was too worried about how the VEISHEA celebration may face negative consequences from the riot.

2. What was your initial reaction?
I was wondering why students are unable to control themselves, and where they learned that their actions were okay. I was worried that these students’ actions would bring negative comments to the VEISHEA celebration.

3. What does VEISHEA mean to you?
VEISHEA, to me, means celebrating the diversity that we have at Iowa State University of Science and Technology through the past, present, and future of our colleges and student organizations. VEISHEA means taking pride in what one has accomplished and learned while at Iowa State University and showing progress and successes of the students, staff, faculty, professors, and alumni of ISU.

4. What do you hope will come of the task force’s work?
To keep the VEISHEA celebration and to make changes to university policy and student conduct. There needs to be more education and prevention work done in regards to alcohol and harmful actions like the riot.


Meredith Abbott (’10 advertising)
Minneapolis, Minn.

Pictured with friends at VEISHEA ’07, right

1. How did you first find out about the riot?
Social media.

2. What was your initial reaction?
(Expletive). College. Kids.

3. What does VEISHEA mean to you?
It’s about the community coming together — not only the ISU community, but the citizens of Ames. Businesses prosper, culture is cultivated, and nostalgia becomes prevalent.

4. What do you hope will come of the task force’s work?
Stop making this a big deal. The bigger the deal, the more it will happen. Students want attention, and if that means rioting then they are going to riot. Instead, focus on making this the best time of their lives; give them more opportunities to be involved, because if you own something you want to take care of it and see it come to fruition.



Justin Van Wert (’11 ag business)
Hampton, Iowa

1. How did you first find out about the riot?
I first heard about the riots late that night via Twitter.

2. What was your initial reaction?
My initial reaction was disbelief.  That soon subsided and I was overcome with disappointment.  At first, I wasn’t disappointed or saddened by the potential permanent cancellation of VEISHEA but rather for all of those involved in the planning of VEISHEA.  Having been on both a committee and exec during my time at Iowa State, I know firsthand the time commitment and dedication it takes to plan one of the greatest student-run celebrations in the country.

3. What does VEISHEA mean to you?  
It’s hard to put into words what VEISHEA means to me. As a fourth-generation Iowa State graduate, VEISHEA expands past just what it means to me but also my family.  VEISHEA was one of my first introductions to Iowa State, as my family would make the trek to Ames year after year to enjoy the parade and cherry pies. It’s where I first walked on Central Campus as a kid, and at that point in my life all I remember is happiness and that happiness was associated with Iowa State. As I high school senior, I spent VEISHEA weekend with the fraternity I ended up joining and saw firsthand how VEISHEA created leadership opportunities as many of the fraternity members were highly involved in the planning committee. Consequently, VEISHEA turned into a leadership and developmental opportunity throughout college as I got involved as a committee and executive member. VEISHEA has been a family reunion, a reason to attend Iowa State, an opportunity to improve my leadership skills, an avenue to make friendships, and among a thousand other reasons, a constant motive to be proud to be associated with Iowa State.

4. What do you hope will come of the task force’s work?
I hope the task force finds a way to keep VEISHEA in some form.  VEISHEA means so much to too many people to be discontinued due to riots. I fully appreciate student safety, and that should be always be held as a primary concern of all involved. That said, I challenge the task force to strike a balance and not overreact based on the decisions of a minority. Would the riots have occurred if it weren’t VEISHEA week? We’ll never know that for sure. Will thousands of proud alumni, Ames residents, current students, and other curious individuals from all walks of life descend upon Ames once a year to celebrate Iowa State and all it stands for if VEISHEA is canceled?  I hope that the task force comes up with a solution that makes us never have to answer that question.


The 1992 VEISHEA Task Force (Galloway 1992) identified nine traditional purposes of VEISHEA. Have you seen this list before?

  1. To provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to showcase the academic programs of the university and its extension services.
  2. To provide opportunities for the development of student leadership.
  3. To provide an opportunity to link the university to the Ames community and to the citizens of Iowa.
  4. To provide students an opportunity for positive social interaction.
  5. To provide an opportunity for student recruitment.
  6. To provide a focal point for alumni activity and interaction with the university.
  7. To recognize distinguished alumni and friends of the university.
  8. To provide fundraising opportunities for student organizations.
  9. To affirm and sustain the traditions of the university.

Read more about the VEISHEA task force’s work at http://veisheataskforce.iastate.edu.

Five Things

Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:

1) As the June 30 deadline for its final recommendation approaches, the VEISHEA Task Force took another step forward at its meeting last Thursday night. On June 5, the group voted to discontinue VEISHEA in its current form, and on June 12 the task force voted 11-3 to move forward with recommending a different overarching, university-wide celebration and 12-3-1 to abandon the name “VEISHEA.” Faculty Senate rep Michael Owen was one who voted “no” to creating an alternative celebration. Owen pointed out that students will still associate a celebration with drinking, no matter the name. What a potential alternative celebration might look like and when it might be held will be the subject of this week’s task force discussion. Follow the task force’s work online at http://veisheataskforce.iastate.edu. President Leath will have the final say this summer.

2) The big news coming out of this month’s Board of Regents meeting was an approved change to the state’s model for funding its public universities. The new model seeks to balance out some inequities that resulted from adhering to a percent annual increase formula over the last 50 years (the University of Iowa currently receives almost half of all funding, with the University of Northern Iowa bringing up the rear at a mere 18 percent). While the plan is not without its detractors — particularly in Iowa City, a large number have praised it as best for the state. The Des Moines Register‘s recent editorial endorsing the new plan explains the details.

3) A recent Forbes article online identified Iowa State as a university to “buy” if “colleges were a stock market.” Author Rich Karlgaard says land-grant universities are currently on the rise, as private colleges start pricing themselves out of the market — and out of relevancy. “Make no mistake: The expensive liberal arts colleges in America are going down — fast and hard. If colleges were a stock market, I’d short the heck out of Haverford, Brandeis, Smith and their ilk,” he writes. “I’d buy America’s great public universities known for their strength in science and engineering, and I’d be biased toward universities with a land-grant history.” We’re biased too, of course — but we appreciate the sentiment.

4) We know Johnny Orr once played professional basketball in Waterloo, Iowa, but last week we learned about another Iowa-based professional sports connection to ISU — this time on the baseball diamond.  Eighteen former Iowa Staters (like recent Hall of Fame inductee and World Series champ Mike Myers) have played major league ball — but do you know the story of Wyoming, Iowa, native Dutch Levsen? Levsen played professional baseball in Cedar Rapids for a team called — wait for it — the Bunnies. Read more about him on the Cedar Rapids Kernels blog. Thanks to the Kernels for bringing the history to life for us. (The ISUAA Club of Linn & Johnson Counties’ ISU Day at the Kernels was Saturday, by the way.)

5) Today ESPN released its list of top 50 men’s college basketball coaches. Although we all know The Mayor is No. 1, we’ll take 15th.