Iowa State University Homecoming

100 Years of Homecoming Celebration

Homecoming 1982

As a homecoming tradition, Iowa State usually beat Kansas State University. However, for homecoming 1982 after what seemed like a never ending winning streak, 52,000 fans fell victim to false hopes as Kansas State crossed out a win for Iowa State's homecoming 1982 and beat us 9-3. Host and hostess for the homecoming occasion were Brain Beattie and Jane Safly. Two guests of honor were showcased as well, Mary Beard Gibson and Ray Engel.

Homecoming 1981

In front of a mammoth size 53,000 crowd, homecoming 1981 was a huge win for Iowa State University, beating the University of Missouri, 34-13.

Homecoming 1977

For the second homecoming game in a row, Iowa State University dominated its opponent, the University of Kansas. For this homecoming game Iowa State came away with a spectacular win of 41-3. Only a single host and hostess were awarded in 1977: Kurt Do Ritter and Nanci J. Dingfelder. CY's favorite alumni was Herman T. Holmes.

Homecoming 1912

For the first time ever, Iowa State played in an official homecoming game in 1912. Athletic Council president Samuel Beyer proposed the idea of homecoming for Iowa State, and suggested that the game should be against Iowa State's longtime rival, the University of Iowa. These games were regularly well attended. Despite Iowa State's valiant efforts during this first homecoming football game, Iowa came away with a win, defeating us 20-7. This first homecoming went on to set many important traditions that follow us today. For example, many happy students and 150 returning alumni would forever experience the meaning of the original lawn display. For them it was a stroll around campus to meet huge "Beat Iowa" signs. The first homecoming would become the blueprint for many more years of fostering strong school spirit.

Homecoming 1913

The second homecoming game for Iowa State was against the "Cornhuskers," the University of Nebraska. The game ended in a loss for Iowa State, 7-45. This 1913 homecoming game saw a great leap in alumni coming back to their Alma Mater, with 400 alumni returning. The evening before the game a special "Good Fellowship Evening" for the 'old grads' took place. The now well-established tradition of lawn displays followed suit -- returning again after the first homecoming -- and thus giving returning alumni and current students another outlet for homecoming spirit. Alumni were able to visit the new State Gym, which had been ready for students to use that spring.

Homecoming 1914

The 1914 homecoming battle for Iowa State was once again, as was the very first homecoming game in 1912, against the University of Iowa. Iowa took away the win on 'old' State Field with a score of 6-26. For that homecoming day, much work went into building and promoting school spirit, especially with the large "Welcome to Our Campus" greetings. These banners welcomed seventy-five dedicated and supportive returning alumni that Iowa State appreciates all their efforts to make it back home to Ames.

Homecoming 1915

Homecoming 1915 saw 250 returning alumni and a monster student pep rally (arranged by the Cardinal Guild and called the Pepperfest), thus making the celebration larger and even more spirited than the year before. The Cardinal Guild also arranged for the printing and distribution of songs at the Nebraska game, and for reserving a rooters’ section in the concrete bleachers (all rooters were to purchase rooters hats). The number of tickets sold for this 1915 game against Nebraska was unexpected. The first semi-official parade took place between the football game halves. 7,000 fans attended the game against the University of Nebraska (who were the Missouri Valley champions that year) which ended in a loss, 0-21.

Homecoming 1916

Narrowly pulling out a win, and doing so in front of 12,000 spirited Iowa State homecoming fans, the University of Iowa beat us with a score of 16-19 in 1916. We fell just short of our first homecoming win against not only Iowa, but barely missed our first homecoming win ever. A huge Beat Iowa pep meeting saw 4000 Iowa State fans attend, the largest ever for a Beat Iowa pep rally. The Athletic Revival Campaign took place for the 1916 homecoming, in which all athletes of former years were invited to the homecoming celebrations. Former Cyclones visiting campus that weekend included the original football team. Almost every club, sorority and fraternity prepared to welcome alumni to campus. After the boisterous 4,000 person pep meeting, returning alumni could walk throughout campus and would have seen bunting of cardinal and gold on buildings in addition to the old classic slogan, "Beat Iowa".

Homecoming 1917

With what must have been a great moment in 1917, Iowa State won its first homecoming game against Kansas State University with a final score of 10-7. That year, the student publication, "Green Gander", was the special homecoming guest. A smaller homecoming celebration took place that year on account of the war and because fewer alumni were expected to return as a result, but nevertheless the A-M-E-S quartet played at the alumni luncheon where everyone was updated on the college's wartime activities, and alongside that was an open air pep meeting in front of Central Building (now Beardshear Hall). Students had requested that an outdoor activity be scheduled, and their request was granted.

Homecoming 1919

After missing homecoming 1918 due to the flu epidemic, Iowa State won its first homecoming game in 1919. In front of 7,000 fans, Iowa State had a victory, beating Kansas State University (46-0). Following previous years of customary homecoming events, there was a dinner, and once again the major pep rally called the Pepperfest. After missing homecoming 1918, and proving to master the homecoming game and its accompanying events, Iowa State saw homecoming solidify and continue as if the celebration of homecoming spirit had never ended.

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