Sesquicentennial celebration

Iowa State 150th Logo

Closing ceremony puts finishing touches on 150th celebration

Packed with pride, emotion, and humor, Iowa State's sesquicentennial concluded with ceremonies at the Memorial Union following Saturday's (4-12-08) Veishea parade.

Salute to soldiers

University president Gregory Geoffroy spoke about the university's rich heritage and the commitment of the university for another 150 years of serving Iowa, the nation and the world by creating, sharing and applying knowledge. To honor the university's land-grant commitment to include military science in its curriculum, President Geoffroy introduced a joint service ISU ROTC color guard and honor guard, who paid tribute with a 21-gun salute to students who gave their lives in service to the nation.

A member of the Ames American Legion played taps and an ISU graduate (Capt. Eric Nelson) and an ISU employee (Randy Monthei) piloted a helicopter in a flyover of central campus and the Union. The men are from Charlie Company, 147th Aviation, Iowa National Guard in Boone.

Memento of ISU in space

Astronaut Clay Anderson, the first Iowa Stater in space, spoke of the value of his Iowa State education and told the crowd that he had left a memento of Iowa State in space. He said he looked forward to the university's satellite campus on Mars.

Special flag

Dianne Liepa, an ISU alumna and state director for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, presented a gift from Sen. Harkin -- a U.S. flag that flew over the nation's capitol on March 22, the date when the Iowa legislature established the Iowa State College and Model Farm 150 years ago.

Owen 'true and valiant'

President Geoffroy presented a special award created during the sesquicentennial year, the True and Valiant Award, to Owen Newlin, Des Moines, for his decades of volunteer leadership and support of the university and education. "True and valiant" is part of the lyrics from the Bells of Iowa State.

New award to outstanding student

Cory Simon, Winterset, received the first Sesquicentennial Learning to Live a Life Leadership Award. Simon is a senior in computer engineering. The award is named for a statement by M.J. Riggs, a member of Iowa State's 1883 graduating class. Etched in the walls of the Memorial Union, his words are:

"We come to college not alone to prepare to make a living, but to learn to live a life."

The award is given to a student who has taken advantage of opportunities at Iowa State to apply his or her knowledge to real life projects and experiences.

During four internships with the Johnson Space Center, Simon helped create and test equipment for astronauts and received awards that previously had gone only to permanent staff at the center.

A nice spot to enjoy the next 150 years

The ceremony concluded with the dedication of a permanent memorial to the sesquicentennial -- a newly landscaped area south of the campanile, including plantings, a bench and a plaque.

Finally, the carillon bells rang out as university carilloneur Tin-Shi Tam played Bells of Iowa State and Happy Birthday as guests left the ceremony.

Watch this space for a webcast of the closing ceremonies.


Clayton Anderson

Astronaut and ISU alumnus Clayton Anderson offers remarks

Geoffroy and Hira

President Gregory Geoffroy, associate VP for facilities Chris Ahoy and exec. assistant to the president Tahira Hira show plans for a new central campus seating area, a gift from the sesquicentennial committee

Honor guard

The honor guard stands in position outside the Memorial Union

Geoffroy receiving flag

Dianne Liepa, ISU alumna, presents flag to President Gregory Geoffroy

Cory Simon

Cory Simon, ISU student, receives the first Learning to Live a Life Leadership Award