Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

5-3-07

Contacts:

Travis Knapp, Iowa State student, (515) 451-0623, tknapp@iastate.edu

Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704, kuester@iastate.edu

Student has Iowa State University bloodlines that go back to two past presidents

AMES, Iowa -- A fifth-generation Iowa State University student graduates this week enhancing a family legacy at the school.

Generations of Iowa Staters

That legacy includes Travis Knapp's father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather and his great-great-great grandfather Seaman Knapp, president of Iowa State University from 1883-1884.

Travis Knapp

Graduating senior Travis Knapp holds the portrait of his great-great-great grandfather Seaman Asahel Knapp who was the second president of ISU and served from 1883-1884. Photo by Bob Elbert

Knapp, a senior public relations major from Ames who is also receiving minors in sociology and criminal justice, is also the great-great grandson of Albert Storms, ISU president from 1903-1910.

With a heritage like that, his family might steer him towards Iowa State.

"Actually, it was never really brought up," said Knapp.

'A great program where you could pick and choose'

"My two older brothers didn't come here," he said. "And I was never pressured at all to come here. But I didn't know what I wanted to do, and I knew Iowa State had a great program where you could pick and choose and see what you like."

Knapp's family moved from Ames to Michigan during his sophomore year at ISU.

In addition to the Iowa State lineage, Knapp's great-great uncle and namesake, Bradford Knapp, was president of Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State), Stillwater; Auburn University, Alabama; and Texas Tech, Lubbock, during his lifetime of service as a college administrator.

Through all that, the young Knapp picked Iowa State.

One of the first memories Knapp has of campus was when his family moved here when he was 6 years old.

"We got all dressed up in our Iowa State clothes and my mother and father took us out to the Towers and we got our picture taken in front of the signs that said 'Storms' and 'Knapp,'" he said. "We sent those photos to my grandma."

Those signs were in front of the two residence halls that were demolished in 2005.

Knapp was a student at ISU when the school demolished the halls -- the two buildings named after his ancestors.

When the Towers imploded ...

"I remember waking up that day, and I walked out there [to see the building implosion] and it was all pretty weird," he said. "I mostly remember thinking, 'I bet my grandma is having a fit.'"

Knapp now lives in Atlanta, Ga., where he has taken a job at a public relations firm. He thinks he may not be the last Knapp to end up at Iowa State.

"It's pretty cool that I'm passing on the line and hopefully one day I'll get my kids to come," he said. "We'll see."

Travis' father, Seaman "Skip" Knapp, estimates there are more than 30 close family relatives who have graduated from ISU.

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Quick look

Graduating senior Travis Knapp's father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather all went to ISU, and his great-great-great grandfather Seaman Knapp, was president of Iowa State University from 1883-1884.

Quote

"It's pretty cool that I'm passing on the line and hopefully one day I'll get my kids to come.""

Travis Knapp