Martin Jischke, President, (515) 294-2042
John Anderson, University Relations, (515) 294-6136
JISCHKE RECOMMENDS NAMING ISU FOOTBALL STADIUM FOR JACK TRICE
AMES, Iowa -- Martin Jischke, president of Iowa State University, said today (Feb. 3) that he is accepting the recommendations of the Government of the Student Body (GSB) and the Advisory Committee for the Naming of Buildings and Streets to rename Cyclone Stadium/Jack Trice Field as Jack Trice Stadium.
Jischke will submit his recommendation to the State Board of Regents for consideration at its Feb. 19-20 meeting. Regent approval is necessary for any facility name at the state universities. The recommendation will also be that no name be attached to the field.
"Universities have precious few opportunities to recognize heroic qualities," Jischke said. "This is one of those opportunities."
Trice was Iowa State's first African-American student-athlete. He died in 1923 as a result of injuries sustained in only his second varsity football game. Iowa State's GSB unanimously approved a resolution last spring urging the ISU administration to name the stadium for Trice. The GSB proposal was referred to the advisory committee, chaired by Patricia Swan, vice provost for research and Graduate College dean, which met with representatives of faculty, staff, student and alumni groups throughout Fall Semester, and held a public forum on the proposal Nov. 15. Response to the committee and at the forum were overwhelmingly in support of the recommendation. ISU student-athletes were surveyed and 85 percent supported the proposal.
The advisory committee's recommendation states, "We make this recommendation because we have been persuaded that the story of this young man, who set high ideals for himself and did his best to live up to those ideals, has been and continues to be an inspiration to our students, the university community in general, and to people across the country who learn of it. We believe that naming the stadium for him...will afford more opportunities to tell his story and for others to be inspired by it."
Jischke said, "It is clear that Jack Trice, for a large majority of students and others associated with Iowa State University, exemplifies a number of heroic qualities, including determination, courage, enthusiasm, and giving one's all to an important cause. He has become a hero, not so much for what he accomplished, because his life was cut short, but for what he represented."
The facility, completed in 1975, was named Cyclone Stadium/Jack Trice Field by the State Board of Regents in 1984.
Statement from Martin Jischke
Iowa State University
Feb. 3, 1997
"I am today forwarding a recommendation to the State Board of Regents to rename Cyclone Stadium/Jack Trice Field to Jack Trice Stadium.
"It is clear that Jack Trice, for a large majority of students and others associated with Iowa State University, exemplifies a number of heroic qualities, including dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and giving one's all to an important cause. He has become a hero, not so much for what he accomplished, because his life was cut short, but for what he represented. In our world and at our university, we need heroes.
"From all that we know about Jack Trice, he was a fitting individual to be recognized in this way. He was very good student and a student-athlete who many said had the potential to be great. Those who knew him admired him.
"Jack Trice has come to symbolize many ideals that are important to Iowa State University --ideals of devotion to team, giving one's all, and the land-grant ideals of inclusiveness, access, opportunity, and making the most of an opportunity.
"Jack Trice was the only student-athlete to lose his life from injuries sustained in competition. He was also Iowa State's first African-American student-athlete. As such, his story is an important part of Iowa State's history and deserves prominent recognition.
"I realize that support for this recommendation, although strong, is not unanimous. There are people who object to it for honorable reasons. Some do not believe we should single out one student or student-athlete, especially one who played in only two varsity contests. However, the committee's recommendation and my own reading of the Jack Trice story convince me that the recognition is appropriate.
"Universities have precious few opportunities to make a statement of recognition of heroic qualities. This is one of those opportunities."
Following is the text of a letter written by Jack Trice the night before the football game in which Trice was mortally injured. The letter was discovered in Trice's jacket pocket just before his funeral services were held:
"My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life. The honor of my race, family & self are at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will! My whole body & soul are to be thrown recklessly about on the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break thru the opponents line and stop the play in their territory. Beware of missed interference fight low with your eyes open and toward the play. Roll block the interference. Watch out for cross bucks and reverse end runs. Be on your toes every minute if you expect to make good." (signed, Jack Trice)
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