Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Meet Katie Osterman!

The Traditions and History of Iowa State University of Science and Technology

Hi 2013 Hixson Scholars!  My name is Katie Osterman and I will be one of your peer mentors for the upcoming fall semester.  I am a 2011 Hixson from Wright County, majoring in history education, with endorsements in coaching and all-social sciences.  I look forward to getting to know everyone better as you “Choose your Adventure at Iowa State!” I'm the one not in the prom dress in the photo! 

In this post, I highlight some of the history and traditions of Iowa State.  Iowa State has a rich history of nearly 155 years and several traditions that all Iowa Staters take part of!

Iowa State University of Science and Technology was created on March 22, 1858, by the legislature of the State of Iowa as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm.  The Farm House was erected as the first building on campus (and still stands today).  In 1862, the Iowa legislature voted to accept the provisions of the Morrill Act, officially establishing Iowa State as a land grant institution, renaming the college Iowa Agricultural College and in 1898 becoming Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts.

The first class entered in 1869 and the first graduating class of 24 men and 2 women graduated in 1872.  The nation’s first state veterinary medicine school was created at Iowa State in 1879.  In 1959, Iowa State was officially renamed Iowa State University of Science and Technology.  The current enrollment has reached over 31,000 students.

Iowa State is known for its advancements in the fields of agriculture, design, engineering, and research science.  Iowa State is one of the top research-institutes in the nation. 

                  Did you know that Iowa State played a significant role in the Manhattan Project (the top-secret government program that developed the atomic bombs that were used during World War II)?  Iowa State, through the Ames Laboratory, perfected a cheap and effective way to purify uranium that was used to make the bombs.  During its time with the Manhattan Project, Iowa State purified over 2 million pounds of uranium using the Ames Process.  The Ames Process is still widely used today in industry because the process is so effective and cheap compared to other processes.

                  Did you know that Iowa State invented the first digital computer?  Dr. John Vincent Atanasoff and his graduate assistant Clifford Berry created the first automatic electronic digital computer between 1939 and 1942 and was known as the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC).  However, credit for this discovery did not go to Dr. Atanasoff until a federal court ruling in 1973, declaring that Dr. John Vincent Atanasoff was the first inventor of the automatic electronic digital computer.  A working replica of the ABC is housed in Physics Hall.

                  Did you know that the “Cyclones” were created in 1895?  Iowa State became the Cyclones after they leveled Northwestern in 1895.  On September 29, 1895, the Chicago Tribune noted: Struck by a Cyclone It Comes From Iowa And Devastates Evanston Town.  “Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday.  At the end of 50 minutes’ play, the big husky farmers from Iowa’s Agricultural College had rolled up 36 points, while the 15-yard line was the nearest Northwestern got to Iowa’s goal.”

                  Did you know that Jack Trice Stadium is named after ISU football player Jack Trice?  Jack Trice was the first black athlete at Iowa State and died after injuries suffered during his first college game in October 1923.  The stadium was officially named Jack Trice Stadium in his honor in 1997.

                  Did you know that all members of the freshman class had to wear red beanie caps?  From 1916 until 1934 red “prep caps” or “freshmen beanies” were required attire for freshmen class members.  In the spring, the caps were burned in a bonfire during a “moving up” ceremony, when the freshmen officially became members of the sophomore class.

Iowa State has many traditions that have developed over the years.

The Zodiac
Students and faculty alike walk around the zodiac in the north entrance of the Memorial Union.  If you step on the zodiac, you will fail your next exam, but this can be reversed by throwing a coin into the Fountain of the Four Seasons.

Homecoming is a big tradition, with celebrations lasting throughout the week.  The first homecoming was in 1912 and this past year (2012), Iowa State celebrated its “Cy-Tennial” with 100 Homecomings!  Homecoming traditions include Food on Campus, Campaniling, Yell Like Hell, Lawn Displays, Fireworks, and of course, the big football game. Go State!

VEISHEA began in 1922 and has become the one of the nation’s largest student-run college festivals.  VEISHEA stands for: Veterinary Medicine Engineering Industrial Science Home Economics Agriculture.  VEISHEA includes traditions like Stars Over VEISHEA, Campaniling, Cherry Pies, Canoe Races, Intramurals, and  a host of other activities throughout the week.

Hilton Magic
“Hilton Magic,” the power of the Coliseum faithful to produce unexpected victories, was first recognized by Des Moines Register sportswriter Buck Turnbull.  On a February 14, 1989 showdown with No. 3 Missouri, the Cyclones conjured up the spirit of the Hilton crowd to produce a stunning 82-75 victory.  The following day’s headline read “Hilton Magic Spells ‘Upset’ One More Time.”

In the article, Turnbull called for more “Hilton Magic” in the Cyclone’s upcoming bout with Oklahoma State, which had pummeled ISU 102-74 just three weeks earlier.  On cue, “Hilton Magic” displayed its powers, as the Cyclones defeated the Cowboys, 90-81, marking a 37-point reversal from the season’s prior meeting.

A student officially becomes an official Iowa Stater when he or she is kissed under the campanile at the stroke of midnight. 

Lake LaVerne

It is said that if you walk around Lake La Verne three times in silence with your significant other, you are destined to be together.

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