University Archives: Resource Guide to University Traditions and Songs

Homecoming corn monument, 1921

Homecoming corn monument constructed by engineering students, 1921

This guide describes materials that pertain to University of Iowa traditions. Except where otherwise noted, these materials are available in the University of Iowa Archives, Department of Special Collections. RG numbers refer to the described collection’s record group number.

If you have questions about our holdings, please feel free to contact us.

Alumni magazines, including The Iowa Alumnus (1903-1925), The Iowa Alumni Review (1947-1993), The Iowa Alumni Quarterly (1993-2000), and The Iowa Alumni Magazine (2000- ). Back issues of all alumni publications, with the exception of the most recent five years, are available online as part of the Iowa Digital Library. RG 01.09.02.

Barnhart, Cornelia Mallett. “Old Gold.” Palimpsest 28 (May 1947): 144-149. About the school colors (black and gold) and song. Main Library.

Connors, Timothy. “Big Bird Faces 50.” Iowa Alumni Quarterly 50, no. 3 (autumn 1997): 28-31, illus. About mascot Herky the Hawk.

Staub, Herbert K. Price Guide to Iowa Homecoming Badges . Edited and with photography by Phillip M. Pollack. Coralville, Iowa: Iowa Homecoming Badges, 1991. 2d ed. 90 pp., illus. Archives.

Strub, Sean O. University of Iowa Homecoming Badges and Forgotten Traditions: A Pictorial Chronology . Coralville, Iowa: Courier Printing, 1975. 58 pp., illus. Main; Iowa Authors; Archives.

Hawkeye annual. The University of Iowa’s yearbook chronicled campus life from 1892 until 1992, and includes photographs of many traditional events, such as Homecoming and the College of Engineering’s annual MECCA Ball. There is an online index to photographs of individuals for the 1893 to 1942 editions. RG 02.10.

Homecoming badge collection. A collection dating from 1924 to the present is on display in the lobby of the Iowa House, Iowa Memorial Union.

Publications. University-produced publications often include references to campus traditions. Titles of over 200 such publications may be searched in the University Serials and Journals Collection (RG 01.09.02).

Records of the Office of Student Life. Includes records pertaining to Homecoming activities, 1970-1988. RG 24.12.

Subject Vertical Files. The Archives’ subject files include information in the ‘Traditions’ category. RG 01.15.

University of Iowa Songs. Compiled by Staff and Circle, honorary senior society for women. New York: Hinds, Hayden, and Eldredge, 1921. 125 pp. Archives.

University of Iowa noted song lyrics are below. Also visit the Music Memories page of the University of Iowa Alumni Association’s Web site to hear some of the songs.

Alma Mater, Iowa
By Gene Mills, College of Engineering, class of 1947; composed in 1960

Also known as “The Hawkeye Hymn” and “The Iowa Alumni Song”
Come all alums of Iowa, and blend your voices true;
Sing praises to our Alma Mater, as good Hawkeyes do.
Let’s keep within our hearts a fire to magnify her fame;
Bring credit to these noble halls where glory and honor reign.
The day is near when comrades here will bid farewell and part;
But each Hawkeye carries on, thy spirit in his heart.
Oh! Iowa, Iowa, we drink a toast to you;
We pledge our everlasting love for dear old Iowa U.
Alma Mater, Iowa.

Iowa Fight Song
By Meredith Willson; composed in 1950

The word is “Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA,”
Let every loyal Iowan sing;
The word is “Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA,”
Until the walls and rafters ring (rah! rah!)
Come on and cheer, cheer, cheer for IOWA,
Come on and cheer until you hear the final gun.
The word is “Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA,”
Until the game is won.

The Old Gold Hymn
By John Carl Parish, College of Liberal Arts, class of 1905
Set to the tune of “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms”

O, Iowa, calm and secure on thy hill
Looking down on the river below,
With a dignity born of the dominant will
Of the men that have lived long ago,
O, heir of the glory of pioneer days,
Let thy spirit be proud as of old,
For thou shalt find blessing and honor and praise
In the daughters and sons of Old Gold.

We shall sing and be glad with the days as they fly
In the time that we spend in thy halls,
And in sadness we’ll part when the days have gone by
And the path turns away from thy walls.
Till the waters no more in thy river shall run
Till the stars in the heavens grow cold
We shall sing of the glory and fame thou hast won
And the love that we bear for Old Gold.

On, Iowa
By W.R. Law, College of Law, class of 1904

On, Iowa, proudly at the fore,
On, Iowa, on forever more,
Ev’ry loyal son will give a rousing toast to you,
Ev’ry local daughter loves you true,
On, Iowa, with your wealth untold,
A heritage to us you did unfold,
Love of family, love of friend,
Love of country, too, makes us proud for what you stand,
Our dear Old Gold.

Roll Along Iowa
Roll along, Iowa, Roll down the field,
On to victory!
Roll along, Iowa, Don’t ever yield,
Always a winner be!
Get that ball, Give your all,
For dear Old Gold,
Raise her banner high!
With firm endeavor,
Roll on forever, U of I.

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