Guest Column: Welcome home, Hawkeyes


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Whatever your degree, college, or graduation year, the University of Iowa Alumni Association offers a friendly connection to the university.

Clad in black and gold, people of all ages swarm around the two UI Alumni Association tents along the Homecoming route in Iowa City. They laugh and joke as they play UI trivia games for fun prizes, pose for photos with the inflatable Herky, or pick up a free Hawkeye memento of this special weekend.

“Welcome home, UI alumni and friends” — the large, colorful signs not only spell out the purpose of the Alumni Association’s presence at the event but also reflect the association’s wider mission to engage all alumni and friends in the life of the university.

I count myself lucky to have found a home at the University of Iowa. My decision 38 years ago to enroll in the UI College of Pharmacy’s graduate program was a defining moment in my life — one that changed it forever through enduring friendships and valuable career connections. And since graduating and moving away from Iowa City, I’ve come to appreciate how the Alumni Association has broadened my connection to the entire university community.

Like many alumni who return to Iowa City for Homecoming, I spend much of my time at college reunions or continuing education opportunities. But, I always enjoy Alumni Association events — whether I stop by the welcome tents or appreciate the stirring sight and sound of the Alumni Band in the parade.

Homecoming just wouldn’t be the same without the association. In fact, the association can trace its roots back to 1867, almost 50 years before alumni first gathered for Homecoming in 1912. And, once this wonderful weekend is over, the Alumni Association will continue to work year-round to fulfill its mission.

Through such traditional efforts as the Iowa Alumni Magazine, Lifelong Learning events, student programs, and IOWA Clubs, or cutting-edge developments such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the association strives not only to enrich the lives of members of the Hawkeye family but also to support the growth, spirit, and legacy of our cherished university.

Homecoming is an enduring and beloved tradition — and so is the Alumni Association. I’m proud to belong to an organization that helps ensure that Iowa City always feels like home.

Once a Hawkeye …

Tom Temple, ’77 M.S.
head, Alumni Association Board of Directors

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