Homecoming 101: Annual events keep tradition alive


Caitlin Ellingson/Iowa State Daily

To kick off the 2013 Homecoming Week at Iowa State, the first cut of the annual Yell Like Hell competition was on Central Campus on Sunday, Nov. 3, where the greek community came together and each sorority and fraternity pairing performed their unique skit to the theme “Homecoming 101: The Tradition Continues.”

Lindsey Wanninger

Dating back to 1912, Homecoming at Iowa State is one of the oldest Homecoming events in the country.

Lawn displays and Yell Like Hell

“Participants are judged on their pep and enthusiasm, creativity and uniqueness, yelling expression, and incorporation of the ‘Homecoming 101: The Tradition Continues,’ theme,” said Graye Farnum, junior in elementary education and co-chairwoman for Yell Like Hell. “ExCYment in the streets is when people walk around and look at all the different lawn displays and skits that sororities and fraternities have created.”

Lawn displays are another tradition. It originally began in 1912, for the first game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa State’s lawn displays are some of the largest in the nation.

Greek chapters have been participating in“Yell Like Hell” since 1963. Greek chapters are paired together to compete in the “Cardinal Division” of Homecoming. The pairings are usually between one fraternity and one sorority.

Mass Campaniling

Tradition has always said that you are not a true ISU student until you have been kissed under the Campanile at midnight. This tradition only applied to girls in the early years of Homecoming. 

If a girl went Campaniling then she was required to give jelly beans to the rest of the girls in her dorm.

The idea of Campaniling has stuck throughout the years, however, it can be done by every gender at Iowa State. Sadly, jelly beans are no longer required.

Grab someone special and head down to the Campanile on Friday night as the clock strikes midnight and enjoy a fireworks show after.


The first “pep barbecue” was in 1930.

The 2013 pep-rally will take place Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the ISU Alumni Center with the pep rally beginning at 7 p.m.

A pep rally is designed to get a crowd enthusiastic about an upcoming event, particularly sporting events.

There will be different carnival games as well as free Valentino’s Pizza if you present your 2013 Homecoming 101 button.

Bring the whole family down to see coaches and student athletes. The final Yell Like Hell competition will be held during this time as well as an introduction of the Cardinal Court.

Homecoming Royalty

Back in 1970s, the women who were nominated were also judged by their looks in a swimsuit. Due to the complications, the swimsuit contest caused, the tradition of Homecoming Royalty has come and gone throughout the years.

Cardinal Court is based on a scholarship program in which 10 students are awarded for their academic achievement, student involvement and community service. The king and queen will be rewarded a $700 scholarship. Watch for the king and queen at the Homecoming football game on Saturday.


“Common sense is No. 1, and to obey the law,” said Lt. Elliott M. Florer, of Iowa State’s Department of Public Safety, when asked about some tips to keep kids safe tailgating before and the Homecoming football game.

“Alcohol is an issue with tailgating so be responsible, have a sober host for your tailgate. If you need help please call us.”

The nonemergency number for Iowa State’s Department of Public Safety is 515-294-4428.

“Know where you’re located. The lots are pretty big so use the signs that are available and just know where you are, so if you need help, we can get to you as well,” Florer said.

Food on Campus

In order to receive food on campus, you must purchase a Homecoming 101 button for $5. The buttons can be purchased outside of the bookstore at the Memorial Union, first floor of the Alumni Center or anytime during Homecoming week at Food on Campus. Below is the menu for the week of Homecoming. Food on Campus will be located on Central Campus everyday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Monday: La Fuente — Chicken and cheese Quesadillas, chips and salsa.

• Tuesday: Noodles & Company — Mac and cheese and hot dogs. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

• Wednesday: Hy-Vee — Orange/sesame chicken, vegetable lo mein and steamed rice. Sponsored by the colleges of Human Sciences and of Design.

• Thursday: Jeff’s Pizza — Cheese, pepperoni and sausage pizzas with a side of carrots. Sponsored by the College of Business.

• Friday: Hy-Vee — Chili.

There will also be a Pancake Feed beginning Friday at 10 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m. on Central Campus. The cost is $3 per person.


Tournaments have been a tradition since the 1970s and generally take place the week prior to Homecoming week.

The different tournaments for 2013 Homecoming include: flag football, dodgeball, Nintendo64, wiffleball, coed basketball and volleyball.

The registration is free and each winning team receives a Homecoming 2013 Tournaments Champion T-shirt.


Another tradition beginning in the late 1960s is the Banner Contest.

Students paint banners on a large cloth and hang them in Central Campus to be judged. These banners are to welcome alumni back to Iowa State.

Kickoff activities

Some of the tournaments are already underway.

The sororities and fraternities have been working hard on their fawn displays and Yell Like Hell routines.

What’s new this year?

Color Run: Farnum said the Ames Live! in Color is something new for this year. It was a 5K that took place on Saturday morning on Central Campus. 

This year marked the first annual Blue Sky Day Ames Live! In Color 5K Run/Walk. Participants registered near the Memorial Union Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and the race began at 10 a.m. Tom Hill, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, gave a pep talk to the participants before starting the race.

The route of the race took participants from Central Campus to the east edge of campus near CyRide, along the north by Molecular Biology, past the College of Design and back through Central Campus before ending at Richardson Court. Four color stations were placed along the route. A powder party was held at Richardson Court in which participants could play around in even more colored powder.

Official counts of how many people registered have not been reported yet, but Jason Lee with Lutheran Services of Iowa said he believes it was close to 2,000, considering they had 1,500 pre-registrants. He said last year there were only 1,100 participants in the Blue Sky Day Run/Walk. Lee estimated $50,000 raised.

Volunteers from Lutheran Services of Iowa and Kohl’s were there to help with the registration booth. Among them was Iowa Rep. Lisa Heddens. She said there had been a steady flow of registrants all morning.

Live Streaming: The Student Alumni Leadership Council is going to be streaming a number of the Homecoming events this year. The Yell Like Hell first, second and final cuts will all be streamed. The first two cuts will be streamed from Central Campus and the final cut from the ISU Alumni Center. Videos of the event will be posted on GooglePlus Hangouts after the event has taken place. 

Painting Victory Lane

“Painting Victory Lane is one of the many display contests that we have that’s open to all Iowa State students, faculty, staff and community,” said Kurt Beyer, assistant director for student programs at Iowa State’s Alumni Association and Homecoming Central Committee adviser.

“[There is] an area that is painted white and we divide it up into squares and we have students and student groups paint spirit displays of Homecoming or whatever kind of thing that they like. [It’s] free for students to enter, all they have to do is show up. We provide the paint for it,” Beyer said.

Victory Lane was painted on Saturday.