‘Loved every moment of it’: Jacob Ludwig’s passion for public service


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Jacob Ludwig is currently the Student Government president.

Biong Biong

A black sheep in his own right, Jacob Ludwig, a senior double majoring in economics and political science, said his parents were surprised by his interest in politics.


“I don’t think anyone else in my family is remotely interested in politics,” Ludwig said. “So me being very interested in politics and going to law school is very unprompted; there is nothing that sparked it in my family.”


Ludwig said his parents are excited that he found something he is passionate about, irrespective of their personal careers. 


“That’s the one thing they’ve always encouraged, you know, ‘We don’t want you to be what we want you to be — some idealized version of what we think our son should do — we want you to be happy and follow your dreams,’” Ludwig said — quoting his parents. 


A hub for studious and hungry students alike, the Memorial Union serves as Ludwig’s “second home” on campus. Aside from frequenting the Memorial Union to socialize and get food, Ludwig often finds himself there until it closes, often busy with work related to Student Government.


“Sometimes I feel like I spend more time there than I do in my own apartment,” Ludwig said. 


Like most students at Iowa State, Ludwig partakes in the long preserved tradition of the Zodiac. Before his admission to Iowa State, he was amongst the few in his tour group who respected the custom. Granted, he observed many students walking around it and didn’t want to be the black sheep who stepped on it, but Ludwig maintains that he has never stepped on the Zodiac to this day. 


“I avoid it for dear life, and shame the people who walk across it,” Ludwig jokingly said. “Luckily, I can say I’ve never stepped on it. I have failed an exam or two at Iowa State, though.”


Ludwig also shared another Iowa State tradition, that if an individual and their partner are able to walk around Lake Laverne two or four times in complete silence, then their love is true. 

Aside from the Memorial Union, you might spot Ludwig at Ada Hayden Heritage Park – one of his favorite spots in Ames. The park is located along Route 69 and features two lakes with a combined surface area of about 125 acres.


“It’s just a really calm and beautiful place — especially in the summer,” Ludwig said. “During the summer, I love to go out there and walk or run around the pond, and bring a good book just to read sometimes.”


Despite Ludwig being elected as Student Government president, Ludwig does not know if he will pursue an elected position in the future, but he knows he wants to stay helping his community.


“At the end of the day, what I really love and enjoy is just, kind of, working to serve my community,” Ludwig said. “so whatever capacity that’s in, I will be more than content in doing.”


As the president of Student Government, Ludwig said he has been able to work closely with the city of Ames and has been able to engage with politics and policy at a state level, which has proved to be fulfilling.


“I’ve just loved every moment of it,” he said. “I’m just kinda getting to work to advocate for, you know, systems that work best for the people of my community is something that I’ve found really rewarding, and that I’ve had a lot of passion for.”