VEISHEA Scholars honors outstanding high school students

Sarah Binder

Though VEISHEA is a celebration designed to honor all aspects of Iowa State, there is also a tradition that honors outstanding high school students: VEISHEA Scholars.

The five scholarships available are awarded to seniors in high school that are coming to Iowa State in the fall. Applicants may be judged on outstanding leadership or community service, and one is honored with the Doug Harms Memorial Scholarship.

“It’s definitely a very unique experience,” said Michael Weber, senior in family finance, housing and policy and 2011 VEISHEA general chairman.

Weber, an Ames native, has attended VEISHEA events throughout his life. However, he said becoming a VEISHEA scholar his senior year was the experience that truly sparked his continuing interest in the celebration.

In addition to receiving the scholarship, VEISHEA scholars spend Thursday through Saturday of VEISHEA week on campus participating in various activities.

“They are receiving a prestigious scholarship and went through a difficult applicant pool to come out on top,” wrote Kayla Toale, sophomore in kineseology and health and VEISHEA scholarship chairwoman in an email. “The experience of coming to Iowa State for the infamous VEISHEA activities is also a great experience to have and being able to come into their freshman year in the fall with instant friendship with each other is also a plus.”

Weber said that staying in Acacia fraternity, which would later become his house, as a VEISHEA scholar had a major impact on him.

The VEISHEA scholars program has been a part of VEISHEA for close to 50 years and hasn’t changed a lot in that time.

As part of the experience, scholars are recognized in the opening ceremonies on Saturday and get to ride in the parade, as well as participating in various other activities throughout the weekend.

The scholars also participate in a “reunion” dinner with all of the previous years’ scholars who are still on campus.

“This is a great time to meet up again and catch up from their first visit to Iowa State and their first VEISHEA experience,” Toale said.