Fourth annual theme will focus on challenging students

“Challenging students to become their best” will be the theme of the next academic year.

The effort to form an annual theme year began three years ago. Since then, Iowa State has had themes focusing on ISU graduate George Washington Carver, the technological accomplishments achieved on campus and the university’s support of Iowa families.

Thomas Hill, vice president for Student Affairs, said he is expecting a good turnout at the events surrounding the theme celebrations this year. Celebration events include a presentation by former “Real World” cast members Julie Stoffer and Justin Deabler and a performance by comedian Jake Johannsen.

“I anticipate that all of the planned activities will attract the attention of the students because they have been planned by other students,” Hill said.

Hill said the celebration is all student-run and is the best way to focus on students.

To kick off the year-long celebration on Aug. 30, the two former cast members of MTV’s “The Real World” will discuss being labeled in society and show clips from the show.

“They will be doing this from the perspectives of a politically active gay man and a college student from a conservative religious background,” said Pat Miller, coordinator of the lectures program.

“The show is a big hit and we’re happy that they will be able to join us and talk about the topic just as classes are starting and students are returning to classes and the residence halls,” she said.

Former ISU student and comedian Jake Johannsen will be performing Sept. 6. Johannsen has performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show,” “Politically Incorrect” and HBO.

“Jake is very well known,” Miller said. “He just appeared with Jon Steward on Comedy Central. He’ll be meeting with students while he is here.”

“Iowa State has a lot to be proud of in terms of accomplishments of our student body and the services the university provides,” Hill said. “We are challenging students to become their best. More importantly, Iowa State students are stepping up to meet the challenge.”

Hill said he encourages students to get involved by participating in the planned events.

“It’s going to be a fantastic year,” Hill said.