Veishea opening ceremonies begin today

Matt Kuhns

Johnny Majors, the first coach to lead a Cyclone football team to a bowl game, is among the many highlights who will be at this year’s ISU Veishea opening ceremony on Friday.

Majors, ISU’s football coach from 1968-1972, is the grand marshal of this year’s Veishea parade.

He will also take part in the torch-lighting ceremony and speak about “Remembering Iowa State” during the opening ceremony, said Mike Tschopp, co-chairman of the opening and closing ceremonies.

The opening ceremony will begin Friday at 5 p.m. on central campus.

ISU President Martin Jischke and special events co-chairwomen Melanie Anderson and Heather Plagman will also speak at the ceremony.

Jischke will focus his remarks on “A Time for Change,” the theme of this year’s Veishea, said Kelsey Stansberry, co-chairwoman of the opening and closing ceremonies.

The master of ceremonies for the Veishea opening and closing will be Ed Gagnier, Stansberry said. Gagnier is known to many ISU students as the announcer during the Benson Motors “shoot five for five” contests at Cyclone basketball games.

Also planned for the Veishea opening ceremony is the presentation of the Veishea Scholar awards, Stansberry said.

Veishea Scholars are selected from all incoming ISU students by the Veishea central committee for outstanding leadership ability, and each recipient will receive $500 per semester.

The opening ceremony is “all about getting [Veishea] started on the right foot,” Tschopp said.

He said the ceremony will remind people that, despite changes in this year’s Veishea, it will still be as much, if not more fun than ever.

Tschopp said he is looking for “a fairly large crowd” at the opening ceremony.

He said the entire ISU football staff and several members of the Ames city government have been invited to attend the ceremony.

The Veishea closing ceremony will be held Sunday at 3 p.m.

Veishea general co-chairs Ben Dohrmann and Kathryn Whitaker will wrap up this year’s Veishea in their remarks at the closing ceremony, Stansberry said.

The closing ceremony will also feature the presentation of awards for outstanding entries in the Veishea parade.