The 110th annual Homecoming pep rally unites Cyclone nation


Brielle Tuttle

Yell Like Hell finalists Cy Lightyear performing at ISU homecoming pep rally.

This year’s annual Homecoming pep rally was hosted Nov. 4 in and outside the Alumni Center in the A3 parking lot.

On the lower level of the building, Alumni Association members were able to sign in and receive a free drink ticket until 6 p.m., though the bar remained open for guests until 8:30 p.m.

Merchandise and Iowa State gear were also available for purchase downstairs, along with pizza and cookies. Upstairs, Greek alumni and their families were able to check in, receive a name tag and have a free meal of burgers or shredded pork with a bar also available. Both bars also served a signature cocktail for the evening, “Cy Me To The Moon,” which was also the theme of Homecoming this year.

Next to a large “Cyclone” sign that enticed visitors to stop for photos sat a large stage where the band, dance team, Yell Like Hell performers and other speakers and talent would eventually be showcased.

The Student Alumni Leadership Committee (SALC) had multiple tables set up along the wall of the Alumni Center where visitors could get free Homecoming-themed cups and stickers. Members of SALC also passed out pompoms, light wands and hand warmers to guests throughout the night.

Free balloon animals, glitter tattoos and a variety of outdoor games were also available to eventgoers.

“There’s not anything quite like this,” said Grace Poeschl, a sophomore majoring in kinesiology.

At 6:30 p.m. Wendy Wintersteen, the president of Iowa State University, addressed the crowd to kick off the show as many still huddled under outdoor heaters.

Once a message from alumni Clay Anderson, a member of the International Space Station 15 crew and the inspiration for this year’s Homecoming theme, began to play, people began gravitating from the warmth of the outdoor heaters to the bottom of the stage.

Around 7 p.m., after a brief chanting session to warm up the crowd, the Iowa State marching band took the stage with the dance team and excited the crowd for the night’s first Yell Like Hell performance.

Yell Like Hell is an Iowa State tradition where the three finalist fraternity and sorority pairings of Homecoming week paint themselves head to toe in red and yellow. They then create and perform a 5-minute skit incorporating other Iowa State traditions and the Homecoming theme of that year.

Yell Like Hell has been a unique part of Iowa State’s Homecoming tradition for decades.

“My grandma told me she participated in Yell Like Hell,” said Charlotte Miller, a freshman majoring in animal science. “It’s been going on a long time.”

The three Yell Like Hell performances were staggered between other showcases and performances, including a performance from the CyFactor winner and the announcement of the Cardinal Court winner.

The Homecoming pep rally came to a not-so-quiet end, with the last Yell Like Hell group performing for a crowd that had grown substantially despite the rain. Even guests who had been watching from inside the safety of the Alumni Center braved the rain to end the night with the crowd.

“If you’re trying to get ready for a Cyclone game, trying to remember why you’re a Cyclone, watch Yell Like Hell,” said Emily Roberts, one of the two 2022 Yell Like Hell directors.