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The Name, The Legacy: Jack Trice Foundation holds 100 year anniversary lecture

Courtesy+of+the+Iowa+State+University+Lecture+Series.
Courtesy of the Iowa State University Lecture Series.

On Oct. 5, 1923, John “Jack” Trice was fatally struck while playing a football game for Iowa State in Minnesota. Oct. 5, 2023, is the 100 anniversary of his death. The Jack Trice Foundation and Parks Library held a lecture Thursday in memoriam of his passing, titled “Trice 100. The Name, the Legacy.”

The event began with a brief introduction from Hilary Seo, dean of the library.

Jill Wagner, a graduate of Iowa State and Harvard, addressed the crowd with this history of Trice’s death and her personal beliefs on what happened that day. Wagner brought up the fact that there was a KKK convention happening in Minneapolis on the same day as Trice’s death.

Wagner believed there was a negative intent behind the fatal blow that took Trice from Iowa State, as Trice was African American.

“We all here at Iowa State say he was murdered, with a capital ‘M,’” Wagner said. “He died for this university much like we heard on the radio station. He died for this country.”

Wagner talked about her time spent at Iowa State, as president of the Government of the Student Body (GSB). Wagner was one of the women at the table when the idea to change the name of the stadium to Jack Trice Stadium was proposed. Wagner and her group of GSB members took road trips, started petitions and wore armbands in protest to the university to push the name suggestion.

Also speaking at the lecture was George Trice, Jack Trice’s first cousin, twice removed. George Trice is the head of the Jack Trice Foundation and uses the foundation to benefit current Iowa State University students with scholarships and to keep the memory of his cousin alive.

“Jack still needs to be remembered at every game after,” George Trice said. “That’s what it’s all about. John Trice as a whole person.”

George Trice reflected on his time at Iowa State University as a student, and how sharing the same name as the famed Jack Trice had affected him. He also took a moment to discuss racial inequality that both he and his son have faced in their everyday lives.

“I shouldn’t have to explain to my seven-year-old son what Black Lives Matter is,” Trice said when talking about how the Black Lives Matter movement had affected his personal life.

Carson Duinink, a junior majoring in journalism and mass communication, said he wanted to attend the event to learn more about Trice.

“I know most of the story but it’s always nice to hear more because you learn more every time,” Duinink said.

At the end of the event, Seo returned to the stage to close out the lecture, reminding the audience there will be a ceremony Sunday to finally give Jack Trice a posthumous degree. This way, Jack Trice will finally be an Iowa State University alumnus.

To learn more about Jack Trice and his foundation, visit their website.

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