LAS director of recruitment holds vast collection of memorabilia, tells family story


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Iowa States Director of Transfer Relations, Outreach Adviser Dan Rice Sits in his office surrounded by Iowa State Memorabilia.  

Willa Colville

In Catt Hall, there sits a small office on the first floor. This office is decorated from the ceiling to the floor with interesting Iowa State memorabilia.

On one wall hangs a large cardinal colored blanket with gold letters spelling “AMES” in the center. Another wall displays numerous Maintenance Shop posters from the 80s. Student transcripts dating back to 1906 are also hanging on frames in the office.

The transcripts belonged to the grandparents of the Director of Recruitment and Outreach Adviser for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and occupant of the office, Dan Rice.

Rice is one of nearly 20 family members to graduate from Iowa State University. His father, John Rice, taught in Iowa State’s architecture program for many years, which is how he first became interested in attending the school. Rice received his bachelor’s degree in Distributed Studies in the year 1988. However, Rice was involved at Iowa State for many years before attending school here.

After graduating high school, Rice took a few years off to travel and work. He traveled through Europe and around the United States while working in the service industries field. On a whim, Rice decided to start attending Iowa State with a friend.

Rice worked at the Maintenance Shop and eventually applied to be the manager. After getting offered the manager position in 1984, he quit school to focus on his job.

“Back then Friday nights were huge [at the Maintenance Shop]. The Shop would be filled, wall to wall… They were pretty hectic times.” said Rice. “Miller sponsored us one year… Lonnie Brooks actually played out on the terrace [at the Memorial Union]. We were pretty wild back then. I had a goal to have something going on in the Maintenance Shop every single day of the week, whether it was a show or a lecture, an afternoon movie, or if I couldn’t find something there would be a beer special.”

Rice quickly returned to school in 1985 and continued to work at the Maintenance Shop simultaneously.

Upon graduation, Rice attended Indiana University to obtain his master’s degree in higher education. He returned to Iowa State in 1993 as a residence hall director for a few years before being hired as an academic advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Rice has been an employee at the university ever since.

In his free time, Rice collects Iowa State memorabilia, specifically the Iowa State University yearbook, the Bomb, which was published from 1893 to 1994. He has over 60 Bombs in his collection, the oldest one being from 1904.

Recently, as Rice was looking through one of his Bombs, he noticed a name written in the top corner on page 64. The name was Teresa Albertsen, who works on the floor above Rice in Catt Hall. Rice showed his colleague the Bomb and sure enough, the yearbook had previously belonged to Albertsen.

Many of the Bombs have a greater significance to Rice as his family members are pictured in them. Some of his family members even worked on the Bomb staff, including his grandfather, Lloyd Stover, who was the editor.

Along with Bombs, Rice also has other family artifacts relating to Iowa State. He has two transcripts framed in his office which belonged to his grandmother, Lola Rice, who graduated in 1906. Lola Rice taught chemistry at Iowa State for nine years and then work as the assistant to Dean Helser until she retired.

Hanging on the wall of his office, Rice has an old stadium blanket with “AMES” written in the center. He says this blanket used to be stored at his family’s cabin for many years until he brought it back. 

Rice has been invested in the university for most of his life along with many of his family members. Though he has numerous memories at the university only a few are mentioned above. Rice is proud of the legacy that was built for him at Iowa State University. 

“There is a lot of neat history here and it’s neat to have such a legacy in part of it,” Rice said. “Pretty much any Bomb I have I can look up or find something in there [pertaining to my family].”