Leaving a LegaCY: bringing back the LegaCY program

Willa Colville

Putting on a cap and gown, walking across the stage and receiving a diploma is a dream that college students plan to one day make come true.

Graduation is not only a special day for students, but for their families and those that helped them get where they wanted to go. As alumni, some parents will even get to watch their children graduate from Iowa State as their legacies.

To help bring multiple generations of students within the same family to campus, the Iowa State University Alumni Association launched the LegaCY Club.

LegaCY is for children of all ages who have a parent or grandparent who is an alum of Iowa State University. First generation Iowa State students may also be a part of the program to begin a legacy of their own.

Registered program participants receive gifts on their birthdays every few years along with a card in the mail. Starting in eighth grade, members get information about Iowa State so they can prepare for their own college adventure.

While the program has been around for many years, it began to face a decline in members and funds in 2008.

“The [LegaCY Club] started to scale down. We didn’t have great participation in the program and were facing, like the rest of the university, a lot of budget cuts [in 2008],” said Sarah Craw, assistant director for member services. “So, the program scaled back significantly and then this year we decided it was finally time to bring it back.”

After nine years and numerous requests to bring back the program, the LegaCY Club is returning and expanding with fresh ideas.

“We brought the program in its concept back [this year], but changed the gifts that children were getting at their birthdays, changed from an email birthday card to a physical birthday card and then decided that we need to do things with current students as well,” Craw said.

The LegaCY cords for commencement, one of the program’s new initiatives, came from the Student Alumni Leadership Council.

“One way we wanted to really recognize our students [in the LegaCY Club] was to bring an honor cord to the program,” Craw said.

An honor cord is to be worn by students during commencement. Similar to academic cords and stoles, the LegaCY Honor Cord represents involvement and achievement, as well as participation in the program.

“We saw that a lot of universities [with legacy programs] were doing legacy cords so we decided to bring them to our own program. We worked with Iowa State to get it approved, just so we had a way to honor families as students are graduating,” Craw said.

The club is also working on events for current students that will start this year such as Family Weekend and move-in brunches as well as giveaways at orientation and Homecoming.

In order to wear a LegaCY cord during commencement and being involved in these events, students must be a member of the program which costs a one-time fee of $35 to enroll.

“[We want] to celebrate the current students who are legacies and have LegaCY family members,” Craw said.

For more information, or to enroll in the LegaCY Club, visit www.isualum.org/pride/legacy-club/