Book celebrating the university released this week

Dalton Gackle

The Student Alumni Association is releasing a new 128-page hard-bound book commemorating the university this week.

The book, “Seasons of Iowa State University,” features the colorful photography of Jim Heemstra. It begins with the fall semester and finishes in the summer.

“We needed a way to organize the book, and the one we kept coming back to was seasons,” said Carole Gieseke, project manager. “It goes through an academic year, fall to summer, because that’s the experience you have as a student.”

Jim Heemstra has been the Iowa State University photographer for 25 years. He works on the calendar and photos of the week for the university year-round.

“We want to celebrate the beauty of Iowa State,” Heemstra said. “The calendar has been very popular [and] this book is sort of a natural extension.”

“Seasons of Iowa State University” is the second Iowa State coffee table book from the alumni association.

“We had another book called “Reflections of Iowa State,” and it was very well received. People have been asking for a new one for some time now,” Gieseke said.

Iowa State has a very photogenic campus, which explains some of the popularity of the calendar and the previous book.

“Not a lot of other campuses can even put out a full 12-month calendar,” Heemstra said. “It’s a pretty campus. Not many other colleges can hold up.”

Iowa State has plenty of land to showcase compared to other schools in urban settings.

“Other campuses have small areas that are beautiful, but not many can compare to the whole of Iowa State,” Heemstra said.

The campus is beautiful all year, but the beginnings of each semester stand out.

“Fall and spring are the most beautiful times of year. That’s when all the colors come out and show off the campus,” Heemstra said.

But some of the best photos were taken during the winter, the season with the least amount of color.

“My favorite photo at the university is the one that’s on the cover,” Heemstra said. “It was a snowy day and I was sitting on the bank of Lake LaVerne and the swans were just swimming towards me. It was a magic moment.”

The book also features Iowa State’s history, art, architecture, landscape, environment and traditions. Gieseke wrote the excerpts in the book.

“We wanted to bring something to the table that alumni could look back on and reminisce and that current students could feel a part of,” Gieseke said.

The alumni association is hosting a release party and book signing from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the ISU Alumni Center on the Third Floor to showcase the book and its photographer.

Books are available to ISUAA members for $25 during the event. Nonmembers may purchase the book for $30. Books are additionally available online at the ISU Alumni Association’s website.

The event is free and open to the public. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be provided.

Book designer Scott Thornton was unavailable for comment.

For more information, visit the ISU Alumni Center’s web page for the event.