Jingle Jog changes the scope of WinterFest

Emily Stearney

Save for a pair of running shoes on every student’s feet, the crowd in front of Beardshear Hall on the evening of Dec. 5 was dressed entirely in festive holiday gear.

Iowa State’s eighth annual Andy Albright Jingle Jog brought 270 students to Central Campus to run in memory of Albright, a Freshmen Council member, who died in a car accident eight years ago.

As a part of WinterFest, a collaboration among different ISU organizations, the Jingle Jog raises funds for the $1,000 Andy Albright Memorial Scholarship.  

“This event started because the Freshmen Council wanted to come up with a great way to kind of memorialize and honor him,” said Ashley Dvorsky, Freshmen Council historian.

The Freshmen Council organizes the Jingle Jog every year to generate funds for the scholarship, which is awarded to one first-year student who has demonstrated leadership skills and a strong academic standing.

“All the funds that the runners paid to go in the Jingle Jog get contributed to that scholarship fund,” said Khayree Fitten, co-chairperson of the event committee.

After gathering at the steps of Beardshear Hall, students and community members were serenaded by the members of “Shy of a Dozen,” a men’s a cappella group that sang holiday music, including “Deck the Halls” and “Africa.”

The runners were then instructed to gather behind the crosswalk and face north.  After a countdown, the pine tree on Central Campus lit up, and students began the two-mile run for Andy Albright.

Students who wanted to participate paid a $20 fee to sign up for the race. Jingle Jog t-shirts were given out an hour before the event, as students registered in the Multicultural Center of the Memorial Union.

Albright was a sophomore and a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, as well as ISU Ambassador at the time of the 2005 accident. 

“With the help of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, we were able to endow a scholarship this year,” said Kathryn Leidahl, sophomore in pre-business and part of the event committee for Jingle Jog.  

In the past, AGR has also hosted a breakfast to fundraise for the scholarship. 

Jingle Jog has expanded since its start in 2006. According to members of the Freshmen Council, it is expected to grow even more.

Fitten said that the Jingle Jog not only provides a scholarship and a way to memorialize an Iowa State student, but it has changed WinterFest all together. 

“WinterFest used to be simply within the student activities center but it’s really taken on a new form.  Definitely more student involvement in the past three to four years,” Fitten said about the growing popularity of the event.

The annual Andy Albright Jingle Jog was just one way to participate in holiday festivities. By running in the Jingle Jog, 270 students showed support for Freshmen Council and one of Iowa State’s former students.