60 years of Cy: ISU mascot celebrates birthday on Homecoming


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Cy gets ready for the team to run onto the field before the North Dakota State game Aug. 30 at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones fell to the Bison 14-34.

Emily Barske

Many things have changed about Iowa State in the past 60 years. Today’s students and graduates hold different values than those who graduated 60 years ago, yet all these Cyclones can be represented by one symbol — Cy.

This year’s homecoming theme “Experience the ExCYtement” celebrates 60 years of Iowa State’s mascot, Cy. Several of the homecoming events are themed around Cy’s 60th birthday.

Special events co-chairs for the Homecoming Central Committee Gabrielle Clark and Keaton Mohr said Cy’s 60th Birthday Party will be held in conjunction to this year’s pep rally. The events will be held at the Alumni Center from 5 to 9 p.m.

The event is geared toward all age groups. Students, community members, alumni and their families are invited to attend the activities that night.

“The pep rally is where we try to get the whole community involved and not just college students,” Mohr said, a sophomore in community and regional planning.

While the activities will highlight Yell Like Hell finalists, Cardinal Court, the football team and the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the guest of honor will be Cy.

Among the many activities planned, Cy’s birthday will be celebrated throughout the evening. Along the birthday theme, there will be elements from kids’ parties, birthday cake and singing happy birthday to Cy.

The Homecoming Central Committee chose Cy’s 60th birthday as an underlying theme for homecoming because he is a unified icon of Iowa State. From the football sideline, to fundraisers and local restaurants — Cy’s can be seen everywhere.

“Cy’s 60th birthday is really important for everyone because anytime in the last 60 years that someone’s graduated from here — he was a part of their college experience,” Clark said.

While Clark is a current student that believes in Cy’s significance, this attitude has been around for much longer.

“Anyone that’s a fan of the team wants to be associated with Cy because he’s part of the team,” Eric Kline, a 2004 ISU grad who served as Cy for two years, said. “They can’t necessarily get with the players, but they can get with the mascot because he or she is the most approachable.”

Cy not only symbolizes the unity of the university at Iowa State, but across the country. Kline, who resides in Virginia as a special agent for the Air Force, said no matter where he is with his Iowa State gear on, people recognize Cy and tell him ‘Go Cyclones.’

The homecoming events are meant to unify the university’s past and present students, as well as the city of Ames. Mohr added they hope all 30,000 plus students get excited and realize they are part of this community.

“Regardless of what your interests are or what your major is or where you’re from, you all are banded together around this one central idea, central university, and central symbol who’s Cy,” said Clark.