Simon Estes – From Centerville to Center Stage. Born in 1938 in Centerville, Iowa, Simon Estes is the son of a coal miner, with a grandfather who was once a slave sold for $500. Crediting his strong faith in God, Estes rose above the racial prejudice, finding his singing voice at SUI in 1961, before establishing himself as a world-renowned opera singer, with many calling him the finest baritone-bass in the world.
Our Hawkeye Sing-Along. At Homecoming 1962, The Daily Iowan published an article called “Sing Along with SUI’s Parade of Music”. Here four Hawkeye song classics and their stories were presented. Now, sixty years later, join us as we look once again at those memorable spirit-songs plus add another four to the list. From 1905 to 1985, the Hawkeyes have had some great (and not so great) chart-toppers. Clear your throat and come sing-along.
Iowa City’s Bell Keeper – Herb Gartzke. On July 4 1881, Iowa City opened its brand new, state-of-the-art City Hall. Atop the building, an ornate clock tower housed a 1800-pound bell that rang out across Iowa City for many decades. Reports say the bell was so effective, it could be heard as far away as West Branch! When City Hall was razed in 1962, Herb Gartzke, our historical hero, appeared on the scene to rescue both the bell and clock works, keeping these icons safe from the wrecking ball. Today both the City Hall clock and bell have been restored and are back at work in downtown Iowa City.
SUI or UI – What’s In A Name? From 1847 to 1964, my alma mater was known as the State University of Iowa (SUI). When the other two state colleges (Ames and Cedar Falls) decided to be known as universities, the confusion began. As a result, the long-standing SUI moniker became the U of I. Here’s the story behind the SUI story.
August 10, 1965 – Hoover Stamp Day. August 10, 1965 marked the 91st birthday of Herbert Hoover. Over 22,000 people ascended on West Branch to celebrate Stamp Day, the first day of issue for the Hoover commemorative stamp. For this 14-year old stamp collector from Mt. Pleasant, it was a thrill of a lifetime.
Old Stone Capitol Remembers – Abraham, Martin, & John. Since it’s inception in 1841, the Old Stone Capitol has been a gathering place for Iowa Citians. Revisit three iconic moments in American history: Lincoln (1865), Kennedy (1963), and King (1968) via photographs taken by iconic Iowa City photographers, Issac Wetherby and Fred Kent.
U of I Gathering Places. Attending college is so much more than tests and textbooks. Social gatherings, large and small, have always been an important part of college life. So here’s my salute to my alma mater and the time students and faculty spend outside the classroom.
Lolly Parker Egger’s Library Legacy. In 1969, Lolly Eggers came on staff at the Iowa City Public Library. Over the next twenty-five years, this lion-hearted librarian transitioned the organization from being a simple small-town library to becoming one of the most widely-respected media centers around the country. A true mover-n-shaker, Lolly Eggers led the way for women across Johnson County.
Marching, Musical, High-Stepping Hawkeyes. Originally a military unit, in 1937, the Hawkeye Marching Band transitioned to the School of Music and never looked back. In 1969, “I modestly took my place as the one and only bass” – actually there were a dozen of us in the sousaphone section – and we never looked back. Today, the HMB is a vital component to Iowa Football and everything Hawkeye.
Tom Davis – Our HMB Musical Mom. The Tom Davis-era (1968-1972) just might have been the golden age of the Hawkeye Marching Band. This jazz percussionist from Wyoming arranged some of the HMB’s best-known classics, including the timeless crowd-pleaser, Hey Jude.