Senior Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet

The Senior Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet was developed in 1986 by the Polk County I-Club. It is designed to recognize the accomplishments of the University of Iowa's student athletes and the athletic programs and to thank them for the acclaim they bring the state.

The dinner brings 100-150 area business and professional leaders from both the private and public sector together at the Ruan Center in downtown Des Moines to host the students. The banquet is attended by the governor of the State of Iowa and frequently attended by the UI President and other senior administrators, as well as coaches and athletics administrators.

Another primary purpose of the banquet is to provide an opportunity for graduating seniors to do some career networking. The UI Athletics Student Services Office offers a career series throughout the year that culminates with the banquet. Students attending are required to bring a resume and often use these acquaintances as a launch pad for interviews and eventual employment. "This dinner is part of the wider philosophy of Iowa's athletic department to ensure positive development both on the field and in the always looming "real world," said Kevin Agnew, an anthropology major graduate and former gymnast from Wilmette, IL who attended the banquet.

"I think that the Recognition dinner was a great opportunity for the graduating Hawkeye athletes" said Becca Schwartz, a former member of the women's swimming team and an engineering major graduate from Middleton, WI.

"I made several contacts and got an interview through the dinner." Ellen Thompson, a former soccer player from Kansas City, MO, agreed. "I also think that overall it was a great practice for me and fellow graduates to talk and network with professionals. It made me feel more at ease and confident about future interviews."

One of the effects of the longevity of this tradition is that there are a growing number of former student athletes who are now returning to the banquet as business and professional leaders. Some of those who have attended: Larry Blue (football), Scott Carpenter (golf), Melvin Foster (football), Chris Frazier (football), Chuck Hartlieb (football), Scott Helverson (football), Alan Heryford (baseball), Brian Honnold (football), Mike Martens (football), Jim Nahas (baseball) and Reid Rinderknecht (football).

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