Last month the staff of fyi offered
quiz” to see how familiar our campus colleagues
are with University trivia. fyi associate
editor Amy Schoon had quite a bit of fun researching
learning more about the University, and putting together
the following answers. (Click here
for a list of those who made the grade.)
where the photos to the right are located on campus.
It’s amazing how thousands of people walk by
campus buildings every day and never really “see” them.
University Relations photographer Tom Jorgensen aimed
his lens at some architectural details one afternoon
and came up with these images.
a. Macbride Hall—on the east doors
b. Iowa Memorial Union—east side, across from
the parking ramp
c. Halsey Hall—part of the dance building’s
d. Iowa Memorial Union—on the east side, base
of a lamppost across from the parking ramp
e. Quadrangle Hall—part of a gate (this one
nearly stumped the fyi staff, who spent the longest
time wondering what the initials UAD stood for—one
guess was University Athletic Department—before
realizing that the circle around the letters was
actually a Q, therefore spelling QUAD)
f. Hospital Parking Ramp 4—the “P” is
tucked away between the ramp and the southwest doors
of the Field House
the winner is…??
afraid. Be very afraid.
that was the sentiment echoing in most people’s
heads around campus as they pondered whether
to take fyi’s UI trivia quiz—because
we received only 10 entries. (We actually
had 12 people enter. Some teamed up on their
who didn’t enter missed out. All entrants
have won an fyi t-shirt. The top five “guessers” also
have won the book Old Capitol: Portrait of
an Iowa Landmark by Margaret N. Keyes, courtesy
of the University of Iowa Press.
scorer was Janet Bell, secretary in urban
and regional planning, who only missed one
and a half questions (out of 26 total), followed
closely by Emil Rinderspacher, senior associate
director of admissions, who missed two and
out the top five were the team of Cheryl
Sheets, secretary, and Ann
assistant, in the Department of Surgery;
Greg Gingerich, biological sciences research
assistant; and the team of Lori Smith, ITS
business manager, and Carol Casey, administrative
assistant in Facilities Services Group–Design
and Construction Services. (The teams can
duke it out over the book.)
entrants were Theresa Dunkin, program associate
for the Statewide Residency Training Program;
Cynthia Herron, mail clerk–central
mail system; and Mary Geraghty Kenyon, associate
editor, Lois Riggan, secretary, and Tom
associate editor, University News Services.
What did the following UI undergraduate students
have in common?
Jacob Van der Zee (1905), Charles G. Siefkin (1930),
Margaret O. Little (1983), and our own Mark E. Schantz
(1963), the University’s current general counsel,
all were Rhodes Scholars. According to Iowa Curios,
a trivia booklet printed by the UI Foundation in 1984,
these folks were among 15 undergraduate students from
Iowa named Rhodes Scholars since the awards were first
given in 1902. The scholarships provide full tuition
for at least two years of study at Oxford University.
Which University building had to be moved across
the street in 1904 to make way for new campus construction?
The old Science Hall, now known as Calvin Hall, took
a trip 105 feet across Jefferson Street to make room
for the new Hall of Natural Science, known today as
In the book A Pictorial History of The University
of Iowa, author John C. Gerber and his colleagues note
that the moving project “required 1,000 screw
jacks to lift the building, 27 railroad cars of timber
to serve as cribbing, and about 700 rollers, each six
inches in diameter and four feet long.” The move
took six months and, amazingly, the building was kept
perfectly level (all three stories and 6,000 tons of
it), and classes continued to meet inside the entire
year was fyi first published?
Volume 1, Number 1 of For Your Information: News
of General Faculty Interest made its debut on Jan. 21,
1964. The first issue included details about recent
faculty lectures, published papers, and research, as
well as reports from proceedings of University committees
and the Graduate College, and a memo from Virgil M.
Hancher, University president. The issue, typewritten
and printed on 8-by-11-inch paper in pastel colors,
listed events of interest on the “SUI (State
University of Iowa) Calendar.”
Through the years, fyi expanded to include staff news
(merging with the publication Staff) and photography
in a tabloid format on newsprint. In January, the publication
will celebrate its 40th year serving campus readers.
Some of you were clever enough to try guessing based
on our current volume number, 41, but the numbering
system went askew at some point when fyi switched from
calendar year to academic year when calculating volume
1939, Iowa established the nation’s first
_____ _____ that used preservative agents for long-term
The answer is “blood bank” and it’s
another in a long line of firsts credited to The University
of Iowa and often mentioned in admissions publications
for prospective students. Iowa was the first in the
world to accept creative work in theatre, writing,
music, and art as theses for advanced degrees; first
to admit men and women on an equal basis in the United
States; first to establish a law school, educational
radio station, and daily campus newspaper west of the
Mississippi; and first in the nation to create a permanent
college-level Department of Education. And that’s
just for starters.
1961, Iowa was the first university to completely
design, assemble, and operate a WHAT?
If you chose d. a spacecraft, you chose correctly.
Iowa’s connections to space exploration have
become legendary. James Van Allen, professor emeritus
of physics and astronomy, is credited with a breakthrough
that many would say was America’s first great
space discovery—Earth’s radiation belts
(which today bear his name). Iowa Curios Vol. Two,
printed by the UI Foundation in 1987, says the spacecraft
was called Injun 1 (a name that probably wouldn’t
ashes were reportedly scattered over campus in 1940?
Iowa Curios Vol. Two had a little fun with this question,
so we thought we’d borrow it for the quiz. Apparently,
a biography of Benjamin Shambaugh claims that the former
political science professor’s ashes were scattered
across campus. But the claim has been disputed—most
notably by his now-deceased widow who, years after
his death, “couldn’t recall exactly what
had been done with her husband’s remains.”
much was the cost of tuition, as advertised in a local
newspaper on March 5, 1855?
Larry Perl, 1976 UI alumnus, wrote Calm and Secure
on thy Hill: a retrospective of the University of Iowa.
Chapter two was devoted to the University’s “grand” opening,
which (as he described it) wasn’t all that grand.
There were no parades or ceremonies. Only 124 students
were enrolled for the school term, which was 16 weeks
long. Tuition was $4.
. Who wrote the lyrics to the Iowa
Meredith Willson made his hometown of Mason City,
Iowa, famous in the Broadway hit The Music Man, but
this musician-composer gave Hawkeye fans a way to cheer
on the teams—he penned for us a fight song. A
collection of Willson’s personal papers, including
holograph sheet music of the fight song and the final
script of The Music Man, are held by UI Special Collections.
the Iowa Writers’ Workshop award-winning
faculty members with the titles of their published
Visits to the workshop’s web site at www.uiowa.edu/~iww and to Amazon.com may have guided you to the answers
(and sparked your interest in learning more about the
authors and their acclaimed work).
I. James Alan McPherson/d. Elbow Room
II. Marilynne Robinson/e. The Death of Adam: Essays
on Modern Thought
III. James Galvin/a. The Meadow
IV. Frank Conroy/f. Stop-Time
V. Ethan Canin/b. Carry Me
Across the Water
VI. Marvin Bell/g. Stars Which See, Stars Which Do
VII. Mark Levine/c. Enola Gay
What 1918 event caused the academic year to begin
late and sent more than one-third of the student body
to the hospital?
The Spanish Influenza Epidemic that ravaged the country
in 1918 left its mark on Iowa City, too. For most of
October, the University was put under military quarantine,
the law building was transformed into an emergency
hospital, and hundreds fell ill. Around mid-December,
the epidemic faded in the area. All told, seven student
nurses and 31 University men died. (We gathered our
information from an article in the summer 1967 issue
of Staff, a magazine published by University Personnel
What was the name of the first student newspaper
The University Reporter. It was a 16-page monthly
that began printing in 1868, then merged with the two-year-old
Vidette in 1881 to become the Vidette-Reporter, a four-page,
three-times-a-week paper that cost three cents a copy.
Another weekly, the S.U.I. Quill, started in 1891,
then merged with the Vidette-Reporter in 1901 and became
The Daily Iowan. (Source: A Pictorial
History of The University of Iowa by John C. Gerber)
What “dangerous” popular pastime prompted
the student newspaper to write a note of caution in
1889 “to call students’ attention to the
danger” and remind them that almost every year
it “claims some poor fellow’s life”?
Ice skating on the Iowa River—it may not have
been that day’s equivalent of binge drinking,
but it seemed reckless to many.
once said, when criticizing the campus architecture, “You
must give up your sentimentality about Old Capitol
or you will be doomed”?
He may have been a renowned architect, but Frank Lloyd
Wright didn’t make many friends in Iowa City
with his comment. According to Iowa Curios Vol.
when Wright was on campus to lecture at a summer arts
festival, Earl Harper, the director of fine arts, was
so distressed by Wright’s criticism that he introduced
the architect by apologizing to the audience in advance
for what he might say. And then it only got worse.
Wright, during his speech, reportedly tried to tone
down his opinions by noting that Old Cap “wasn’t
all that bad, since the state hadn’t had enough
money to really spoil it.”
Which of the following was NOT an Iowa mascot?
Yep. We tried to trick you. Although Floyd (as in
Floyd of Rosedale, the bronze statue up for grabs each
year at the Minnesota-Iowa football game) is a pig,
he—to our knowledge—has never been an Iowa
mascot. The history books and trivia hounds note that
before Herky the Hawk represented Iowa teams, a live
Great Dane mascot named Rex paraded around wearing
an old horse blanket with a large “I” on
it. Another live mascot, Burch the Bear Cub, lived
under the bleachers at Iowa Field and roamed the sidelines
for two years before tragedy struck; he drowned in
the Iowa River in March 1910.
The hawk mascot sprang from journalism professor Dick
Spencer’s pen more than 50 years ago. He drew
a couple of lifelike birds then quickly sketched a
caricature of a grinning bird wearing an Iowa sweater
and waving one wing—a character some described
as a cross between Woody Woodpecker and a bald eagle.
A man named John Franklin, of Belle Plaine, won a prize
for naming the bird Herky, short for Hercules.
compiled by Amy Schoon