Iowa State University Alumni Association

Overview of Programs

Businesses may directly advertise to a local or national market through various print and electronic communications. Opportunities are described in detail in the ISUAA media kit. (Angela Tharp)

Alumni Association Program Endowments
As part of the Forever True for Iowa State campaign, the ISUAA is establishing a $10 million outreach and engagement endowment to support essential and new program and service opportunities. (Julie Larson)

Alumni Clubs
Across the United States alumni clubs organize more than 250 events annually with the assistance of the ISU Alumni Association. Events include gamewatches, banquets, family picnics, Cyclone athletics events, professional sporting events, cultural events, young alumni events, and local city events. Some alumni clubs sponsor scholarships and service projects. (Brandon Maske)

Alumni Relations Council
This body of on-campus alumni relations officers works to build and enhance the relationships of Iowa State University alumni, friends, and students with their respective colleges, the Department of Athletics, the ISU Foundation, Admissions, Extension & Outreach, and the ISU Alumni Association through communication and events, both collaboratively and separately. (Katie Lickteig)

Annual Report
Read about the accomplishments of FY16 at the ISUAA (Jeffery Johnson)

Articles of Incorporation
The ISUAA was incorporated on June 15, 1932 (Jeffery Johnson)

The Alumni Association honors alumni, faculty/staff, students, and friends with awards for outstanding service and academic and professional achievements. Current members of the ISUAA staff, Board of Directors, and awards committees are not eligible to receive awards.

  • Alumni Merit Award: Established in 1932 by the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s ISU Club of Chicago to recognize ISU alumni for outstanding humanitarian efforts that transcend purely professional accomplishments and bring honor to the university. Up to two awards are granted annually. (Presented at Honors & Awards, Homecoming) (Katie Lickteig)
  • Alumni Medal: Established in 1948 to recognize ISU alumni for long, loyal service to the university through alumni-related activities. The alumni medal is the premier award given to alumni by the ISU Alumni Association. Up to two awards are granted annually. (Presented at Honors & Awards, Homecoming) (Katie Lickteig)
  • Alumni Service Award: Established in 2006 to recognize ISU alumni whose self-initiated activities and service, nationally or internationally, consistently support the daily work of the ISU Alumni Association in further connecting alumni, students, and friends to the University. One award may be granted annually. (Presented at Honors & Awards, Homecoming) (Katie Lickteig)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award: Established in 1961 to honor ISU alumni who are nationally and/or internationally recognized for preeminent contributions to their professions or life’s work. This award is the highest honor given to alumni by Iowa State University through the ISU Alumni Association. Up to three awards are granted annually. (Presented at the University’s Distinguished Awards Celebration, April) (Julie Larson)
  • Faculty/Staff Inspiration Award:
    Established in 2011 as a way for former ISU students to recognize current or former ISU faculty or staff members who had a significant influence in their lives as students at ISU. Nominees may be anyone who is or was employed by ISU. Nominees need not be Iowa State alumni. Nominations should be submitted based on the impact the ISU faculty or staff member had on the former students’ professional or personal life. This award may be given posthumously. Up to six awards are granted annually. (Presented at the Inspiration Awards and Recognition Reception in May) (Katie Lickteig)
  • Honorary Alumni Award: Established in 1968 to honor individuals who are not graduates of Iowa State University and who have made significant contributions to Iowa State’s welfare, reputation, prestige, and pursuit of excellence. This award is the highest honor given to non-ISU graduates by Iowa State University through the Alumni Association. Up to two awards are granted annually. (Presented at the University’s Distinguished Awards Celebration, April) (Julie Larson)
  • Impact Award: Established in 2002 by the Iowa State University Alumni Association Board of Directors to recognize individuals, businesses, organizations, or units whose programs or accomplishments brought broad recognition to the university and increased the involvement of ISU constituents in the life of the university during the year prior to being nominated. Up to two awards are granted annually. (Presented at Honors & Awards, Homecoming) (Katie Lickteig)
  • James A. Hopson Alumni Volunteer Award: Established in 1999 to recognize ISU graduates, age 40 and under, who demonstrate early volunteer leadership in the ISU Alumni Association or alumni-related activities and who are members of the ISU Alumni Association. Up to two awards are granted annually. (Presented at the Honors & Awards Ceremony, Homecoming Weekend) (Katie Lickteig)
  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Established in 1968 to recognize ISU alumni, age 40 and under, who have excelled in their profession and provided service to their community. Up to three awards are granted annually. (Presented at Honors & Awards, Homecoming) (Katie Lickteig)
  • Iowa STATEment Makers: Established in 2009, this annual honor recognizes the early personal and professional accomplishments and contributions to society of Iowa State University’s young alumni (graduates under 32 years of age). (Brandon Maske)
  • Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award: Established in 1968 to recognize outstanding ISU seniors who display high character, outstanding achievement in academics and university/community activities, and promise for continuing these exemplary qualities as alumni. Awardees receive the official Iowa State University Ring from the ISU Alumni Association. Up to seven awards are granted annually. (Presented at the Young Alumni Council's spring luncheon) (Katie Lickteig)

Business Partnerships
The ISUAA offers a number of different programs to help businesses and corporations showcase their products or services by building a stronger relationship with Iowa State University students, alumni, and friends. Opportunities include: sponsorship, advertising, business membership, affinity member partners, and benefit partners. (Angela Tharp)

Ensuring stability, continuity, and structure to the organization (Jeffery Johnson)

The award-winning academic-year calendar features colorful photos of campus and is mailed in July free of charge to all Alumni Association members. Some production costs are recovered through sales of calendars in local bookstores and through the Alumni Association. (Carole Gieseke)

Cardinal & Gold Gala
First held in 2011, this Des Moines-based event raises money for student and alumni outreach programming and first-generation student scholarships. Event features silent and live auctions, live entertainment, and mingling with fellow Cyclones. (Chelsea Trowbridge)

Career Resources
Alumni can utilize the online alumni directory to facilitate networking. Alumni may also use the university's online job board, CyHire, to seek/post online job postings, as well as Iowa State's LinkedIn group. The ISUAA outsources career coaching and offers career-related webinars. The ISUAA partners with the Cyclone Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management to provide free resume critiquing for ISU alumni. (Amanda DeMaris)

The Circle
Established Oct. 29, 1999, The Circle recognizes the ISU Alumni Association’s former volunteer presidents/chairs and executive directors/presidents for their continuing efforts on behalf of the university and the Alumni Association. The first group induction was held on March 3, 2001. (Jeff Johnson)

Class Notes
News of Alumni Association members is posted continually in the online directory and on the Alumni Association website. News items include job changes and advancements, awards and honors, degree announcements, book publishing, marriages, births and adoptions, etc. (Kate Bruns)

Credit Cards
The Alumni Association sponsors an affinity credit card and deposits program in partnership with Bank of America of Charlotte, N.C. ISU alumni, friends, and faculty/staff are asked via mail, email, and phone to apply for the official Iowa State University Alumni Association credit card. The Alumni Association receives royalties from this program. (Scott Dahl)

Cyclone Central Tailgates
The Alumni Association hosts tailgates three hours prior to each home football game. Food, beverages, entertainment, and kid-friendly activities are part of the pre-game experience. The Alumni Center is open to alumni, students, and friends. Admission is free. There is a cost for each catered meal. (Lainey Crawford)

Cyclone Traditions Challenge
The Cyclone Traditions Challenge encourages Iowa State students, alumni, and friends to get the most out of their Iowa State experience. Use the Iowa State Alumni app to find a list of things every Cyclone should do to get the most out of their experience. Take photos around campus, at events, and while celebrating Iowa State, and upload them to the traditions you’ve completed. Make each and every Cyclone tradition your own. (Sarah Craw)

Cy's Days of Service
First held in 2011, this program unites alumni worldwide in community service. (Lainey Crawford)

Discounts at Local and National Businesses
Members of the Alumni Association are eligible to save at more than 243,000 businesses nationwide, including more than 100 Ames-area locations. Discounts include automotive, dining, entertainment, recreation, health & beauty, hotels, car rentals, movies, retail shopping, services, and travel. (Angela Tharp)

Fan Gatherings
The Alumni Association plans and coordinates fan gatherings at selected ISU athletic-related events and partners on and promotes spirit rallies coordinated by the ISU Athletics Department. (Amanda DeMaris)

Financial Information
Financial statements and tax returns from the ISUAA (Don Behning)

Future Alumni Network (FAN) Membership Program (formerly Student Alumni Association)
FAN, started in 1996, is a student membership program offered for $20/year (or $640 for a lifetime membership). FAN members receive unlimited local and national discounts at selected restaurants and businesses by using their membership cards. Becoming a member of the FAN connects students to more than 250,000 alumni of Iowa State University. Each student member also receives a T-shirt, ISU calendar, access to the online alumni directory, and discounts on selected Alumni Association- and SALC-sponsored events. (Sarah Craw)

Giving Opportunities
Making an in-kind or financial gift to the ISU Foundation to support the ISU Alumni Association is an option that alumni, students, and friends can choose. Tax-deductible gift options include the following: becoming a Sustaining Life Donor, purchasing a plaque on the Wall of Alumni and Friends, making an outright gift, selecting a naming opportunity associated with the ISU Alumni Association or ISU Alumni Center, making an endowment gift to the Association Programs Endowment, or funding an item listed on the Association's Wish List. (Julie Larson)

All alumni and ISU Alumni Association members are eligible to create free personal email accounts in the domain "" thanks to partnership between the ISUAA and Google that began in 2010. (Coreen Robinson)

Greater Des Moines Outreach
A variety of both formal and informal alumni networking and social events are planned throughout the year. (Amanda DeMaris)

Homecoming week is one of the busiest times for the ISUAA. Students on the Homecoming Central Committee organize a variety of activities throughout the week, including Greek house displays and tours, a pep rally, community service projects, and a newly reinstated parade. Other activities include the Board meeting, Honors and Awards recognition, reunions, and a big Homecoming Cyclone Central tailgate at the Alumni Center prior to the football game. It’s a weekend that is too fun to miss! (Katie Lickteig)

Inspiration Awards & Annual Recognition Reception
This program is held each May. Volunteers who have served on the ISUAA Board of Directors or any of the Board's committees or task forces/advisory work groups, as well as those appointed by the Board to any external ISUAA Board and university-affiliated committees, councils, etc., are announced and/or honored. ISU faculty and staff who had a significant influence on the personal and professional lives of ISU alumni are honored with the Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award (created in 2011). (Jeff Johnson)

Insurance Programs
The Alumni Association sponsors an affinity insurance program through Nationwide Insurance. Products offered include: home, auto, renters, and pet insurance. Alumni are routinely solicited to enroll via email and direct mail, and the Alumni Association receives royalties and corporate sponsorships from this program. (Scott Dahl)

ISUAA Mobile App
The "Iowa State Alumni" app helps connect all alumni, students, and friends to Iowa State University and enhances their Alumni Association memberships. Learn about alumni events and receive the latest Iowa State news! Members can also utilize a streamlined version of the online alumni directory, access a mobile membership card, and conveniently link to all their member benefits and services (including local and national discounts and VISIONS magazine). The "Iowa State Alumni" app is available for Apple and Android devices. (Sarah Craw)

ISU Alumni Center
The ISU Alumni Center is the forever home to Cyclones everywhere. The Center is headquarters for the ISU Alumni Association's staff and programs and is the workspace for the Student Alumni Leadership Council. The Center also provides an excellent setting for events, including but not limited to wedding ceremonies and receptions, meetings, banquets, and other social gatherings. Anyone is eligible and welcome to rent space in the ISU Alumni Center, and ISUAA members receive a rental discount. The Center has a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces that can be rented, and rates are based on three levels of use: public, university, and student organization. The Center offers a list of approved caterers from which to choose with a level of service ranging from drop-off to partial service to full service. The Center's professional events staff will also assist with event needs such as linens, audiovisual, and other equipment. For more information or to reserve space, contact the events staff toll-free at 1-877-ISU-ALUM (478-2586), or locally at 294-4625, or via email at (Brooke Lents)

ISU News Flash
Since 1999 the ISUAA has published a twice-monthly electronic newsletter of current alumni, Association, and campus happenings. The publication is sent to all alumni and friends every other Friday. (Kate Bruns)

ISU Retirees Association
ISU retirees, spouses/partners, and surviving spouses/partners of retirees meet six times a year for social and educational programs, in addition to a spring social and holiday luncheon. A newsletter is distributed five times per year to inform retirees of benefit changes, upcoming events, and news of colleagues. The ISURA Board of Directors conducts monthly meetings to discuss issues of importance to retirees and comprises representatives appointed by each of the colleges, the University Library, Extension, the merit staff, the Professional and Scientific Council, and the Faculty Senate. The board also has two representatives on the University Benefits Committee and one representative on the ISU Cemetery Committee. In 2013, they began the annual “Rock On” in Retirement Symposium to address issues that would be of interest to all retirees in the community. The annual Memorial Day Ceremony is the responsibility of this group. The Retirees Association became a program of the ISUAA in July 2006. (Jerilyn Logue)

The Leadership Guild
The purposes of the Leadership Guild, established in August 2009, include the creation of opportunities for former Board members to provide input and feedback to the current Board and staff and to further engage each former Board member in the life, work, and aspirations of the Iowa State University Alumni Association. (Jeff Johnson)

LegaCY Club
A legacy is any child who is lucky enough to have one or more parent or grandparent who is a Cyclone. The LegaCY Club was designed to educate legacies about Iowa State and strengthen the bond they share with Iowa State through their parents or grandparents. Enrolled children, who must each be sponsored by a current ISUAA member, receive exclusive birthday gifts and invitations to events meant excite their Cyclone spirit. (Sarah Craw)

The Alumni Association has more than 52,900 members. Annual and life membership dues provide nearly 25 percent of the Association’s annual operating budget. Although most members are graduates, anyone is eligible to join. Graduates are eligible for the New Grad program for five years after obtaining their first ISU degree. ISU faculty/staff receive a discounted rate. Businesses are also eligible to join the ISUAA. (Scott Dahl)

Member dues

  • FAN (Annual): $20/year
  • FAN/Cyclone Alley $30/year
  • Forever FAN: $640
  • New Grad: $30/year
  • 5-year Annual New Grad: $120/5 years
  • Annual single/joint: $57/year
  • 3-year Annual single/joint: $150/3 years
  • ISU Faculty/Staff: $40/year
  • Single life
    • Paid in full: $1,000
    • Paid in installments: $1,100
  • Joint life
    • Paid in full: $1,500
    • Paid in installments: $1,600
  • Business: $300/year
  • Career Level Business: $600/year
  • Non-profit Organization: $200/year
  • Career Level Non-profit Organization: $400/year

Note: Membership dues are non-refundable and non-transferable. A joint membership consists of a maximum of two people living at the same address whose records are joined in the ISU Foundation/Alumni Association constituents’ system.

Membership Benefits
Membership benefits include the ISU calendar; VISIONS magazine; online services (including the online alumni directory); members-only access to the Iowa State Alumni app; discounts on Alumni Center event registrations and space rentals; automatic membership in local ISU clubs; eligibility to access Parks Library, the EBSCO academic database, and the Lied Recreation Athletic Center; and more than 350,000 local and national discounts. (Scott Dahl)

Membership Card
Each Alumni Association member receives a membership card that shows their membership type, expiration date, and member code which can be used to access online benefits and the Iowa State Alumni App. The membership card must be shown to receive discounts at selected businesses. A "key chain" card is provided for members' convenience, and an electronic version is available through the Iowa State Alumni app. (Scott Dahl)

Membership Decals
Alumni Association members receive a "Member" or "Life Member" sheet of decals to display in the windows of their vehicles, on their electronic devices, or in their homes/offices. (Scott Dahl)

The Alumni Association offers a variety of unique Iowa State items to students, alumni, and friends to purchase through VISIONS, at events, and online. Members receive a price discount on all items. In July 2017, the ISUAA began partnering with the ISU Book Store to provide this service. (Heather Botine)

Online Alumni Directory
Association members may use the online alumni directory to find and connect with friends and classmates, or network with other Iowa Staters in their area or career field. This robust search tool allows members to search by name, maiden name, location, class year, major, student organizations and residences, and current business information -- or by other custom search criteria. In the online community, members may also edit their profiles, update their information, read and post class notes, and view coupon codes for member benefits. (Coreen Robinson)

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Iowa State University
Since 1993, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Iowa State University (formerly College for Seniors) has continually provided intellectual, cultural, and social adventures through lifelong learning experiences three times a year for all persons aged 50 and older as they grow and thrive on their lives' journeys. Students travel from across the state of Iowa to attend courses taught by current and retired faculty along with others with expertise in the respective courses. Course lengths range from one day to eight weeks, along with day trips in the fall and spring. Beginning I the winter 2011 session, OLLI ONLINE gave members the opportunity to participate in a course from home or receive a hyperlink to a recording of the class. Currently one or two courses are offered in this format during the fall and spring sessions. An annual membership fee of $25 is required to participate in this program. One benefit of membership is a minimum of seven member-only lectures offered each year at no additional cost. In spring 2012, these lectures became available with the OLLI ONLINE option. OLLI became a program of the ISUAA in July 2006. (Jerilyn Logue)

The Alumni Association provides support for various annual and special reunions, including class reunions, that are held throughout the year. (Chelsea Trowbridge)

Ring Program
The Alumni Association and the University Book Store jointly sponsor the Official Iowa State University Ring. This ring may be purchased by ISU alumni or current ISU students who have achieved junior or senior status and are in good standing with the university. (Shellie Andersen)

The Alumni Association and a number of its clubs provide a limited number of scholarships to incoming and current students. (Brandon Maske)

Special Interest Societies
Alumni who participated in specific activities or shared similar characteristics or interests while attending ISU have the opportunity to form societies/groups. (Chelsea Trowbridge)

The ISUAA offers opportunities for businesses to sponsor many of its programs and events. These include Cyclone Central tailgates, FAN, Homecoming, OLLI at ISU, ISU Retirees Association, and more. Sponsors receive brand recognition and visibility at these events in return for their commitment. (Angela Tharp)

Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation
The Iowa State University Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation was formed in 1954 to preserve, improve, and further the advancement of the carillon at Iowa State University. Membership of the foundation consists of eight alumni not connected with the faculty or governing body of Iowa State University, the vice president of finance of the ISU Alumni Association, the Talbot Endowed President and CEO of the ISU Alumni Association, and two directors of the ISU Foundation. (Jeffery Johnson and Heidi Long)

Strategic Plan
The ISU Alumni Association's 2017-2022 strategic plan demonstrates a commitment to maintaining relevancy with stakeholders, pursuing collaborations, creating a robust member base, enhancing organizational health, and broadening engagement with Cyclones everywhere. (Jeff Johnson)

Student Alumni Leadership Council
Started in 1973, the Student Alumni Leadership Council (SALC) connects and involves students with ISU through learning and leadership opportunities, events, services, and traditions to foster a sense of loyalty toward and pride in Iowa State. SALC also promotes future leadership involvement in the Alumni Association after graduation as alumni volunteers, members, and donors. (Mary Kate Misak)

  • Executive Committee members are selected for their leadership ability and service to the university and to provide leadership for all SALC committees and programs.
  • Ambassadors Committee organizes Nearly Naked Mile, FAN events, alumni tours, traditions promotions, and involvement in Destination Iowa State. This committee also works to increase Future Alumni Network participation.
  • Homecoming Central Committee organizes a variety of homecoming activities, including painted banners, community service projects, Yell-Like-Hell spirit competition, pep rally, ExCYtement in the Streets, Mass Campaniling, fireworks, tournaments, silent auction, and more.
  • Senior Class Council implements programs that benefit Iowa State seniors, including a senior breakfast, Senior Send-off, educational seminars, Senior Week events, and other endeavors to make seniors more aware of the Alumni Association, its programs, and post-graduation opportunities. Each year through the senior class gift, members of the graduating class make financial pledges toward senior class scholarships.
  • Cyclone Alley Central is the committee of students who organize the spirit group for men’s and women’s basketball games. Cyclone Alley is sponsored by SALC and ISU Athletics. Members receive T-shirts, game-time giveaways, members-only events, and special seating in Hilton Coliseum.

Travel Tours
Established in 1973, the Alumni Association travel program sponsors approximately 40 educational tours and cruises annually as well as providing travel packages to bowl games, NCAA tournaments, and pre- and post-season games. Alumni staff host trips when possible. In addition to providing travel and educational opportunities for alumni, tour and travel insurance royalties annually contribute revenue to the Alumni Association’s operating budget. (Shellie Andersen)

VISIONS Magazine
VISIONS was created by the Alumni Association in 1988 as a members-only periodical. The full-color magazine is published quarterly and mailed to members of the ISUAA. An award-winning publication, VISIONS communicates the stories of the people, trends, events, and issues of Iowa State and Cyclones everywhere. (Carole Gieseke)

Wall of Alumni and Friends
The Wall, located on the east side of the ISU Alumni Center, provides a way for all alumni, students, and friends of Iowa State University to participate and be permanently acknowledged, honored, or remembered at Iowa State University. Each plaque may include the individual’s name, hometown, ISU degree information or affiliation, and an optional personal message. An annual ceremony is held to honor individuals who have passed away during the previous year, at which time a Campanile symbol will be added to those plaques. (Shellie Andersen)

Wall of Alumni and Friends rates

  • Members: $300
  • Non-members: $357
  • Veterans: $250

The Alumni Association’s presence on the Web ( provides information on Alumni Association programs and services, career resources, and a calendar of on- and off-campus events. Alumni also can join online, update their addresses, and register for events. (Kate Bruns)

Young Alumni Council
The Young Alumni Council (YAC) of the ISU Alumni Association was founded in 2007 and is charged with targeting and engaging graduates of the past 10 years. The council consists of up to 13 graduates from the past 10 years, two current students, and one liaison from the ISUAA Board of Directors. Targeted event planning, membership drives, marketing campaigns, and various communications such as the monthly electronic Young Alumni News are being directed toward this growing demographic. Young alumni are the future keys to volunteerism, membership, advancement, and enrollment at Iowa State. (Chelsea Trowbridge)

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