Iowa State University Alumni Association

Bells of Iowa State

Bells of Iowa State

Bells of Iowa State

James C. Wilson (1900-1995) was a member of Iowa State's English faculty from 1928-1931.  He had to resign due to his lack of a Ph.D., and prior to his departure, he submitted a college song candidate for a song contest sponsored by the Iowa State Club of Chicago.

Jim and his wife, Alice, moved to Chicago where as he notes, "We (in addition to their two babies) had $212 in cash from my last paycheck, our five-year-old Chevrolet, and the tent."  He won first place with "The Bells of Iowa State," and the family was able to purchase a small cottage on Lake Michigan.

"When I wrote "The Bells of Iowa State," I thought then that it had much more depth and emotion than your basic football fight song," Wilson said.  "Its continuing popularity leaves me very pleased, not so much because it's my own song, but because it has had such a good effect on those who have been touched by it."  (The Iowa Stater, June 1983)

The "Bells of Iowa State"
Current Alma Mater

Green Hills for thy throne,
And for crown a golden melody,
Ringing in the hearts of all
Who bring thee love and loyalty.

Dear Alma Mater,
Make our spirits great,
True and valiant,
Like the Bells of Iowa State

Hear the ISU Cyclone Marching Band play The Bells of Iowa State.

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