Plant a piece of history after the presidential installation

Packaging for wildflower seed disc.

Seed disc and packaging.

As guests arrive at the Sept. 21 presidential installation, they'll receive an annual reminder of the celebration of Iowa State's 16th -- and first woman -- president.

An estimated 2,500 packets containing a wildflower seed disc will be handed out to audience members. The seeds are a nod to President Wendy Wintersteen's long career in agriculture. The commemorative cardinal and gold packaging with a "growing students from the ground up" theme includes a Wintersteen quote and planting directions.

The wildflower mix includes catchfly, English daisy, sweet alyssum, spurred snapdragon, corn poppy and black-eyed Susan seeds. The biodegradable disc -- imprinted with the university seal and embedded with the wildflower seeds -- should be planted in a sunny location next spring.

Installation highlights

The doors of Stephens Auditorium open an hour in advance of Friday's 10:15 a.m. ceremony. Michael Richards, president of the state Board of Regents, will conduct the formal installation following Wintersteen's introduction by ISU President emeritus Gregory Geoffroy.

Installation extras

10:15 a.m., Stephens Auditorium

Gov. Kim Reynolds and representatives from Iowa State faculty, student, staff and alumni groups will deliver brief comments. Wintersteen will lay out her priorities as president in her speech, "To Serve. To Lead. To Excel."

The ISU Wind Ensemble, Iowa State Singers and F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Artist in Residence Simon Estes will perform. Music professor and director of bands Michael Golemo composed an exclusive fanfare, "To Serve," that will debut at the ceremony.

Guests are invited to join the president after the event for a short public reception (noon-1 p.m.) in Stephens' Celebrity Café. The installation ceremony will be livestreamed.

SHOP campus food pantry for students.

ISU's Student Government planned a picnic and philanthropy effort as part of President Wendy Wintersteen's installation celebration. A student picnic will be held Sept. 20 in the MU Great Hall (11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.). Students are encouraged to donate nonperishable food items for SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers), a student-run campus food pantry. Photo by Ryan Riley.