Campus flooding is limited and brief

Veenker Golf Course

The eighth green at Veenker golf course is surrounded by water Tuesday morning.

On the heels of about 1.7 inches of rain in Ames, Squaw Creek topped its banks Monday night, causing flooding to Veenker golf course, the Haber Road east field and, to a lesser extent, the intramural field east of the Lied Center. Facilities planning and management director Dave Miller said the university "dodged a bullet." Any additional rain Monday could have resulted in significant flooding on the east side of campus, he said.

Instead, he said the flood water rose and receded quickly, was not too deep and was considerably cleaner than typical flood water -- all of which contributed to minimal damage. The university's coal pile east of Haber Road took a hit, and grounds crews at Veenker are working hard to return the course to playable condition. Their goal is to reopen the golf course on Friday or Saturday. Photos by Bob Elbert.

Haber Road lot

Grading alterations made around the new Haber Road parking lot helped accommodate flood water Tuesday from the adjacent Squaw Creek.

Lied Center field

About a third of the intramural field east of the Lied Center was covered in floodwater Tuesday, likely from both College Creek to the south and Squaw Creek to the east.


Network upgrade snags the phones

A major upgrade that will boost Iowa State's network capacity from 10 GB to 100 GB hit a snag Wednesday, July 9, when a malfunction in the new equipment brought down the university phone system, and to a lesser extent, other online campus services.

The trouble occurred about 5 a.m., during installation of a core router -- one of two major routers that move network traffic between smaller distribution routers.  The university phone system, which operates through the Internet, experienced intermittent service for approximately six hours. There were sporadic outages in Internet and email services.

Angela Bradley, ITS associate chief information officer, said outside consultants  have been helping campus engineers troubleshoot what appears to be a hardware issue with the new routers.

"We apologize for the extended network connectivity issues and understand the urgency and critical nature of both telephone and network service," Bradley said.

Once the new equipment is successfully in place, Iowa State's entire network backbone will have 100 GB capacity. The new network will accommodate more online users, increased use of high-speed data and newer technologies, said CIO Jim Davis.

"It also will help us stay ahead of our Internet bandwidth use, which doubles every two years," Davis said.

Fishing debris snares swan

One of the iconic campus swans is absent from Lake LaVerne, recovering from a run-in with discarded fishing line.

On Tuesday, campus services staff spotted the troubled swan, which had a fishing hook lodged in her body and the attached fishing line tangled around her wing. The swan was treated at the College of Veterinary Medicine's small animal hospital and returned to the water Wednesday evening.

Chris Strawhacker, landscape architect in facilities planning and management, said the incident should serve as a reminder that good stewardship is important for all lake users.

"Trash and debris from public use of the area really impacts the swans, fish and other wildlife that call Lake LaVerne home," Strawhacker said.

Fishing is allowed on Lake LaVerne (in accordance with all state and local laws), but a catch-and-release policy is encouraged to help maintain the water quality.

Record summer enrollment, again

A record high 11,530 students enrolled in Iowa State's summer sessions. It's the sixth consecutive year of summer enrollment growth. The student body is 297 students (2.6 percent) larger than it was last summer.

Undergraduate enrollment (7,839) is up 3 percent from summer 2013. Graduate enrollment (3,208) is up 2 percent from a year ago. Veterinary medicine students (173) and post-docs (310) round out the enrollment numbers.

Distance education courses gain ground

Distance education (online) courses are popular with summer school students. Thirty-six percent of summer school students enrolled in at least one distance education course this year. That's nearly triple the 13 percent who enrolled in distance education courses in fall 2013.

New to campus

Some students are taking their first Iowa State classes this summer. Six percent of the undergraduates and 12 percent of the graduate students are new students.


Summer enrollment









Vet Met students










Farm House Museum closes for renovations

On July 1, the Farm House Museum on central campus closed for planned upgrades. When the museum reopens in mid- to late fall, visitors will notice several changes.

Staff in the university's carpentry shop will remove and restore all of the house's historic windows. They will replace the deteriorating wood casings and rope lift system, and reglaze and repaint the windows themselves.

Additionally, new historic-reproduction wallpaper that's more reflective of the time period of the Farm House will be installed in the dining room, library and first- and second-floor hallways.

When these projects are completed, museum staff will reinstall the furnishings of the historic home to provide a fresh curatorial view of life from approximately 1860 to 1910.

Alumni Days folded into homecoming events

The alumni association has discontinued its annual Alumni Days event and, instead, will put more resources toward alumni activities during homecoming weekend.

The annual spring reunion began in the 1920s. Alumni Days recognized the 50-year anniversaries of graduating classes, and "Gold Medal Club" groups that graduated more than 50 years ago also were invited.

More information

Katie Hartranft
ISUAA reunions and awards

Julie Larson, director of outreach and events for the alumni association, said attendance at the spring event has declined over the last five years. Only 75 alumni returned for this year's event. Part of that, she said, can be attributed to closer relationships among smaller, special-interest groups within increasingly larger graduation classes.

"We're seeing more interest in smaller reunions for alumni who shared living spaces, majors or student group involvement," Larson said.

Beginning with the 2015 homecoming celebration, the alumni association will identify graduation classes who return for milestone anniversaries -- such as one, five, 10, 25 or 50 years. Gold Medal Club participants also will be recognized. Organized tours, open houses and presentations will be offered as part of the weekend activities. Alumni also will be encouraged to plan group reunions -- for instance, residence halls, student organizations, colleges or majors.

"Homecoming is the true time for alumni to come back and enjoy campus, each other and the Ames community," said alumni association president Jeff Johnson.

Happy 150th, Ames

Reiman Gardens will help the city of Ames kick off its sesquicentennial celebration, serving as host to an evening of music, food and fireworks viewing on Thursday, July 3. The July 3-5 sesquicentennial events are free and open to the public.

Volunteers are needed for the city's July 3-5 celebration. Shift times vary and may include helping with the parade, games and entertainment stage. Sign up online.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, admission is free for all visitors. Olde Main Brewing Co., Ames, will offer food and drinks available for purchase. Free birthday cake will be supplied by Hy-Vee (6:45 p.m.). Kids can enjoy face tattoos and balloon creations (6-9 p.m.).

The entertainment begins with a 7 p.m. concert by the Ames Choral Society, followed by the Municipal Band at 8 p.m. Roving musical groups (Dixieland and Oompameisters) will perform throughout the Jack Trice parking lots, beginning at 9:15 p.m. The annual Independence Day fireworks display will begin at dusk. Guests can bring in lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and coolers.

Downtown Ames will be the site of the July 4-5 festivities, including a parade, food, games and entertainment. The full schedule of events is available on the Ames 150 website.

More events planned

The sesquicentennial celebration doesn't end this weekend. The planning committee is working on a "Dinky Days in Campustown" event on Sept. 26 and a "Platting Day" on Dec. 17. The Campustown celebration will feature food, entertainment, family activities and historical displays. The platting event will include activities at locations within the city's original 12 blocks, followed by a reception.

Tree plantings and a mobile history trailer also are in the works to help mark -- and preserve -- the city's milestone anniversary. More information about participating in these "legacy projects" is online.

Summer visitors to campus

While Iowa State student numbers drop noticeably in the summer, our campus visitors data spikes. Here's a quick rundown of some of the larger groups heading our way -- and when.

Group Date Participants Staying on campus
Iowa Funeral Directors Association convention May 12-15 400 no
Alumni Days May 15-16 275, senior alumni no
Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games May 22-24 2,700, all ages yes
Odyssey of the Mind World Finals May 28-31 8,000, youth elementary-college plus 7,000 family members yes
Orientation: Fall 2014 June 2-July 3 5,500+ freshman and transfer students yes
Future Problem Solving Program International Conference June 12-15 2,500, youth grades 4-12 yes
USA Track & Field Iowa Association Junior Olympic Championships June 21-22 1,000 no
Iowa Reading Association Conference June 24-25 850 IRA members no
Iowa 4-H Youth Conference June 24-26 1,000, high school yes
National Junior Disability Championships July 5-12 200-250, ages 7-22, physical disabilities no
BravO National Dance & Talent Competition July 7-13 1,000, all ages no
Iowa Summer Games July 11-13, July 17-20 (main weekend), July 25-27 14,000 over 3 weekends, all ages, youth and adults yes
Farm Progress Show Aug. 26-28   no


If you have a large group (100+) coming to campus this summer, send a note to and we'll add it to the list.