Hawkeye pride runs deep during Outback Bowl events

Hawkeye pride runs deep during Outback Bowl events

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Graduates, supporters tell their University of Iowa stories
Fans at a large breakfast gatheringThe University of Iowa Alumni Association breakfast, hosted by the Tampa IOWA Club, was one of many events held for UI alumni and supporters to connect and tell their stories. Scroll down to find more photos by Bill Adams.

The University of Iowa has a great reputation among college football bowl representatives and it’s due, in part, to the overwhelming support of Hawkeye fans.

Hawkeyes from across the country flock to bowl locations to support the UI, painting host-cities black and gold. Tampa, Fla. was no exception last week, as “Go Hawks!” or “I-O-W-A” could be heard all the way from Clearwater Beach to Raymond James Stadium.

Cheering the Iowa football team was a common refrain among the thousands who landed in Tampa for bowl festivities, but telling personal stories about the UI at events throughout the week strengthened the bond between fans and the university they support. UI graduates shared memories from their time in Iowa City, while families with loved ones who’d received treatment at UI Hospitals and Clinics traded stories about life-saving care.

The 2014 Outback Bowl was the culmination of days worth of events hosted by the UI Alumni Association, the UI Foundation, the president's office, and others. Here are a few stories told by people who are proud to be Hawkeyes.

Three degrees and an impressive career

H. Garland Hershey, Jr., was born and raised in Iowa City. His appreciation for the University of Iowa can be traced back to a single photo.

“My first landmark experience with the University of Iowa was depicted in a picture that I have,” Hershey says. “It’s of me sitting on Virgil Hancher’s lap in my kitchen at a Christmas party when I was very young.”

Hershey, who has three degrees from the UI (1963 BA, 1965 DDS, 1971 MS), attended the university elementary and high school in Iowa City. His father, along with many of his school friends’ parents, were UI professors.

After serving as a captain in the U.S. Army, Hershey was appointed an instructor in the UI College of Dentistry, and later moved on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He since has served as professor, associate dean for academic affairs, vice chancellor, and vice provost at UNC.

Check out a sights and sounds video from the 2014 Outback Bowl with comments from head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Hershey’s resume proves he knows a thing or two about the academic world. That makes his praise for the UI even more meaningful.

“The area I know best is health care,” he says. “UI Health Care is an unquestioned leader and internationally renowned for a number of individual departments and programs. That’s one of the flagship programs and it’s marvelous.”

Health care isn’t the only nationally recognized program at the UI. Hershey recalls a flight back from Australia where two former Hawkeyes ended up next to each other halfway around the world.

“I was wearing something with the Hawkeye logo,” Hershey says. “The gentleman next to me said ‘Are you connected with the University of Iowa?’ I told him I was a graduate. He stood up and shook my hand said ‘So am I.’

“He had been in New Zealand as a consultant to one of their national engineering programs,” Hershey says. “We talked about what an education at the University of Iowa meant, not only to ourselves, but to people around the world. I had been in Australia doing some consulting work and he had just come from New Zealand.”

Hershey has held many roles during his academic career and meets regularly with colleagues in similar positions across the country. He carries a certain level of clout because of his UI education.

“There is an instant credibility that (having a UI degree) creates when talking to a professional colleague anywhere in the world,” Hershey says. “Colleagues across the world know it and respond ‘the University of Iowa– that’s a great place.’"


Aaron Blau, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0018


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