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We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa: Home

This guide is a collection of resources related to the We Are Hawkeyes exhibition in the Main Library Gallery. (Spring 2022.)

We Are Hawkeyes Exhibit

We Are Hawkeyes:
Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa


Resources for Gallery Visitors


This exhibit celebrates students at the University of Iowa, recognizing student life as the very core of the university. It offers a sampling of historical documents and objects found in the University Archives and the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa Libraries.

Popular aspects of the student experience are depicted: Academics, athletics, activism. Protest, public service, parties.

On display are snippets of student life from throughout the university’s history: the Iowa Memorial Union as a center of activity, the performing arts as a source of vibrancy, and military service and Greek life as time-honored traditions. Decades of student publications and glimpses of social and political activism are seen throughout, demonstrating the diversity of student voices on campus.

While not every student’s experience is recounted in this exhibit, we hope visitors to the Main Library Gallery will find something that speaks to their own time on campus – whether during this past year, or generations ago.

Exhibit Curation: David McCartney, Aiden Bettine, Denise Anderson







University Archivist Emeritus David McCartney shares his observations about dorm life in the 1970s, and explains his picks for the exhibit's dorm room set:

Community and Student Life Archivist Aiden Bettine briefly explains the origin of Herky:

Community and Student Life Archivist Aiden Bettine talks about the long legacy of student-led protest on the University of Iowa campus:



The following short documentary films are part of the We Are Hawkeyes exhibition in the Main Library Gallery, but are also available to watch online.


“Campus Scenes, The University of Iowa, 1928-1933,” F.W. Kent Motion Picture Collection.

“Commencements, The University of Iowa, 1927-1934,” F.W. Kent Motion Picture Collection.

“State University of Iowa Football vs. Notre Dame – November 11, 1939,” Athletics Film Collection.

The Old Gold Rush of 1957: Iowa Hawkeyes in the Tournament of Roses, Athletics Film Collection.

“SUI-University News Reel 1960,” General Film Collections.

On a Confrontation in Iowa City, 1969. Directed by Robert Coover, University Archives.







  • Explore the University Archives
    The University Archives, located within the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives, collects, preserves, and provides access to information about the history of the University of Iowa. Special Collections & Archives is open to the public.
  • Explore the Iowa Women's Archives
    The Iowa Women’s Archives holds more than 1200 manuscript collections that chronicle the lives and work of Iowa women, their families, and their communities. These personal papers and organizational records date from the nineteenth century to the present. Together with oral histories, they document the activities of Iowa women throughout the state and beyond its borders. The Iowa Women’s Archives is open to the public.
  • Iowa Digital Library
    The Iowa Digital Library features more than a million digital objects created from the holdings of the University of Iowa Libraries and its campus partners. Included are illuminated manuscripts, historic maps, fine art, historic newspapers, scholarly works, and more. Items from the Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs make frequent appearances in the exhibition.
  • The Daily Iowan Archive
    Read digital scans of original newspaper editions. The archive includes publications between 1868 and the present day.
  • University of Iowa Hawkeye Yearbooks
    Flip through Hawkeye Yearbooks from 1892 - 1992.
  • Original Herky drawings
    See a selection of original Herky drawings by Dick Spencer, ca. 1949-1952.
  • History of the Iowa Memorial Union
    Read a chronological history of the IMU and see images from throughout the decades.
  • UI to mark 175 years in 2022
    October 7, 2021. Office of Strategic Communication, University of Iowa. Video and description of the preliminary offering of 175th anniversary activities on campus.
  • Main Library exhibit displays 175 years of UI history
    February 22, 2022. Anaka Sanders. The Daily Iowan. Overview news article focused upon the Main Library Gallery exhibition as part of the UI's campus celebrations.
  • UI celebrates 175 years of student voice, protest
    February 22, 2022. Eleanor Hildebrandt. The Daily Iowan. News article examining the legacy of student voices on campus.
  • Here are two events to check out this weekend in Iowa City, including the One Book Two Book festival
    February 23, 2022. Paris Barraza. Iowa City Press-Citizen. News article including information about the Libraries' 175th anniversary exhibit in the Main Library Gallery.
  • Students demonstrate through history; Capturing 175 years of history
    February 23, 2022. Eleanor Hildebrandt. The Daily Iowan. News article about student protest at the UI through history. Additional photo spread on 8A with photographs by Ayrton Breckinridge.

Exhibition and Engagement Coordinator, Main Library Gallery

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Sara Pinkham
Main Library Gallery
(319) 467-1805