Iowa Alumni Affinity and Affiliated Groups


Iowa graduates with shared connections are invited to join an alumni affinity group. Some of these organizations are an extension of student activities, while others connect alumni with shared experiences and identities like race, culture, sexual orientation, or military service. These groups are different from Iowa Clubs, which are organized based on where Hawkeyes live in the U.S. and across the globe.

If you cannot find a group of interest, consider creating a new alumni affinity group.

If you are interested in applying for a leadership position, please submit an application.


Alumni Affinity Groups

ALUMNI BAND

Former Hawkeye Marching Band members are invited to carry on beloved music traditions such as “Hey Jude” and the “Victory Polka” by joining Alumni Band. Members receive e-newsletter updates and may return for the Alumni Band reunion each fall during University of Iowa Homecoming.


Dance Marathon Alumni Group

Past Dance Marathon participants who danced for 24 hours and raised money For The Kids (FTK) are invited to join the Dance Marathon Alumni Group (DMAG). By joining, alumni can help strengthen University of Iowa Dance Marathon and continue to support pediatric cancer patients and their families at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Members receive e-newsletter updates and are welcomed back to campus to participate in the Big Event.


Gold Leadership Group

Recent graduates who earned a degree from the University of Iowa within the last decade are invited to join the Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Leadership Group. Members advocate for the interests of recent alumni and provide advice on the best methods to engage their peers.


Iowa Black Alumni Association

The Iowa Black Alumni Association promotes the general mission of the University of Iowa and strives to acknowledge and recognize Black students and alumni for their achievement and service. The group also fosters careers, provides educational opportunities, and enhances social and economic conditions.


Iowa Black Alumni Network

The Iowa Black Alumni Network (IBAN) works to connect Black alumni with current students by providing networking opportunities for alumni across the decades. Alumni can also support students’ social, educational, and professional growth. Members receive e-newsletter updates and are invited to attend regional events and reunions.


Iowa Spirit Squad Affinity Group

The Iowa Spirit Squad Affinity Group creates lasting connections between Spirit Squad alumni, current Spirit Squad teams, and the University of Iowa Athletics Department. Past members of the Iowa Cheerleaders, Iowa Dance Team, and former Herky mascots are encouraged to get involved with the Iowa Spirit Squad Alumni Affinity Group.


Iowa Women’s Leadership Network

Alumnae and other women affiliated with the University of Iowa are invited to join the Iowa Women’s Leadership Network. This group supports members’ personal and professional growth by fostering relationships and provides leadership, education, mentoring, and networking opportunities.


Latino-Native American Alumni Alliance

The Latino-Native American Alumni Alliance works to support Latino and Native American students and alumni and provides a supportive voice for issues relating to these groups.


LGBTQ+ Affinity Group

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied alumni are invited to join the LGBTQ+ Affinity Group. It serves as a supportive and professional network that fosters a sense of pride and commitment to the University of Iowa. The group also provides educational resources on LGBTQ+ issues, networking and social events, and supports current students.


Mighty Hawkeye Battalion Alumni Association (MHBAA)

UI Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) alumni are invited to join the Mighty Hawkeye Battalion Alumni Association (MHBAA). This group promotes the Army ROTC program in the University of Iowa Department of Military Science. Members can engage with current students, as well as former classmates, and receive ROTC and MHBAA updates.


UI Scottish Highlanders Alumni & Friends Group (UISHAFG)

This group serves former Scottish Highlanders, along with their family and friends, while preserving the program's legacy and rich UI history.


UI Veterans Association Group

The UI Veterans Association Group is a virtual network that serves and connects alumni and students who have served in the military. Members receive updates about campus activities and resources.


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L.A.-based artist Charles Ray to receive CLAS Alumni Fellow award, give talks this month. Unpainted sculpture by Charles Ray, 1997, fiberglass and paint, 60x78x171 inches. Photograph by Josh White and courtesy of the Matthew Marks Gallery. Charles Ray (75BFA) was walking through the UI physics and astronomy department one day when he came across an inspiring scene. Ray, an art student whose curiosity extended far beyond the studio, hoped to hitch a ride out to the observatory for some evening stargazing. Instead, he found a group of students constructing a satellite bound for a space mission. "It just blew my mind," recalls Ray. Just as mind-blowing were the sculptures Ray was creating across the river, years before he would establish himself as one of the world's most important artists. For one physics-defying piece, he fashioned a 2,000-pound slab of concrete atop a slender tree trunk. For another, he dropped a massive wrecking ball onto a crumpled steel plate, as if Sputnik had just crashed outside the old Art Building. Charles Ray "It was such a formative experience for me," the Los Angeles-based sculptor says of his time in Iowa City. "It did something to my soul and my brain. Even though I was young, the university and my mentors gave me a great deal of independence. My curiosity was endless." A professor emeritus at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, Ray returns to campus this month to speak and receive the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Alumni Fellow award. Rather than just waxing nostalgic about his time at Iowa, Ray has organized a three-day lecture series April 16-18 with two fellow art scholars. Iowa native Graham Harman, a philosophy professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, will open the series by discussing his theory of aesthetics known as object-oriented ontology. On the second day, Ray will speak about the nature of sculptural objects. And Richard Neer, an art historian at the University of Chicago, will bookend the series by lecturing on the question of provenance, or art's origin. Ray will also give a separate public lecture April 17 in Art Building West titled "My Soul is an Object." Recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation, Ray is known for his strange and enigmatic sculptures so loaded with nods to the past that they've been called "catnip for art historians." His 2014 Horse and Rider, for example, is a 10-ton solid stainless steel work in the tradition of a war memorial, but depicts the artist slouch-shouldered atop a weary nag. Ray is also famous for his wry re-imaginings of familiar objects, like the 47-foot-long replica of a red toy fire truck that he parked in front of New York's Whitney Museum of American Art for a 1993 biennial exhibition. Ray and his studio team often spend years working on a given piece, which can fetch as much as seven figures at auction. His sculptures can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other major U.S. museums. Ray is currently preparing for a retrospective show in Paris next year?one of several upcoming international exhibitions. Isabel Barbuzza, UI associate professor of sculpture, describes Ray's work as beautiful and witty, while using scale in unexpected ways. Ray's 8-foot-tall Boy with Frog?commissioned for a prominent spot in Venice, Italy, then removed after some controversy (a version now stands outside the Getty Museum in Los Angeles)?is among Barbuzza's favorites. "His sculptures have a presence you can only see when you're in front of the work," she says. "They're very moving, and to me it's interesting what happens with scale?the viewer relates to the piece in a very profound way." Steve McGuire (83MA, 90PhD), director of the School of Art and Art History, says few others have contributed more to contemporary art than Ray. "This is a big deal for us to be able to celebrate his career," McGuire says of presenting Ray with the alumni fellow award. "I think it's pretty meaningful to him, and of course it's really meaningful for our school." A Chicago native, Ray arrived at Iowa as a gifted artist but hardly a model student. Ray's dyslexia made schoolwork a chore, and his parents had sent him to military school with the hopes of straightening out his academics. It was at the UI, however, where he finally found his language in the studio and, in turn, his footing in the classroom. "Through the syntax of sculpture, I could express myself intellectually for the first time," Ray says. "That gave me a kind of confidence." Ray studied under UI art school pillars like Wallace Tomasini, Julius Schmidt, and Hans Breder. But it was his bond with Roland Brenner?a South African professor and former pupil of sculptor Anthony Caro?that proved to be the most influential. Ray still remembers his first sculpture in Brenner's class, a steel configuration with long stems and discs at the end. Its bouquet-like resemblance didn't sit well with Brenner. "That showed me you made something, but didn't want to discover something," Ray recalls Brenner telling him. "Don't ever do that in my class again." The two would become lifelong friends. Iowa City is a different place today than the 1970s, particularly the transformation of the arts campus after the flood of 2008, Ray says. Still, his visits back to campus over the years always remind him of those crisp and clear Iowa nights at the observatory and gazing out the studio window while exploring the frontiers of sculpture. "It feels like you can see right through the galaxy when you look up," Ray says. Handheld bird by Charles Ray, 2006, painted steel, 2x4x3 inches The UI is home to six pieces by Ray, all found in the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building and displayed through the university's Art on Campus program. Among them is Handheld bird, a tiny but ornate piece depicting a creature in an embryonic state. Lunchtime Lecture Series What: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences fellow Charles Ray and two guest art scholars?Graham Harman and Richard Neer?will deliver a series of public lectures this month at the UI. When, where: 12:20 p.m. April 16?18 at Art Building West, room 240, 141 N. Riverside Drive, Iowa City More information: events.uiowa.edu/26915 My Soul is an Object: Artist Talk with Charles Ray What: A public lecture by renowned sculptor and UI alumnus Charles Ray When, where: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, at Art Building West, room 240, 141 N. Riverside Drive, Iowa City More about Ray: charlesraysculpture.com/ Support the UI School of Art and Art History

Group looks to support students and alumni and to maintain a supportive voice for their issues at the University of Iowa.

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