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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The Krause Essay Prize and its $10,000 award is presented annually by a unique panel of judges: UI graduate students. Photo: Tim Schoon/UI Office of Strategic Communication Students in the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program's graduate seminar dug into their weekly reading assignments with particular enthusiasm this past spring?and for good reason. By the end of the semester, they were tasked with selecting the best of the bunch for a prestigious award on behalf of a university known for its literary tradition. This marks the 12th year that nonfiction graduate students served as judges for the newly renamed Krause Essay Prize, a national award presented to an essayist who pushes the boundaries of the genre through experimentation, exploration, and discovery. Thought to be the only national literary honor selected by students, the prize is accompanied by a $10,000 award for the first time this year thanks to a new partnership between the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation. Shawn Wen, winner of the 2018 Krause Essay Prize, is the author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause. Her writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, Seneca Review, Iowa Review, White Review, and the anthology City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis. This year's Krause Essay Prize recipient is Shawn Wen, a San Francisco-based multimedia artist and the author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause (Sarabande Books, 2017), a book-length essay on the life of French mime Marcel Marceau. Wen, whom students selected from a pool of 14 nominees, accepted her award at a ceremony in September in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Nicol?s Medina Mora Perez, a third-year MFA student from Mexico City, was among the prize judges in the spring seminar taught by author and Nonfiction Writing Program director John D'Agata (98MFA). Perez said that beyond discussing the merits of the nominated essays each week, class conversations revolved around how they define essay writing and the type of nonfiction they wanted to champion as representatives of the UI. By serving as judges, Perez says, students had the opportunity to read a broad selection of contemporary nonfiction that they may not have otherwise sought out. "By the end of the semester I had a clearer idea of the sort of work that people are publishing today, which includes stuff that I'd like to imitate and stuff that I'd rather not," Perez says. "I guess it's a bit like watching the World Cup with your soccer teammates: You see moves that you think are cool and want to steal for your own gameplay, but you also notice pitfalls that you should learn to avoid." Wen says she's been "over the moon" since learning she was selected as this year's Krause Essay Prize winner. A producer for Youth Radio in Oakland, California, Wen says discovering essay writing "was very much like falling in love" and has long admired the UI's approach to the genre. "When I started writing essays, I felt like all these dusty windows in my brain were opened, letting in light and fresh air," she says. "It's incredibly meaningful to me that my writing has been recognized by this program and its students." D'Agata dreamed up the prize in 2007 as a way to introduce his students to high-caliber essay writing and the many forms it can take. The professor asked colleagues from around the country to recommend their favorite essays from the past year, which he then compiled into a reading list for his seminar. As an added twist, D'Agata noted that submissions could be from any medium?including radio and film?as long as they were "essayistic." To give class discussions a sense of consequence, D'Agata had students evaluate each piece at the end of the semester and select a single award winner. Author Aaron Kunin received the inaugural Essay Prize, as the award was previously known, and it soon became an annual tradition. D'Agata's seminar students spend the semester dissecting the pieces, giving presentations, and writing critiques for the The Essay Review, the Nonfiction Writing Program's national magazine. Over the years, the class has crowned winners as varied as poet?Claudia Rankine, science writer Oliver Sacks, performance artist Sophie Calle, and the producers of Radio Lab. A current group of 14 writers and artists from around the nation serve as the nominating committee, includes luminaries like Roxane Gay, Leslie Jamison (06MFA), and Kiese Laymon. "In the U.S. we do a great job teaching students about the powers and pleasures of reading and writing?poetry and fiction, but not so much with essays," says D'Agata, who in 2016 published an anthology titled The Making of the American Essay. "Essays are often an afterthought in literature classes in America." In 2017, the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation made a $500,000 donation to bolster the endowment of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program?the largest gift in the distinguished program's history. Founded in 1976, the Nonfiction Writing Program, a graduate program within the Department of English, is regularly ranked among the best in the nation and has launched the careers of alumni who have gone on to write for magazines like the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Harper's. "The Krause Foundation is about giving back and giving forward," says Elliott Krause (14MFA), a Nonfiction Writing Program alumnus who now works at the Wall Street Journal. "Helping fund the Essay Prize is a rare chance to do both. Eleven Krauses and counting have graduated from the University of Iowa; the Krause Essay Prize is a way to both express our gratitude for all Iowa has given us and be a champion for the arts." The support from the Krause family has not only allowed the program to award a cash prize for the first time, but also to invite winners to campus to present their essays and spend time with students and faculty. When Wen visited in late September, she taught a series of master classes for nonfiction students. D'Agata says that the foundation's support further legitimizes the idea of a student-driven award and its importance to the literary world. "It's also helping to bring attention to the entire genre," D'Agata says. "There are a lot of awards out there for works of fiction and poetry, but very few awards for essays. This award is saying, 'essays are awesome.' If you're an essayist, you don't hear that very?often. The Krause Foundation is helping to fix that." Krause Essay Prize Winners The UI Nonfiction Writing Program has awarded a national essay-writing prize annually since 2007. With support from the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation, the award was renamed the Krause Essay Prize this year. For more on the prize, visit krauseessayprize.org. 2018: Shawn Wen, A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause 2017: Peter Middleton and James Spinney, Notes on Blindness 2016: Oliver Sacks, Gratitude 2015: Claudia Rankine, Citizen 2014: Sophie Calle, The Address Book 2013: David Rakoff, Waiting 2012: Lauren Redniss, Radioactive 2011: Judith Schalansky, Atlas of Remote Islands 2010: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, New Normal? 2009: Mary Ruefle, The Most of It 2008: Joshua Raskin, I Met the Walrus 2007: Aaron Kunin, Secret Architecture

The Graduates of the Last Decade ("GOLD") Leadership Group advocates for the interests of recent graduates of the University of Iowa (alumni who earned a UI degree within the past 10 years).

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