Hilton Coliseum’s center court scoreboard read 4:00 to go. The Iowa State men’s basketball team, 70; Iowa, 51.
It was December 9, 2021. The crowd was up and ready to clap to the ﬁght song. Erin Lowe, a Cyclone Alley student-leader, took her place on the walkway around the balcony – actually, for her, the track.
The pep band launched, the bass pounding. The crowd kept the beat. The siren wailed.
O we will ﬁght, ﬁght, ﬁght for Iowa State,
And may her colors ever ﬂy.
Lowe raised a huge I-State ﬂag, waved it high, and pivoted to run around the coliseum.
Her parents, Iowa State graduates Mark (’88 community and regional planning) and Linda Lowe (’90 accounting) of West Des Moines, recorded the moment — as well as their own cheers.
“Come on, Erin,” yelled her dad. “This is it. You’ve waited your whole life for this, Erin.”
“Wooooo!” shouted her mom as Lowe hit the backstretch.
Right on time, just as the music stopped, Lowe ﬁnished her run with a hop and a few over-the-head maneuvers, the center of Hilton Magic, waving Iowa State’s cardinal and gold.
That ﬂag represents Cyclone athletics. It also represents all Iowa Staters, especially the university’s more than 25,000 undergraduates so full of passion, smarts, resilience, and purpose.
Whether in Hilton Coliseum or around the world, all kinds of students, in their own ways, are waving the university banner. You’ll meet four of them here, each doing special things to keep the Iowa State colors ﬂying.
The Tireless Leader
Lowe ﬁgures a really good lap around Hilton Coliseum is 46 seconds – “if I don’t run into anyone.”
(“One time I hit a kid and I felt really bad about it.”)
Lowe, a graduate of West Des Moines Valley High School, is from a family of (mostly) Cyclones. She’s been telling people since seventh grade that she’d be an Iowa State ﬂag runner one day.
“It has been a lifelong dream,” she says. One dream accomplished, Lowe is a senior and in the ﬁnal steps of preparing for the next one. She’s an elementary education major and the recipient of a federal TEACH Grant, the Forever Scholarship, and the Pike Family Education Scholarship among other aid. She’s excited to spend the spring semester as a student teacher.
She ﬁgures she’s ready. There’s all that coursework behind her. She’s also spent her entire Iowa State career practicing leadership with the Alumni Association’s Student Alumni Leadership Council (SALC), including its First Year Leadership League. She joined Cyclone Alley her sophomore year and has been a co-director.
That has meant lots of committee meetings, organizing, learning students’ strengths, building relationships, and showing up early to make sure everything is ready for a SALC event or a big game.
“That gave me a way to better connect to the university,” Lowe says. “It has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see behind the scenes.”
By stepping up and running with the opportunities, Lowe now knows that successfully waving the ﬂag for Iowa State means she needs to be halfway around Hilton when Cyclone fans hit that line and sing, “Ev’ry yard for I.S.U.”