Early in Iowa State's
history, the school was commonly called "Ames" rather than Iowa State
College. Until 1929, varsity letter winners were awarded the letter "A"
rather than "I." School songs and yells frequently used "Ames"
rather than ISC.
Iowa State Homecoming, November 17, 1923
One of the school songs,
"Fight! Ames! Fight!" was used as a marching song by the Iowa State men who
served in the 168th Infantry during World War I. The song inspired a 1917 Harvard
graduate, Harold Williard Gleason to write the following poem:
Fight! Ames! Fight!
Fourth down, three, and the
Stands are hushed-then the eager crowd
In the stadium, rows on rows,
Voice their war cry in cadence loud;
Crouching linemen react like springs;
Backs drive forward, the ball clutched tight
Nerved anew as the chorus rings
Over the chalk lines, "Fight! Ames! Fight!"
Fog and mud and a cheerless
Whispers pass through the sullen rain-
"Two minutes more, boys! Pass it out!"
Then-a whistle shrills-ends the strain;
Rattle of stones from the parapet
As soldiers scrambled to left and right
Mounting; eyes flashing brighter yet
At the heart stirring slogan, "Fight! Ames! Fight!"
Thus they answered when honor
Giving all to their country's needs;
Leaving their college stately walled-
Blazing her name with splendid deeds.
Heroes, late of the football field,
Doing battle for God and Right,
Shoulder to shoulder, never to yield,
With their glorious war cry, "Fight! Ames! Fight!"
Special Collections Department,
Iowa State University Library
Copyright © 1999, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.