Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

"Plaque/Letter," Jack Trice memorial statue by Christopher Bennett, 1988

"Plaque/Letter," Jack Trice memorial statue by Christopher Bennett, 1988


"Plaque/Letter," Jack Trice memorial statue by Christopher Bennett, 1988


Plaque/Letter detail of Jack Trice memorial statue on Iowa State campus, featuring hand holding "last letter". Financed by students' fundraising efforts in 1988. More information can be found through the University Museums: .


Bennett, Christopher.


University Museums




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University Museums


1 photograph
photographs ; statues






Johnny (Jack) Trice was born in Hiram, Ohio in 1902. In 1922, Trice became the first African-American student athlete at Iowa State, participating in track and football. He majored in animal husbandry, with the desire to go to the southern U.S. and use his knowledge to help Black farmers. In the summer after his freshman year, Trice married Cora Mae Starland. They both found jobs in order to support themselves through school. On October 6, 1923, Jack Trice played in his first college football game against the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. During the second play of the game, he broke his collarbone. He insisted he was all right and returned to the game. In the third quarter, University of Minnesota players forced Trice to the ground and crushed him. On October 8, he died from internal bleeding due to injuries received during the game. In 1973, Jack Trice's legacy was renewed and a promotion began to name Iowa State's new stadium after him. In 1974, the Iowa State University Government of Student Body unanimously voted to endorse this effort. In addition, the Jack Trice Stadium Committee compiled more than 3,000 signatures of supporters. An Iowa State University ad hoc committee voted to advise President Robert Parks to name the stadium "Cyclone Stadium." In 1984, the stadium was named "Cyclone Stadium" and the playing field was named "Jack Trice Field." The Government of Student Body, wanting to do more to honor Trice, raised money to erect a statue of Trice in 1987. Due to the persistence of the students, alumni, faculty and staff, and other supporters, the stadium was finally named Jack Trice Stadium in 1997. Find out more about the Jack Trice papers at