CONTACT: GEORGE MCCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0012
Release: June 10, 1999
100-year-old alumnus to attend UI reunion
IOWA CITY, Iowa One-hundred-year-old Ralph
McIntosh is truly a loyal University of Iowa alumnus.
The 1923 graduate of the University of Iowa will attend
the UI Alumni Association's Spring Reunion Weekend activities this weekend,
his 76th class reunion. He will travel from his Rockford, Ill. home with his
daughter and son-in-law and attend the All-Class Banquet Friday night in the
Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.
"I'll be there with bells on," said McIntosh, who
is looking forward to sitting at UI President Mary Sue Coleman's table at
the banquet. At the reunion he hopes to find members of the UI swim clubs
from the 1920s, including one woman who supposedly swam the Iowa River from
Coralville to Iowa City.
McIntosh was a lifeguard at the women's swimming pool
at the UI and knew many of the young women who swam there. He said he wasn't
allowed to dive in and save them in distress, but could pull them out with
a 10-foot pole.
Besides a few jobs to pay his way through college
(tuition was $40 per year in 1923), McIntosh spent most of his time studying
in the College of Commerce. He and his twin brother, Roy, enrolled at the
UI after working in government secretarial jobs in Washington, D.C.
"Our mother told us that if you were going to attend
college, you were going to pay your own way," McIntosh said, adding that he
also waited tables at a sorority and did office work. He was able to graduate
with money left over in his college savings account.
"We did 4 1/2 years of college work in 3 1/2 years.
We took six-week sessions in the summer to finish sooner," he added.
McIntosh's brother died in 1983 while they were attending
their 60th class reunion. His wife, LaPearle, also a UI graduate, died in
1993 at the age of 96.
McIntosh retired 33 years ago as a field auditor for
the Illinois Department of Revenue, after also working with the Illinois Department
of Finance. After retirement he was able to pursue his love of boating on
the Rock River in Rockford, and he still remains active in the U.S. Coast
Guard Auxiliary. Two or three times a week, he oversees flag-raisings, handles
repair jobs and instructs boater safety courses.
He lives alone in his home, exercises regularly and
still has a sharp mind. He's able to add a long list of numbers without paper
and pencil, and remember names of people in the UI swim club he met in the
"For me, the good old days are yesterday, today and
tomorrow," said McIntosh in a recent interview with the Rockford Register
For more information on Spring Reunion activities
June 10-13 at the UI, contact Staci Prochaska at the UI Alumni Association
at (319) 335-3294 or (800) IOW-ALUM