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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 19, 2008

Homecoming 2008 partners with Habitat for Humanity

If you look closely at the floats in this year's University of Iowa Homecoming parade on Friday, Sept. 26, you might notice that some are very well constructed. That's because student groups have built 24 walls to be used not only in the parade floats, but also for walls in a Habitat for Humanity home.

On Sunday, Sept. 14, student groups built 24 walls at Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity in Iowa City. The students will help build the home Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 2-4, in Iowa City for Vala Calkins-Kindon and her family. Habitat for Humanity staff came up with the dual-purpose wall concept as a fun, yet meaningful way to engage students in a community project that helps a family in need, said Nellie Hermanson of the UI Office of Student Life.

Calkins-Kindon, a custodian at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, will be the honored guest in the homecoming parade in downtown Iowa City, which will begin at 5:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26.

The parade is just one of many Homecoming 2008 events leading up to the football game on Saturday, Sept. 27, against Northwestern University. This year's homecoming theme is "The Excitement is Building."

Preceding the parade is the Alumni Block Party starting at 3 p.m. Friday at Iowa Ave. and Clinton streets. Following the parade, a pep rally and coronation of the homecoming king and queen will take place in the Pentacrest.

After the pep rally and coronation, legendary rock and roller Chuck Berry will perform at the Homecoming concert on the Pentacrest. Berry, 81, is an influential figure and a pioneer of rock and roll. Hailing from St. Louis, Mo., he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame over 20 years ago and was named the fifth-greatest artist of all time and the sixth-greatest guitarist of all time in Rolling Stone magazine. Some of Berry's top songs include "Johnny B. Goode," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Route 66."

Opening for Berry will be Rooney, a California-based power pop group that has appeared on the hit TV show "The O.C." and toured with the Jonas Brothers. The quintet's second and most recent album, "Calling the World," features hits "When Did Your Heart Go Missing" and "I Should've Been After You."

To commemorate Homecoming 2008, a $2 collectors button is on sale at the Iowa Hawk Shop in Coralville and the University Book Store in the Old Capitol Mall. Commemorative T-shirts are also available for $12. To order online, go to

A full week of events to celebrate Homecoming 2008 is also planned:

--Sunday, Sept. 21: Fraternity and Sorority Life at Iowa is hosting a 5k run/walk starting at 11 a.m. in Lower City Park to benefit the United Way of Johnson County. Later that day at 7:30 p.m., pizza will be served at the Pentacrest followed by a showing of the movie "The Incredible Hulk" outside Macbride Hall on the Pentacrest.

--Monday Sept. 22: from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a blood drive for the DeGowin Blood Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will be held at Old Brick, 26 E. Market St. Window decorating will take place at downtown businesses from 5 to 9 p.m. The Campus Activities Board will host Comedy Night at 9 p.m. featuring comedian Nigel Lawrence in Room W151 of the Pappajohn Business Building.

--Tuesday, Sept. 23: Havoc at Hubbard, 3-6 p.m., an outdoor sports competition at Hubbard Park for student groups, followed by a barbecue at 6 p.m.

--Wednesday, Sept. 24: Sports Night, 6-9 p.m., UI Athletic Hall of Fame, where fans can meet current UI athletes, including all senior football players. The athletes will sign autographs and participate in demonstrations in their respective sports. This event includes food, games and prizes, and also features visits from Herky and the 2008 Homecoming Court. At 5:30 p.m., the Homecoming Council and the UI Alumni Association will host the Hungry Hawkeyes dinner at US Bank at 204 E. Washington St., where students can network with notable UI alumni. A new event from 9-11 p.m. will be capture-the-flag games and crafts on the Pentacrest.

--Thursday, Sept. 25: Iowa Shout, 6 p.m. on the Pentacrest, a time-honored tradition, features student organizations showing off their creative skills in singing, dancing and acting during four- to five-minute skits.

For more information, a list of sponsors, and a complete schedule of events, see the UI Homecoming website at

The UI Alumni Association is also sponsoring several Homecoming Reunion activities; for more information see

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Stefanie Ballard, Homecoming 2008 executive director,; Paul Selberg, Homecoming 2008 assistant executive director,; Nellie Hermanson, UI Office of Student Life, 319-335-3069,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,