Ronald Reagan at VEISHEA

Tribune photo from May 16, 1958
Ronald Reagan was the featured guest speaker at "VEISHEATHON," the official opening event of the 1958 Veishea celebration, "VEISHEA presents the century".  Mr. Reagan is shown with Burt Drexler and others of the almost 500-member cast in Starways, the Stars Over Veishea production.  The production, performed at 8pm at Clyde Williams Field, depicted, through song and dance, the history of Iowa State College.  The rain, timed perfectly, allowed the production to proceed unhampered by the weather.  A crowd estimated at more than 70,000 people viewed the parade.  The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity float entry was the sweepstakes winner.  View photos from the 1926 VEISHEA parade.

May 16, 1958, Ames Daily Tribune


More than 3,000 persons turned out for Veisheathon ceremonies in the Armory last night.  The theme of the Veisheathon was "Veishea's Vision."  Actor Ronald Reagan, formerly of Des Moines, was the featured speaker.  His topic was "The Future of America Depends Upon Our Vision."

Reagan described his experiences in fighting communism in Hollywood.  Advocating a return to "government as advocated by those men who drew up the Constitution," he said "The best government is the least government."  Reagan pointed out similarities between legislation he said is proposed for Congressional action and the program advocated by Karl Marx for the abolition of the middle class.

The Veishea Queen of Queens, Darlene Mote, and her attendants, Marian Kruse and Linda Sloan were announced during the ceremonies.  Members of Phi Beta Pi and Tau Kappa Epsilon, winners in the Sor-Dor and interfraternity sing contests, furnished music during the program.  Many of the past Veishea Queens were in attendance and were presented to the audience during the program.

A full page in the Ames Daily Tribune announced the VEISHEATHON.

In 1958, Iowa State College (University) celebrated the centennial of the founding of the college.  There were several events held to celebrate the centennial; the three largest observances included a Founder’s Day Celebration, the centennial VEISHEA, and the centennial commencement.

The first of the celebrations was Founder’s Day, which was held on March 22, 1958 to commemorate the day when the governor of Iowa signed the act establishing the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. The day began with a processional where faculty, alumni, and honored guests in academic attire walked from the Electrical Engineering Building to the Armory for the convocation.  At the convocation, Herschel C. Loveless (Governor of State of Iowa), Harry H. Hageman (President of the Iowa State Board of Regents), James L. Morrill (President of the University of Minnesota), and James Hilton provided speeches.

"VEISHEA presents the century" was the theme for the 1958 VEISHEA.  Filled with the usual VEISHEA activities (open houses, the parade, Stars Over VEISHEA, and canoe races), the celebration focused on Iowa State’s 100th anniversary.  The parade floats featured social and technological advancements from 1858 to 1958 and the open houses reviewed the progress made at Iowa State in its first 100 years.  The Stars Over VEISHEA production was an original musical created for the centennial.  This musical, "Starways," portrays a series of reminiscences reflecting college life during Iowa State’s first 100 years.

The last of the centennial celebrations, the commencement and Alumni Days were held June 13 – 14, 1958.  The festivities consisted of a graduation ceremony for over 1000 students, a senior prom, and an all alumni centennial luncheon.  The Class of 1958 entombed a time capsule in a granite bench (also a gift of the Class of 1958).  The capsule contains a 1958 Bomb yearbook, a print of Democracy’s College, VEISHEA program, a copy of the Green Gander (Iowa State’s humor magazine), a copy of the Iowa State Daily, and a prophecy written by 1958 senior class president, Jerry Landman.  The time capsule is to be opened by the senior class president of 2058.

Iowa State looks like a wonderful place. The hospitality is overwhelmingly generous...  People are so friendly....

May 8, 1958, Ames Daily Tribune


Six judges have been named to view and judge the 1958 Iowa State College Veishea parade which will be held on the morning of the closing day of Veishea May 17.  The more than 80 floats will be judged on the basis of public appeal, craftsmanship, appropriateness, originality and design, beauty and color.

Judging for public appeal will be Jack Shelley, news director for radio and television station WHO, Des Moines; Percy Dean, College Information Service photographer; and Clay Stapleton, head football coach at Iowa State College.  Paul Larson, Marshalltown architect, will judge for craftsmanship, W. S. Rupe, Ames, publisher of The Tribune, will judge for originality and Mrs. Ferris A. Gordon, Marshalltown, director of the Central Iowa Art Association, will judge for design, beauty and color.

The parade will be three miles in length and feature floats sponsored by dormitories, fraternities, sororities and other organized groups and clubs.  Twenty-five high school bands and the Iowa State College marching band will be in the parade.  The Veishea parade is one of the largest in the Midwest and is entirely student-managed.