Oct. 22, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Aly Olson, the reigning Miss Iowa who is a student at the University of Iowa that recently advanced to the Top 12 in the 2015 Miss America pageant, will be part of a special series of pre-game activities scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1, when the Iowa football team entertains Northwestern at historic Kinnick Stadium.
Olson, a University of Iowa Presidential Scholarship recipient from Des Moines who is pursuing a bachelor of music in vocal performance along with certificates in music education and performing arts entrepreneurship, will sing live from the playing field “God Bless America” immediately prior to the playing of the national anthem by the Hawkeye Marching Band as the UI pays tribute to America’s – and Iowa’s farmers – as part of the annual “ANF Day at Kinnick” presented by the Iowa Farm Bureau and the UI Athletics Department’s official recognition of America’s military veterans in advance of Veterans Day 2014 (Nov. 11).
“Aly will join a very short list of extremely talented individuals who have performed live at Kinnick. In her case, she will be providing what is likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the 70,000 fans of the Hawkeyes who will be on hand to celebrate America’s farmers and those who have served our country,” said Rick Klatt, associate athletics director for external relations.
“A handful of us had the opportunity to listen to Aly’s first practice at Kinnick last week, and her performance was absolutely stunning. I am very confident everyone in attendance next Saturday will enjoy this very special and very rare addition to the game day experience at Kinnick.”
“The opportunity to sing in Kinnick Stadium for thousands of people is an incredible honor. Stephen Swanson, my UI voice professor, helped me rehearse the song and reminded me that the song was written during World War II. As I sing, I will be thinking about all of our men and women in service and their families. I am so thankful to be an American, an Iowan, and a Hawkeye. Go Hawks!” said Olson.
Reserved seat tickets, including discount-priced youth tickets remain available for the Iowa-Northwestern game and can be purchase online HERE, over the phone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS, or at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.“The opportunity to sing in Kinnick Stadium for thousands of people is an incredible honor. Stephen Swanson, my UI voice professor, helped me rehearse the song and reminded me that the song was written during World War II. As I sing, I will be thinking about all of our men and women in service and their families. I am so thankful to be an American, an Iowan, and a Hawkeye. Go Hawks!”Aly Olson
The UI Athletics Department will also stage its second “card stunt” at the game. Fans in the grandstands will display a black-and-gold, ANF-themed design during the singing of “God Bless America.” They then will transition to a red, white, and blue design during the playing of the national anthem.
The playing field during both presentations will be a sea of red, white, and blue, and black and gold, with a 50-yard long, 30-yard tall banner in the shape of the continental United States in red, white and blue held by approximately 100 of current UI students who are military veterans filling the north half of the playing field, and the Hawkeye Marching Band and a 15-yard rectangular banner featuring the ANF logo held by 60 Iowa farmers and their families filling the south half of the gridiron.
Lastly, as part of the annual “ANF Day at Kinnick” activities, former Hawkeye Bruce Nelson will be officially added to the ANF Wall of Honor inside ANF Plaza at Kinnick Stadium during a presentation on the field immediately after the first quarter The ANF Wall of Honor salutes former UI football student-athletes who exemplify the tenacity, work ethic, and character of the Iowa farmer, qualities that have helped Iowa remain the leading agriculture state in the nation.
Nelson was a first-team All-America center in 2002 when Iowa won a share of the Big Ten Conference championship and advanced to the 2003 FedEx Orange Bowl. A native of Emmetsburg, Iowa, Nelson was a four-time letterwinner for the Hawkeyes beginning in 1993, a period that saw Iowa advance from one victory in the 1999 season to 11 victories and a perfect 8-0 record in Big Ten play in 2002.
He was a captain of that championship team and also earned first team All-Big Ten honors at the end of that campaign. Nelson was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft and played professionally for two seasons before being sidelined by injury.
Nelson, who was also a three-time academic All-Big Ten honoree, will be the third former Hawkeye named to the ANF Wall of Honor, which salutes former University of Iowa football student-athletes who exemplify the tenacity, work ethic, and character of the Iowa farmer, qualities that have helped Iowa remain one of the leading agricultural states in the nation.
Nelson’s name will be added to the plaque inside ANF Plaza located in the northwest corner of historic Kinnick Stadium, alongside that of Casey Wiegmann and Jared DeVries, a pair of Hawkeyes who came to the UI as graduates of Aplington-Parkersburg High School. That plaque rests next to another that tells the story of ANF and the importance of farming, not only in the state of Iowa, but nationally.
The UI Athletics Department and Iowa Farm Bureau will release the full schedule of “ANF Day at Kinnick” next Monday after the start time for the Iowa-Northwestern football game has been officially established.