UI Scottish Highlanders Reunion, September 2011

I’m currently working with the UI Scottish Highlanders on their 75th Anniversary and Alumni Reunion, to be held September 1 – 4, 2011, here in Iowa City. The planning committee is dedicated to spreading the word about the festivities that will take place in conjunction with Fry Fest. From a dedication at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame to an alumni banquet, this committee is working hard to make it a memorable weekend.

In case you aren’t familiar with this group dating back to 1936, the Scottish Highlanders have a proud tradition at the University of Iowa. In their heyday, they traveled across the U.S. and toured Europe with the largest all-women bagpipe band in the world. In the early years, the Scottish Highlanders was an all-male unit, but by 1942, World War II had so depleted male enrollment that women were invited to join. During the decades that followed, Iowa’s Scottish Highlanders gained fame at home and abroad as the world’s largest women’s pipe band. During this period, the Highlanders played at Iowa football games, in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades, and on the Ed Sullivan Show and Tonight Show. They also made a trip to Europe every four years until 1976.

If you’re interested in receiving information about the reunion, please e-mail us at alumni-reunions@uiowa.edu or call 800/IOWALUM. Our website includes the committee’s contact information and will also be updated with more news as it becomes available.

On, Iowa!

Christina Wright
Assistant Director of Alumni Programs

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  1. Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I was a member of UISH from 1978 – 1984, during the transition from a University funded activity to a Student Activity. I have a UISH group started on Facebook, the link is above. Feel free to use it to promote the Reunion next year. I’m hoping to be there. Anything I can do to help, just let me know.

  2. Gina Folsom
    Posted June 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    My mother was one of the earliest Highlanders, and I am very interested in getting her to come to this planned reunion. She is now 90 yrs. old and is quite reluctant to travel. Any ideas or suggestions to get her there? She lives in Minnesota now.

    • Laura
      Posted July 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I was a dancer also with the Highlanders 1939-1943 and remember your mother, Patty McVicker very well, altho have lost touch since our last get-together in Atlanta Ga in Feb 1944 when she and Dick , Al and I had dinner together. I do hope she will be able to attend the reunion as we are planning to be there and would enjoy getting together again!!
      If you would send your email addess I would like to send you a copy of the picture of the 4 of us taken at that time,
      Laura Dempster Rice

  3. Rita Hobbs
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I have resently come across a very old photo of a group men and women that I think might have somethng to do with the Highlanders. It is 8 inches high and 46 inches long with about 500 people in it. It appears there are more men than women, and no children or babies at all. There are buildings behind the people. One looks like some type of dorm bldg. or perhaps a teaching bldg. Th other has a steeple on the center left side . There are also several other bldgs in the background some that look like regular large homes and others could be some type of dorm or teaching also. It is winter time and there are no vehicles to be seen. A person in the from row is holding a paper of some sort that says The Highlander. Two men in the back row are wearing light colored sweaters with a big H on it. A coupld of the women are wearing very big white fluffy feathery hats. If this is the U of I Highlanders , I can’t think of any family connection. This is just a nice big mystery to my family that I would like to solve. Please respond so that I pursue this with you or look elsewhere. I am from the Marengo, Iowa ( about 30 miles west of Iowa City) area as is most of my family, but now live in Missouri.

    Thank you for any assistance you might be able to provide.

    • Whit
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Rita, for your comments. By chance are you able to scan/e-mail that photo to me? My e-mail address is whit-france-kelly@uiowa.edu. I can have members of the Scottish Highlander planning committee look at the photo, and they possibly will be able to assist you in identifying the individuals.

      - Whit France-Kelly, UIAA Assistant Diector of Alumni Programs

      • Rita Hobbs
        Posted October 31, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know if it is possible to scan it as it has been customed framed. We felt we needed to do than to help preserve it. It didn’t want to lay flat even after we had the ends weighted down for a very long priod of time. Every time it was handled the ends would get some type of damage to them. We are coming to Iowa over Thanksgiving and planning on bringing it with us. I had described it to my mother and she didn’t recogonize it from that. I am in hopes that actually seeing it will strike a memory of it and why our family would have it in the first place. It may be a possibility that at some point I can bring it to the Reunin Committe or to some other organisation that may have knowledge of it. Do you have any idea of some sort of historical committee that might be of help?

        This photograph is a real mystery we would like to solve. If I were able to bring it up other than Thanksgiving it would probably have to be next summer when I would be able to spend some time.

        Do you have a phone number that you would be willing to give to me so that I can contact you when I am in Iowa?

        My cell phone is 417-332-7083 and my home is 417-538-2384
        Thank you for your assistance.


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