A reflection on the legacy of Jack Trice

Carston Marshall at Jack Trice Stadium; Photo courtesy of Iowa State Athletics

By: Carston Marshall, junior, liberal studies

Jack Trice, the first black athlete at Iowa State, has forever cemented his legacy and powerful story in Iowa State history with two words: I Will.

The university, over the past year, has prepared for his 100-year commemoration in his honor. This past weekend, the Jack Trice legacy game was played, as well as his commemoration on Sunday, 100 years on the day of his passing.

I had one of the greatest honors of being a part of the Iowa State football team and getting the chance to play in this game, honoring a legend in not only our university history but our nation’s history.

Wearing those throwbacks was a great experience, yet the game for the team meant something more than just uniforms. For many of us, Jack Trice is one reason we came here to play football. During recruiting, Coach Campbell used his story to inspire us and show us the university’s culture that honors a young man’s courageous words.

Getting to play in a game for a man whose words and story had a major part of me attending the university was a dream come true. Honoring his legacy and getting the win at home in the stadium that now bears his name was special.

Jack Trice has been cemented in this school’s legacy before I came here, and I had the opportunity to learn this throughout this past week. Hearing about the decades of struggle students before I had throughout the ’60s-90s to get his name on our stadium and the thousands of students who went to his service on campus the day of his passing, even back in 1923 with the racial division opened my eyes to just how powerful he and his story is.

Now, we can represent him throughout our campus, from our stadium to our new facilities, with the jack trice iron bars and his statue in front of the stadium and central campus. Jack’s story connected people of different races, religions, and morals even back then. His words go further than sports and can be used as inspiration for us all.

As a team, we got the opportunity to go to the commemoration ceremony Sunday afternoon; hearing others speak about his impacts and how his letter inspired them in their own lives made me feel a sense of pride being a part of this university and team.

Reflecting on this past weekend and the events held in his honor, I now truly see his impact as a student and athlete more than ever, as a person to our university in his short time here and throughout the past 100 years. The words and legacy of Jack Trice will live on for the next 100 years and so forth. May we always remember the importance and impact of his words, especially I Will.

Editor’s note: This blog was written for an assignment with the Greenlee School’s course ADVRT 497K, Sports and the Media in a 24/7 Digital World. Following the Jack Trice legacy weekend events, students were assigned to write a reflection post on Jack Trice’s impact on the Iowa State campus, community and culture.