The Johnson County I-Club has partnered with the City of Iowa City, Iowa City Downtown District, UI Alumni Association and the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to kick off new black-and-gold traditions: Three luncheons and two pep rallies on select Fridays prior to football Saturdays. 

The luncheons have been scheduled for noon at the Sheraton Iowa City on Sept. 4 (the day before the Hawkeyes’ 2015 season opener against Illinois State) and Nov. 13 (the day before Iowa’s night game against Minnesota). A third luncheon has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9 (the day before Iowa’s Homecoming game against Illinois). This luncheon will also start at noon but will be held at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum. 

UI Athletics Hall of Fame and former NFL All-Pro tight end Marv Cook will serve as emcee for each luncheon. UI Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz will be the keynote speaker for each luncheon. He will be joined by guest speakers. Tickets to the luncheons are on sale now for $20 each at If available, day of tickets will sell for $25. 

The pep rallies will be staged at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18 (the night before Iowa’s night game against Pittsburgh), and Friday, Nov. 13 (the night before the “Grapple on the Gridiron” featuring Iowa versus Oklahoma State in wrestling and the Iowa football team’s night game against Minnesota) on the WeatherDance Fountain Stage in the City of Iowa City’s pedestrian mall. The radio voice of the Hawkeyes -- Gary Dolphin -- will serve as emcee and will be joined each week by his radio partner and former Iowa Hawkeye and Kansas City Chief Ed Podolak. 

Lute Olson, Dan Gable, the 2015 ANF Wall of Honor honoree and others will serve as a few of the pep rally guest speakers. 

Members of the award-winning University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band, Herky and Spirit Squads will lead the crowd in their usual black and gold fashion at both the luncheons and the pep rallies. 

The Sheraton’s Share Wine Lounge outdoor cafe will serve as the official beverage garden for these events. 

Both pep rallies will be free and open to the public. 

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Date of publication

Monday, August 17, 2015