University of Iowa to change the Hawkeye Wave song

The University of Iowa is asking students to vote on the next Hawkeye Wave song after five years of the tradition.


Grace Smith

Fans wave to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital during a football game between Iowa and Kent State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Flashes, 30-7.

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher, News Reporter

The University of Iowa is changing the song that is played during the iconic “Hawkeye Wave.”

Between the first and second quarters of football games at Kinnick Stadium, student-athletes, coaches, and spectators of home and opposing teams turn to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and wave to the patients and families inside.

The Hawkeye Wave, which began as a show of support to the children’s hospital in 2017, spread nationwide after its introduction and inspired others to participate in similar traditions like the “Wave of Love” done by Jefferson High School in El Paso, Texas. The wave has also received national recognition with the 2017 Disney Spirit Award.

For the past five years, the wave has been accompanied by the song “Wave on Wave” by country singer Pat Green. Peter Matthes, the vice president for external relations and senior advisor to UI President Barbara Wilson, said in a press release that Green has embraced the tradition, even performing the song live in a packed stadium, but the time has come for a change.

“Five years later, we think it’s time to let fans choose the next great song to accompany the Hawkeye Wave because it is their tradition,” Matthes said in the release.

Fans are instructed to submit nominations for new songs or share their stories about the Hawkeye Wave and the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital through the UI Athletics website.

The UI will select the top eight songs on July 11 and then will narrow down the selection to four with an initial round of fan voting.The final song will be announced on Aug. 1 and be played at the opening game at Kinnick Stadium against South Dakota State on Sept. 3.

This is a developing report. Check back for updates.  

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