Corn Monuments at the University of Iowa

See a pictorial history of corn monuments October 1st through December, 2023 on the ground floor of the Old Capitol Museum.

A true Hawkeye tradition, corn monuments have adorned the University of Iowa campus for more than a century. The first photographic evidence of this beloved fall custom dates to 1919. Special Collections and Archives at the University of Iowa Libraries reveal only a handful of years without a corn monument during the exuberantly celebrated Homecoming week. In one year of its absence, there was even a tombstone memorializing the tradition itself. 

These structures symbolize our school spirit, using a significant crop of our great state during a time of harvest each year, and showcase the delightful ingenuity and social awareness of the University of Iowa College of Engineering. This year, the Civil and Environmental Engineering program celebrates a remarkable 150 years at Iowa. We invite you and the many engineering alumni who participated in the construction of these distinctive designs to explore this pictorial history of corn monuments on the Pentacrest. 

For a complete history of our corn monuments, visit the Engineering Library’s guide here.

To see this year’s monument, go outside!