One of the symbols of VEISHEA, the
torch, did not start until more than 25 years after the 1st VEISHEA. In 1949, Charles Cownie '26, a Des Moines businessman, lit the first
torch, which was relayed to Iowa State by over 150 runners and placed in
ceremonial platform on central campus.
the years several well-known people have lit the torch, including Harry S.
Truman in Ottumwa, Iowa (1950), Cecil B. DeMille (1952), Alan Shephard in
Huston, Texas (1966) and John Wayne in California (1967). The tradition was
suspended in 1973, but reemerged nine years later in 1982.
Today the torch
remains a symbol of VEISHEA as a crucial part of VEISHEA Voyage, a run through
various towns in Iowa that invites the state's citizens to visit the
university during the VEISHEA celebration.
VEISHEA Voyage, 1994