Distinguished Alumni Award


Louis Crist (60BA, 81MA)

2023 Hickerson Recognition Award

For more than 40 years, Lou Crist’s unmistakable voice has echoed across Kinnick Stadium and at bowl games, parades, and other events.

As the inspiring voice of the Hawkeye Marching Band, Crist’s pregame cue, “It’s time to get ready for the BOOM!” rouses every home game crowd. He also supports the band as a mentor and donor.

Crist received both of his degrees at Iowa, where he and his brother, Lyndon (66BM, 90MA), were Hawkeye Marching Band members. Crist marched in the 1959 Tournament of Roses Parade and at the Rose Bowl. Following graduation, the Des Moines native was a radio announcer for 22 years before moving to Iowa City to work in health care, retiring from the UI Carver College of Medicine in 2007.

In 1981, Crist became the announcer of the Hawkeye Marching Band, and he’s announced every performance since then. Crist has added his familiar voice to pre-season shows, the Band Extravaganza, and more. This included virtually announcing the 2022 Citrus Bowl halftime show from Iowa when he was unable to travel due to COVID concerns. He also mentors band members interested in helping with the group’s public relations and social media.

Crist and his wife, Jan Olson Crist (61BSN, 77MA), have established the Lou Crist Legacy Fund to support the band’s future. Eric Bush, associate director of bands and director of the Hawkeye Marching Band, says, “The Hawkeye Marching Band will feel the positive impact from Lou and his family for as long as the band is in existence.” 


About Distinguished Alumni Awards

Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.


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