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.

Related Content

The UI Stanley Museum of Art chronicles an unlikely partnership between local elementary students and a groundbreaking New York pop artist.

The UI student-founded nonprofit has launched endeavors like the 10,000 Hours Show, Mission Creek Festival, and Quire.

With the start of a new year upon us, it's time to look back at your favorite University of Iowa stories from 2018. Here are Iowa Magazine's top 10 most-read articles of the year: The Nomadic Life (spring 2018) Hawkeye football favorite Paki O'Meara (10BA) finds ultimate freedom in backpacking around the world, taking photos that inspire a sense of wonder. PHOTO COURTESY PAKI O'MEARA Kinnick at 100 (summer 2018) This past summer marked two historically significant dates for Hawkeye fans: the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nile Kinnick (40BA), and the 75th anniversary of his tragic death. In memory of Iowa's favorite son, scholar, and Ironman, we look back on his life and legacy. Ahead of the Game (spring 2018) The Iowa football team becomes the first in the nation to equip the majority of its players with a state-of-the-art new helmet designed to improve player safety. PHOTO: MARK STASTNY Hollywood U (fall 2018) Alumni success in TV and film shines the spotlight on Iowa's? flourishing screenwriting program. ILLUSTRATION: FABIEN GILBERT / ARTISTIQUE INTERNATIONAL Mountain Roots (spring 2018) Nearly 80 years ago, an unlikely UI mountain-climbing club emerged from the cornfields of Iowa to become one of the most active in the world. Now the next generation of outdoorsmen continue in their Hawkeye family's footsteps. PHOTO COURTESY EBERT FAMILY The Secrets of Sleep (fall 2018) UI doctors and researchers work to shine light on the third of our lives we spend in the dark. Illustration: John Emigh Fry's Dream Team (fall 2018) FRYFest honors Hayden Fry's legendary 1983 coaching tree. PHOTO: UI ATHLETICS Going the Distance (spring 2018) UI-trained dentist Deb Carneol (92DDS) completes seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. PHOTO: MARK CONLON/WORLDMARATHONCHALLENGE.COM At 105, Our Oldest Hawkeye? (spring 2018) Catherine Shaw Shors (35BSC), who earned her business degree from Iowa more than eight decades ago, celebrated a milestone birthday in May. 1936 HAWKEYE YEARBOOK A Heroic Homecoming (spring 2018) Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo (92BA) receives a superhero's welcome at his alma mater. PHOTOS: Justin Torner

Group looks to support students and alumni and to maintain a supportive voice for their issues at the University of Iowa.

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Statement unless you have disabled them in your browser.