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Chapman, Jay

Published onMar 11, 2021
Chapman, Jay

Jay Chapman, 2016

Commissioned by University Museums and the College of Engineering. U2017.104

JAY CHAPMAN (BS ’90, MS ’93 aerospace engineering) grew up in Spirit Lake and now lives in Urbandale, where he is a risk management manager for Wells Fargo. His passion, however, lies with the Iowa State Cyclones.

From Cyclone athletics to the ISU Alumni Association to the Alumni Band, Chapman shows up almost everywhere there is cardinal-and-gold, helping the university with his time and talent.

He is president of the Cyclone Gridiron Club and has served on its board for many years. Thanks in part to his volunteer efforts during that time, the organization has grown its membership to over 800 and raised more than $2.3 million for Cyclone football.

When he was a student, Chapman found a second family with the Iowa State University Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band. He played the trumpet, was a left and right guide for the band and led the band as drum major in 1990 and 1992.

“Iowa State has impacted my life first and foremost by introducing me to my wife [Karen Heldt-Chapman (BS ’92 business management)] via the marching band, choir, and the ISU performance of the Pirates of Penzance,” he said. “Our best friends are those we met while at Iowa State and those we’ve made while attending a variety of Iowa State events.”

That sense of family he found with the band remains to this day. Chapman is a past president of the Alumni Band Society and is the unofficial conductor of ISU’s alumni pep band, which performs regularly throughout the year.

He also has been extremely involved as a board member and past president of the Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club and helps promote ISU Alumni Association events in the Des Moines area. He served the ISU Alumni Association for six years as a member of its Honors & Awards committee.

Jay and Karen Heldt-Chapman are members of the Campaign Cabinet for the College of Engineering in Iowa State’s Forever True fundraising efforts.

His personal philosophy reflects his Cyclone passion and what he learned at Iowa State: “Make that extra effort.” 

Dean of the College of Engineering, Sarah Rajala: Jay is truly Mr. Cyclone – the most passionate alumnus with his volunteer efforts, leadership commitment and support of our college and several programs at Iowa State.

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