Monday, October 17, 2022

flags in IMU
Flags on display in the newly named International Ballroom in the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus

Wander through the halls of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) and you’ll find examples of the IMU’s values, relationships, ingenuity, inclusion, performance, and student success, in how they operate and demonstrate their priorities. In fall 2022, the Second Floor Ballroom in the IMU will be renamed the International Ballroom to reflect this commitment to its values along with a permanent display of flags installed in the ballroom that represent the international students and scholars that attend the University of Iowa.

"We are laser-focused and committed to living our IMU values visibly, and the opportunity to rename the Second Floor Ballroom as the International Ballroom is a visible and lasting demonstration of our commitment to inclusion and belonging,” said Bill Nelson, associate dean and executive director of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The chief aim of the International Ballroom is to promote inclusion on campus. It will serve as a meeting place for all to gather and learn from one another; building and expanding communities is essential to growing the Hawkeye family at home and abroad.

“The International Ballroom recognizes Iowa’s proud history of welcoming international students and scholars,” said Russ Ganim, associate provost and dean of International Programs. “It also celebrates their many contributions to the UI community while underscoring Iowa’s role as a leader in global education.”

International students and scholars make significant contributions to our campus community through cultural exchange, research, teaching, and enrichment of student life. Their contributions help to make the UI a leader in global education by advancing Iowa’s academic presence in the world and expanding the Hawkeye family throughout the globe. In fall 2022, 2,063 international students from 106 foreign countries and territories studied or conducted post-graduate research at the UI.

“Displaying the flags of the countries representing our international students and scholars in what is now the International Ballroom stands as the perfect complement to the flags that decorate the IMU footbridge each spring and fall,” said Ganim. “The bridge illustrates the journey between countries and cultures that global Hawkeyes make when coming to Iowa, while the IMU International Ballroom symbolizes the welcoming environment our international students and scholars find once they arrive on campus.”

The dedication of the International Ballroom in the IMU will take place on Friday, November 11, 2022, from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. in the International Ballroom. The event is open to the public and will feature a welcome from President Wilson; representatives from undergraduate, graduate, and professional student governments; and others.

The permanent flag display featured in the IMU International Ballroom was made possible due to the generous support of the Stanley-University of Iowa Foundation Support Organization and funding from the Office of the President, the Iowa Memorial Union, and Undergraduate Student Government. The creation of the International Ballroom was a collaborative effort involving the IMU/Division of Student Life, the Office of the President, International Programs, Undergraduate Student Government, and Graduate & Professional Student Government.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Daniel Vorwerk in advance at or 319-467-1619.


International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.