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The Story of Jack Trice

Jack Trice was the first African American athlete to play varsity sports for Iowa State.

Trice died on October 8, 1923. Two days after sustaining serious injuries in only his second game for the Cyclones.

The magnitude of the moment and his purpose for playing the game was clear to Trice.

The night before the game he wrote the following letter on stationary from The Curtis Hotel in Minneapolis.

“To whom it may concern: My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life. The honor of my race, family and self are at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will! My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about on the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break thru the opponents line and stop the play in their territory. Beware of mass interference, fight low with your eyes open and toward the play. Roll block the interference. Watch out for cross bucks and reverse end runs. Be on your toes every minute if you expect to make good.”

Jack Trice had a clear purpose when he stepped on the football field that day. His powerful legacy lives on today every time the Iowa State Cyclones play a home game in Jack Trice Stadium. 

Why is knowing your purpose important?

According to @nXuEd, youth with a strong sense of purpose experience greater life satisfaction and physical, mental, and emotional well-being, perform better in school, and have higher rates of college retention.

Adults with a strong sense of purpose also experience greater life satisfaction, financial and professional success, resiliency, and longevity. 

Yet, less than 25% of high school students, and only 50% of adults have a clear sense of purpose.  

Do you know your purpose?

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