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How a Facebook Post Sparked The Hawkeye's Children's Hospital Tradition

Each college campus has its traditions. 

Penn State and its White Out, Wisconsin and House of Pain’s "Jump Around," Virginia Tech and Metallica’s hit "Enter Sandman." But then there's Iowa and its sentimental wave. 

At the end of each first quarter, thousands of fans, players, coaches and staff members in Kinnick Stadium turn to wave at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, which overlooks the stadium. The top floor, dubbed the Press Box Cafe, was completed prior to the 2017 season. Patients and families gather at the floor-to-ceiling windows during home games to watch the Hawkeyes, sometimes holding signs on several of the top floors.  

It all began with a Facebook post by an Iowa fan in 2017. 

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"I think with the new U of I hospital addition open," the post read, "Kinnick should hold a "wave to the kids" minute during every game."

At the end of the first quarter during this first home game that season, the PA announcer asked the fans decked out in yellow and black to wave at the fans watching from the windows. 

And during night games, fans will turn on their cell phone lights to illuminate Kinnick when they wave.

The in-person wave briefly paused during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Big Ten did not allow fans into stadiums. Instead, Hawkeye fans kept the tradition going as they virtually waved to the hospital throughout the 2020 season.

Keep an eye out on Saturday as the Hawkeyes face-off against Purdue at Kinnick, and if you happen to attend, make sure to give a wave.