Share
IOWA Magazine | 06-21-2022

Alumni Share CAMBUS Memories Ahead of Homecoming Reunion

The University of Iowa bus system celebrates 50 years of service.
Cambus Photo: JUSTIN TORNER/UI OFFICE OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION

More than 50 years ago this fall, Doug Couto (72BBA) and his friends rented a school bus to make six daily trips from the University of Iowa’s westside residence halls to main campus to help fellow students get around. That was the dawn of CAMBUS, which the UI officially adopted in 1972. It was one of the first university-operated busing systems in the nation.

This year, CAMBUS celebrates its golden anniversary of providing safe and reliable transportation to the university community. The fully student-operated service—which provides employment opportunities for drivers, dispatchers, trainers, maintenance assistants, and supervisors—also includes the Bionic Bus that offers ADA paratransit rides for people with disability.

In honor of CAMBUS’s anniversary and upcoming homecoming reunion, here are a few memorable moments from its long ride.

“Freshman year I lived in Quadrangle, so it was always, ‘red to bed’ and ‘blue to school.’”
Jillian Wojcik Trim (05BA)
“I rode the CAMBUS for a few years before I retired from the VA in 2016. One day, the bus was packed, so I had to stand, which was fine with me, but a very polite young man offered me his seat! I knew then that I was officially old!”
Pamella Hale Kissinger
Cambus PHOTO: F.W. Kent Collection of Photographs, University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives Outside Mayflower Hall, 1981.
“I waited a little too long to leave my on-campus job after I went into labor with my second child. My normal commute was to ride the CAMBUS to the stop three blocks from my home, so I headed home to get my husband and head to the hospital. The bus was crowded, so I stood in the aisle, both hands on the overhead grip bar, breathing through my contractions. The walk was a little more harrowing, but I made it home to say goodbye to my toddler and get to the hospital with 50 minutes to spare.”
Amanda Whitmer Chrystal (00BBA, 01MAc)
“I remember one winter when the snow and ice was bad, and we couldn’t make it up Jefferson Street from the bottom of the hill. We all went to the back of the bus to gain traction, and, sure enough, made it up.”
Erin Anderson Roderick (98BSN)
“Most fun I ever had making money. I loved steam cleaning the engines down in the pit in the old garage.”
Drew Beck
Cambus PHOTO: University of Iowa Students board a Cambus in 1977.
“If you watch one of my favorite Christmas movies—Miracle on 34th Street, the original one—they said the post office was [the most efficient organization on the planet]. That’s hogwash. The CAMBUS is. Kirk Ferentz said so. By God, I believe in Kirk Ferentz.”
Wrestling coach Tom Brands (92BS) at a January 2020 press conference, discussing CAMBUS’s role in transporting fans to Iowa dual meets
“The library is the head of the university, the Old Capitol is the heart of the university, but it is CAMBUS that holds us together.”
UI President Sandy Boyd (81LHD) in a 1981 correspondence to then CAMBUS coordinator Dave Ricketts (90BGS)
Join our email list
Get the latest news and information for alumni, fans, and friends of the University of Iowa.

Celebrate 50 Years of CAMBUS

Homecoming Reunion
Oct. 28-29
CAMBUS alumni and the public are invited to a 50-year celebration and reunion at the CAMBUS Maintenance Facility, as well as a pregame tailgate.


Scholarship Fund

Last year, CAMBUS co-founder Doug Couto spearheaded an effort to provide academic scholarships to CAMBUS student employees. Through donations, CAMBUS has already awarded 10 student scholarships.



Celebrate 50 Years of CAMBUS

Homecoming Reunion
Oct. 28-29
CAMBUS alumni and the public are invited to a 50-year celebration and reunion at the CAMBUS Maintenance Facility, as well as a pregame tailgate.


Scholarship Fund

Last year, CAMBUS co-founder Doug Couto spearheaded an effort to provide academic scholarships to CAMBUS student employees. Through donations, CAMBUS has already awarded 10 student scholarships.


Join our email list
Get the latest news and information for alumni, fans, and friends of the University of Iowa.
Related Articles

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.