A Short Love Story

Gary and Harriet Short

Gary and Harriet Short

Like the history of Iowa State's treasured campanile, the tale of Gary and Harriet Short is in essence a love story.

The two knew each other growing up in their hometown of Webster City, Iowa, but they didn't start dating until the summer after their high school graduation.

In the fall, Harriet was off to Iowa State. Growing up, she often visited campus with her parents, who were alumni, and she knew fairly early on she would be a Cyclone. "I loved walking the campus and have fond memories of the campanile," Harriet said.

It took some convincing to get Gary to Ames. He started at a community college before "Harriet made it clear I needed to do something else," said Gary, who knew that meant joining her at Iowa State. He was the first member of his family to go to college, earning a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science.

Gary and Harriet's young love blossomed at Iowa State as they studied, worked part time to help pay expenses, cheered on the Cyclones at games and forged lifelong friendships with Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters. Some of these friends would later be members of the couple's wedding party.

After graduation in 1960, Gary briefly bought livestock before becoming a banker and eventually president of Independence Bancshares, Inc. Harriet was selected for the Mortar Board honor society and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition. She worked in the experimental foods division with Betty Crocker in Minneapolis before moving back to Iowa and marrying Gary in 1961. She earned a second degree in education from another university and became a Talented and Gifted Program teacher in Independence.

Now retired, Harriet and Gary look back on their success and time at Iowa State and want to help provide similar opportunities for today's students from northeast Iowa. "What a college education did for me was open doors that wouldn't have been opened otherwise," Gary said of the Gary F. Short and Harriet Mason Short Scholarship, which they will fund through the proceeds of their charitable remainder trust.

Last year, the couple visited campus and took a moment to honor the long-standing tradition of "campaniling" by kissing under the campus bell tower. Gary said one of his fondest memories from Iowa State is dating Harriet. "She has been very supportive, and she is my best friend," Gary said of Harriet. "It has been a wonderful life."

Show Your Love for Iowa State

Whether you found your true love at Iowa State or discovered a love for your profession, the campus or fellow Cyclones, you can show that love with a gift from your estate. Contact the office of gift planning at 800.621.8515 or giftplanning@foundation.iastate.edu to learn more.