AHS Motto

Origins and History of AHS Motto

I am a relatively new member of AHSAA compared with Bill Ripp and Jack Smalling who started the AHSAA 33 years ago in 1991. I only have 24 years with the AHSAA. I graduated recently, 50 years ago in the AHS class of 1974.

I get most of my AHS history lessons from either Jack Smalling or Bill Ripp. Between the two of them they have an amazing amount of AHS knowledge. I recently asked Bill if the AHS Motto was spelled wrong (If the Hi should be High), and if he knew any history around the AHS motto? Of course he did, and here is an email that Bill sent me about the Ames High School, Ames Iowa motto which originated from an Ames High School student in 1924, 100 years ago.

Ed Hendrickson Jr. AHS 1974

January 11, 2007

Dear Ed,


is the correct spelling.

Back in the days between the big I and II Wars, it was common to abbreviate high as in the name of the school as "Hi." The young Ames High lady that won the school motto contest back in the 30's chose to do it that way.

In fact the AHS motto was inadvertently misspelled "Ames High Aims Hi" on the end of the AHS track for 9 years before it was repainted to the correct slogan that we all know and love. "Ames Hi Aims High"

The winner of the AHS Motto contest was Marjorie Price Baker, a 1924 graduate of Ames High School. Unfortunately, she is deceased. She died September 24, 1993 in Santa Cruz, California.

About a year before her death, she did correspond with the alumni association indicating that she had won the motto, or slogan, contest and wondered if her motto was still being used. As I recall, I, or maybe it was we, replied and told her that it was not only being used, but was very prominently displayed around the school and in literature about the school.

That's all I know about the subject, and my memory probably isn't what it used to be -- and even then, it may not have been too good.

Bill Ripp

Click here to hear the "Ames Hi Aims High" Loyalty song and other AHS songs