Izzie Swanson – ’22 Event Management

This story is part of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Cyclone Stories series and was republished with permission.

Izzie Swanson (’22 event management) knows how to celebrate the small things. She is the master of micro events – serving families in the Des Moines metro area with themed baby showers, children’s birthday parties, and other intimate gatherings through her business, Lovely Little Celebrations

“I was inspired by the average Iowa family who wanted to intentionally celebrate with the people they love,” Swanson says. 

Innovation was baked into Swanson’s experience as an ISU student. As she worked through her degree, Swanson prepared to operate her own business and create intentional celebrations for any unique occasion.

She greatly valued the time she shared with professors and fellow students. “Iowa State was truly so much more than just a school to me. It is where I met some of the best people, experienced some of the best classes, and was given some of the best opportunities,” Swanson says.

Her time on campus – alongside real-world internships – also laid the foundation for Swanson to use her event planning skills in the form of community service. In February 2023, Swanson led a volunteer team for Night to Shine – a yearly event open to anyone living with disabilities, ages 14 and older, hosted across the country. Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, Night to Shine events often include a dance, red carpet entrance, limousine rides, catered dinner, and games. 

“My time at ISU set me up for success when it came to planning an event from start to finish and remembering all the little details along the way,” Swanson says. “Night to Shine is by far the largest event I have coordinated, with 300 prom guests and almost 700 volunteers.”

Swanson cherished looking back on the planning process of the large event. And the memory she’ll carry forever? “Seeing each prom guest dance the night away without a care in the world,” she says.

Author: Caleb Grizzle, Iowa State University Alumni Association

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