Welcome to Stanhope State University, home of the Watermelon Warriors!
First, let’s let you in on the inside joke. Since the early 1990s, an idea was born, a small little land grant institution of fun. A years gone by, random shirts and jerseys were created… even fooling the most trivia and well-read folks that this college of everything awesome really existed. With one of a kind shirts, stickers, sweatshirts and hand painted signs, we are able to fool the most trivia and well-read folks that this college of everything awesome really does exist. In the names of all things Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus… yes Virginia, there really is a Stanhope State University. It exists in your hearts, it is a complete state of mind and well-rounded education in fun. Celebrating why “fan” is short for fanatic, the nostalgia of small town garage parties with your friends, where the underdog always wins and good times had.
Through the creativity and imagination of the school’s founder, Grant Young, the college existed on a blog and a few social media platforms over 15 years ago. Which bring us to today and the official creation of our store. Grant has always had a passion for sports aesthetics and design, gameday souvenirs, vintage old school sports gear and with the inspiration of his dad’s garage, things that attract admiration and jealousy hanging in your own garage or mancave.
Grant grew up appreciating old stuff by going on antique and "junkin'" runs with his family- and he could never pass up the random sports items. This passion is still strong in him today. When Grant married the love of his life, got a house (that conveniently came with an extra-large garage), he went on the hunt to find the items he thought were cool, and maybe some things he couldn’t afford in his younger years. As a ritual of Sunday Funday began for local friends and family with grilling or listening to a ballgame on the radio over beverages in the garage, they admired what he found. They appreciated the vintage sports items, signs and helmets hanging up, and Grant's signature items he himself had created. It reminded them of their own youth and stirred their passion for sports teams they adored growing up. That’s when he started to get offers on his custom signage and handmade items or requests to keep an eye out for stuff his buddies wanted. This is when Grant knew he was on to something. So question became, what’s next?
Oddly enough, Grant has had in real experience when he had his own athletic apparel line at a local printing shop in Story City, IA as a sophomore in high school. He designed and created jerseys, and even outfitted a few local schools. He also created unique art of fan themed items to sell to bars and friends. He’s also a self-admitted sports apparel geek and snob, and isn't afraid to be outspokenly critical of his observations.
"Isn’t the tigerhawk over done? It’s a fine brand and I like it, but… can’t we do better?" "That new logo is so boring, why would they ever change the old one?” “Man, they just don’t make stuff like they used to. This jersey is legit.” “Why are you going to Walmart and getting something that all of your friends have in their basement, when I can make you something even better!” These are just a few of the things you might hear him say during a typical garage session.
With the encouragement and support of his rockstar wife, Grant started to build some inventory with a specific mission: to simply find great vintage sports gear. The timeless stuff. The type of items where you will be the only guy tailgating with that shirt. Or hat. Or cooler. He considers it his duty to rescue the classic items others have left behind, and get them to the folks who really appreciate the history and lore of their favorite teams.
But.... that's not all. After all the years of creation and inspiration, spending hours building his own team on Play Station football games, designing the one-off custom ball jackets and shirts, how could he finally bring this idea and passion to the rest of the Iowa and the world. The answer is just what you're thinking, create this store. It is a place where people can get cool vintage gear, to buy and hang a one-of-a-kind piece in their dude room. It's also a place where Grant can finally tell folks, “You want a Stanhope State Watermelon Warrior shirt? This is where you find it." We make small batches of t-shirts and accessories so that the design/vibe is always fresh and always a conversation starter.
Thus, the creation of Campus Book and Supply: Gameday Essentials, Vintage Gear and Mancave Décor. We hope to offer you epic finds and make your man caves great, creating goods that will impress your pals and make you the best dressed at any tailgate party.
Thank you for visiting this site and supporting our passion. We are excited to bring you the good stuff.
GO WATERMELON WARRIORS!