The Principal Financial Group® Center for Global Citizenship educates students to function effectively in different cultural contexts, and to see their own culture from the perspective of others. The Center also works to ensure that global perspectives and issues are an integral part of the intellectual and cultural experience of all members of the Drake community.
We live in an era of globalization, marked by complex and growing connections across societies. Communications and transportation technology bring the diverse peoples of the world into greater contact. Environmental threats transcend the borders of nation-states. Multinational corporations are fast penetrating to far-reaching corners of the world. The phenomenon of transnational migration is leading to increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in many countries.
Globalization creates both challenges and opportunities. In some respects, globalization has chipped away at the rigidity of international borders and brought increased international cooperation to address problems that cross state boundaries. Yet it has also generated opposition among those who feel threatened by or left out of the globalization process.
The Principal Financial Group® Center for Global Citizenship serves as a forum for exploring the cultural, political and economic changes that accompany globalization. The Center thus helps to fulfill Drake University's commitment, as embodied in its mission statement, to prepare students for "responsible global citizenship." The activities and programs sponsored by the Center invite members of the Drake community to reflect and act upon their roles as citizens of particular countries and as citizens of the world.
On January 18, 2011, Drake President David Maxwell announced a gift in the amount of $2.5 million from The Principal Financial Group in support of the Center for Global Citizenship and other international programs at Drake University. In recognition of this generous donation, the Center was renamed the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship. Beyond the gift itself, The Principal Financial Group and Drake University will engage in a broad-ranging partnership involving the sharing of expertise and educational experiences among executives and employees from Principal and faculty, staff and students at Drake.
The Principal Financial Group is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, The Principal Financial Group serves some 18.9 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.
The Center sponsors or co-sponsors 35-40 public events each year. Prominent speakers have included Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, Harriet Fulbright, financier George Soros, Benjamin Barber, science writer Laurie Garrett, Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross, former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano, and U.S. Ambassador George Moose. The Center has also helped organize, in collaboration with community groups, three full-day campus-community conferences as well as many films, panel discussions, open forums and cultural events.
The Global Ambassador Program
The Global Ambassador Program allows students to complement their major field of study with a combination of curricular and extra-curricular learning experiences focused on international affairs. Each Global Ambassador donates at least fifty hours of volunteer work to an internationally-oriented community group. Eleven Global Ambassadors have received funding from the Center to support summer volunteer work overseas.
Global and Comparative Public Health
The Center serves as the administrative home to the interdisciplinary Global and Comparative Public Health concentration, which was developed under Center auspices through a grant from the Department of Education and began accepting students in the fall of 2010.
Faculty and Curriculum Development
The Center has provided partial funding for over fifty faculty trips abroad for training, teaching, research and partnership development. Faculty groups have also collaborated on two Department of Education grant-funded projects dealing with curriculum development in the areas of "Ethics in a Globalizing World" and "Global and Comparative Public Health."
The Center reaches out to the community through many co-sponsored events and the placement of Global Ambassadors in volunteer positions. In addition, Drake faculty have shared their international expertise with community organizations. The Center serves as yearly host for the Iowa Geographic Been competition. In these ways, the Center serves as the intellectual hub for community organizing around international issues.