Fall Retreat: The fall retreat offers incoming first-years a weekend away from Drake to meet other Honors students, learn more about the Honors program, and participate in exciting outdoor activities (last year's retreat featured ziplining, Zorb balls, and black light dodgeball). Anyone interested in the Honors program is welcome to join. Students can register through the Honors Student Council or in the Honors office. The retreat is early in the year, so don’t miss it!
Random Night Dinners: The RND, one of our most consistently popular events, is a monthly program featuring free dinner and excellent conversation. Each month an Honors professor is invited to speak to students on a topic of their choice while students enjoy a home-cooked meal (That's right, No Sodexo!) prepared by Council. All students are welcome to sit down for a good dinner and discussion.
SARDEL: SARDEL stands for Students and Administrators Reading and Discussing Enlightening Literature, and is an event held one evening a semester at President Maxwell's home. The goal of SARDEL is to bring together students and administrators of Drake University for thought-provoking discussions of scholarly literature. A group of approximately fifteen students participate, and typically read the selected book over either summer or winter break. Past selections have included Shadow of the Wind, Catch 22, and American Pastoral. Then, in September/February, the Maxwells host a wonderful formal dinner themed to match the topic of the book, and enlightening discussion follows. Attendance is limited, so if you are interested, seek out an application form from the Honors office and get reading!
Random Night Outing: The RNO is a new, yearly event (typically taking place in the spring) that works similarly to SARDEL. Students read a book or screenplay (past titles have included "The Color Purple" and "August: Osage County"), and then go see the play at the Des Moines Civic Center. The show is either preceded or followed with a lively discussion. It's a unique night of good entertainment and education.
Formal: Honors Formal is traditionally held in the spring semester and serves as a fun, social event open to all students. The February 2010 formal was a great success. The formal, which was held in Morehouse Ballroom, featured dancing and a mocktail "bar" that served up a wide variety of delicious drinks. And of course, dancing was involved. It was a memorable night for all.
Hawley Lecture Series: This annual lecture series is held every spring. It exposes students to a broad range of topics presented by prominent, academic intellectuals. The topics vary but usually have a civic or public impact. Past presenters have included writers, educators, activists, and scientific researchers. The Hawley Foundation was established in 1927 by Des Moines businessman Henry B. Hawley and his wife, Carrie. Sponsors include Drake's Honors Program, Honors Student Council Center for the Humanities and the Department of Psychology.
John August Movie Series: The John August movie series was initiated to commemorate the success of the Drake graduate John August. Not only was he a student at Drake, but he was also in the Honors Program. After leaving Drake, John August went on to become a successful and well-known screenwriter and film director. His screenwriting successes include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Charlie’s Angles, Go, and Big Fish. He has even collaborated with film director and producer Tim Burton. The series opened in Fall 2010 with the showing of The Nines, which was Mr. August’s directorial debut, and followed with Big Fish. Watch out for more movies to come!
Trick or Canning: Traditionally, on Beggar's Night every Halloween Honors students dress up and walk door to door to collect non-perishables for a local food pantry. The more people who participate, the more impact we can make!