Scholarship Provides Motivation, Financial Assistance

As one of eight children, Laura McGuire, a junior business and business law double major, would not have been able to attend Drake had it not been for the scholarships she received.

This support came first in the form of a presidential scholarship and next as a recipient of the Lou Ann Simpson Scholarship.

“As a student paying for my own college education, I can’t express what this kind of generosity means to me,” McGuire says. “It is because of the generous scholarships I have received that my Drake education has become much more affordable.”

McGuire says the Lou Ann Simpson Scholarship is particularly meaningful to her, because Simpson, professor of business law, is an important mentor and role model—a sentiment echoed by one of the scholarship’s past recipients, Derek Smith, a senior marketing and finance double major.

“It was an incredible honor to receive an award in her name,” Smith says. “Being a Lou Ann Simpson Scholarship recipient helped motivate me to strive to achieve the standard of excellence I know Lou Ann expects from each and every one of her students.”

A former student of Simpson’s started the scholarship fund in recognition of the education he received in her classes.

“I think that is one of the greatest honors you can have,” says Simpson, BN’66, LW’68. “It’s so nice when students say ‘thank you,’ but to have one do something that will provide opportunities for students in the future, I think that is as good as it gets.”

Simpson says she has felt a strong connection with the University since she arrived as a first-year student in 1962. That passion for Drake has only grown since she began teaching business law in 1973.

“For me, it’s very satisfying to see how students grow and mature and start to succeed and prepare themselves for their futures,” she says. “That is what I love about teaching. We attract good students here, and they are a joy to teach.”

Her love of teaching led Simpson to begin to contribute to the scholarship created in her honor, and as part of distinctlyDrake, she has left a significant portion of her estate to the scholarship fund—a planned gift that will magnify the impact of the Lou Ann Simpson Scholarship and make a Drake education affordable for students for generations to come. “I just have a warm feeling that I can help students succeed well into the future,” she says. “I wanted to provide students with educational opportunities, because when you see students succeed, that’s the best feeling in the world.”

Leaving a bequest is simple. It can be made by inserting a few sentences into a valid will or trust. A bequest also provides flexibility: You can give a specific amount or item or a percentage of your estate. You also have the option to make the gift contingent on certain events, and you can make changes to your gift at any time. (Consult your attorney about laws specific to your state.)

Visit to learn more or contact Sarah Pritchard, director of planned giving, at 515-271-4069 or with questions about naming Drake University in your will or living trust.

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