I’ve lived in several different cities, and I’ve visited many more. My memories are tinged with architecture and skylines, traffic patterns and commute times, climate and weather vagaries. Such elements tend to broadly identify a location, but even their summation doesn’t sufficiently depict place.

We work, play, learn, and build our lives in place. Our aspirations and opportunities, our relationships and commitments all derive from place. Our challenges and choices (both wise and poor), our successes and failures all contribute to place. Despite a world where technology reduces the significance of locality, place continues to define us.

Drake is a place within a place. The University—with all its own history, possibilities, endeavors, accomplishments, events, traditions, and ethos—is encompassed by the pulse of the city of Des Moines. Our destinies are meaningfully intertwined.

So when Des Moines lands itself at the top of numerous national rankings, the city merits a closer look. As Tim Schmitt explores in “Metro Moxie,” Iowa’s capital city got out ahead of the curve. While many urban areas in the United States are now restrategizing in reaction to an incapacitated federal model of development, Des Moines has been building its vision and driving its progress with a strong tradition of multisector collaboration.

Collaboration is built on relationships, and Drake University’s relationship with its city has significantly evolved over the last decade and a half. Jill Brimeyer’s “Toppling Hedges, Tapping Synergy” reveals a strong symbiosis that’s inspiring meaningful community service, providing powerful learning experiences, matching educational opportunities with workforce needs, and fueling a shared energy and collective future.

Togetherness is the message emphasized by Martha Willits and Gene Meyer in “We’ll Do It Together.” Their combined experience with the Greater Des Moines Partnership provides valuable insight into the character, challenges, and trends shaping a metropolitan area that is itself changing shape.

Matters of place are the touchstones of our lives, reminding us that place matters.


—Beth Wilson, Editor

Comments are closed.