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School of Journalism & Mass Communication
148th Commencement of Drake University
May 16, 2020

To Our Graduates

We celebrate you, the graduates, and your many accomplishments during your time at Drake University. We celebrate you, the family members who supported these graduates. We celebrate you, the faculty, staff, and mentors who guided them. And we celebrate you, the friends and community members who encouraged them.

Facebook Photo Frames

Show our seniors some love by using one of our profile photo frames. We have one for...

Parents, Seniors, and Everyone.

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Adopt a Senior

Help us show the SJMC class of 2020 that Drake alumni are here for them by sending a senior a letter or card.

Email and we will match you up with a senior.

Adopt a Senior

SJMC Seniors Website

Our seniors had their final semester on campus cut short, but we’re celebrating them here. Visit our website to see a list of all SJMC seniors.

Visit SJMC Seniors Website

Student Honors & Awards

The Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication has announced the School’s top scholars and the recipients of awards and scholarships for 2020. The SJMC celebrates these students’ achievements and their contributions to the campus community. We congratulate all of them and our 2020 graduates!

Award Winner(s)
Award Description
SJMC’s Top Scholar Class of 2020
Kayla Garrigan, Lorien MacEnulty (tie)
The graduating senior with the highest overall grade point average
Kappa Tau Alpha National Journalism Honor Society
Kayla Frances Garrigan, Benjamin A. Heinze, Tess Julien
Goldwater Scholar and Rhodes Scholar Finalist
Lorien MacEnulty
Erik Isgrig Advertising Scholarship
Allyn Benkowich
Established in honor of a distinguished member of the Drake advertising faculty by his former students, the award recognizes an outstanding advertising student.
Media Planning Maven Award
Allyn Benkowich
Fausch Awards
Nick Drahozal, Alexandra Besch, Jamie Lamb, Libby Nichols
Honor PR students for outstanding contributions to research for the senior capstones. Funded by David Fausch, a 1957 graduate who worked as a vice president at Gillette Co. overseeing corporate public relations.
Public Relations Student of the Year
Ben Heinze
Strategic Political Communication Student of the Year
Lauren Selfridge
Master of Arts in Communication Student of the Year
Keely Coppess
Public Relations Alumna of the Year
Taylor Larson, JO’15
Strategic Political Communication Alumna of the Year
Jordan Goode, JO’19
Frank Miller Scholarship
Brianna Bonilla
Named after a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Des Moines Register and funded by his friends and colleagues.
Tom Norquist Memorial Award
Rachel Mayoros
Named in honor of 1979 graduate Tom Norquist, recognizes an excellent journalism student.
94.1 “Top Dog” Award
Josh Randolph
Name will be engraved on a plaque displayed outside the SJMC dean’s office.
Jim Duncan Memorial Award
Rachel Hartley
Recognizes electronic media students for outstanding promise in production and performance and is named after the Drake broadcast professor who was known worldwide as the “Voice of the Relays”.
Ted Sell Memorial Award
Elizabeth Hennessey
Given to an outstanding junior or senior interested in a career in print or broadcasting.
John Lytle Endowed Scholarship for News Journalism
Carson Reichardt
Recipient is a news major who exemplifies the values and standards that broadcast news professor John Lytle sought to impart to his students: excellent reporting and writing, a devotion to public service and the profession, a strong work ethic, and the highest of ethical standards. Endowed by gifts from Lytle’s alums.
Harrison Harding Memorial Scholarship (2019-20)
Rachel James
Given to the Times-Delphic editor-in-chief.
Cyril and Lucille Clifton Scholarship
Grace Altenhofen
Named in honor of Cyril “Cy” Clifton, a former political reporter for The Des Moines Register, this award recognizes students for academic achievement.
Sheila Wolfe Award for Excellence in News Journalism
Marie Nalan, Grace Altenhofen
This scholarship is given to an outstanding incoming first-year News major.
Robert Woodward Scholars
Lorien MacEnulty, Addison Weakley, Madeleine Leigh, Zoe Brinker
Awarded to an outstanding entering first-year journalism student who exhibits the same passion for news that former news professor Woodward tried to instill in his students.
Larry Neibergall Memorial Award
Anthony Arroyo
In memory of a longtime photographer for The Des Moines Register, this year’s winner of the Neibergall Award exhibits the same passion for photojournalism and visual communication as Larry did.
Joe Patrick Green Eyeshade Award
Emily Larson
Given in honor of former SJMC assistant dean and editing professor Joe R. Patrick, it recognizes outstanding copy editors — nitpickers in the Patrick tradition.
Katherine Futch Scholars
Monica Snider, Lucius Pham, Amanda O’Brien, Madeline Haun
Futch Scholars are recognized as entering SJMC students who exhibit professionalism, intelligence and integrity.
Woodward Award for Public Affairs Reporting
Sarah Bogaards, Lorien MacEnulty, Shannon Rabotski
Established by gifts from SJMC alumni to honor Robert D. Woodward, the Ellis and Nelle Levitt distinguished professor of journalism, upon his retirement to recognize excellence in public affairs reporting.
Meredith Apprentices (2019-20)
Editorial: JD Pelegrino, Emily Larson, Samantha Jones, Carson Reichardt, Caitlin Clement, Madi Koetting. Design: Nick Ellis, Katie Segler, Madison Kelly. Data Marketing: Julia Lanzel
Karyl Van Scholarship (2019-20)
Madison Kelly
Named after a longtime employee of the Meredith Corp. who devoted his working life to magazine publishing, the recipient of this award works in the E.T. Meredith Center for Magazine Studies.
Meredith Corporation Scholars (2019-20)
Cheyann Neades, Madi Koetting, Ashley Flaws, Fatima Calderon Ceron, Kaili Miller, Emily Larson
These endowed scholarships support magazine majors in their studies.
Patricia Prijatel Storyteller Award
Lorien MacEnulty
Named for a former SJMC director and founder of the E.T. Meredith Center for Magazine Studies, this award recognizes the student who best displays the ability to find, report, write, and publish stories that both inform and inspire.

Campus Backgrounds

Even though you may be away from campus, here are a few virtual backgrounds available to download and create a digital graduation photo opportunity!

Want a photo in front of Old Main or next to Painted Street? No problem! You can even have your family or pets join in the fun too.

How to download:

  • Click on the photo you would like to use.
  • Right-click the photo and select "Save Image As" to download to your device.

How to set as your background:
How-To Instructions