The video highlights students working in the home of Tim Urness, professor of computer science. The students are collaborating to solve complex coding problems, all while enjoying pizza. The gathering was a practice for an annual regional programming competition.
Urness was the recipient of the 2018 Madelyn M. Levitt Excellence in Teaching Award. Both students and faculty nominated Urness for the honor, citing his enthusiasm for the discipline, his passion for developing students, and his geeky humor. His personal relationships with students are one of the hallmarks of a Drake education.X
With an interest in research and a passion for a project regarding epinephrine auto-injectors, known as EpiPens (due to her own food allergy), Caroline Jones, then a sophomore pre-pharmacy student, worked with Drake professors to provide critical answers on EpiPen shelf life.
Jones’ research led her to earn a Drake Undergraduate Science Collaborative Institute (DUSCI) research fellowship and a NASA merit scholarship. She also had the opportunity to present findings alongside pharmacy professors at a national conference.
“It’s definitely shown me career options,” says Jones. “I’ve known I’ve wanted to go into clinical pharmacy, but this has shown me that I also have a passion for research. I’m now considering earning a Ph.D. and going into academia. Without this experience, I don’t think I would have figured it out so early.”X
On Jan. 28, 2019, the first day of the spring semester, Drake University hosted a CNN town hall in Sheslow Auditorium with presidential candidate Kamala Harris. The event was an opportunity for several students, such as first-year Darby Holroyd, to experience the political process. Holroyd worked alongside CNN producers as an intern, helping to set up for the nationally televised town hall. The event was the most-watched cable news, single candidate, town hall ever.
Since the event, Drake has also welcomed presidential candidates Bill Haas and Andrew Yang. As Des Moines’ largest private university, Drake is proud to have earned a reputation as the capital of the Iowa caucuses. Between February 2015 and February 2016, the University hosted more than two dozen political events on campus. With each event, Drake strives to maximize student opportunity and fulfill the University’s core responsibility to promote civil dialogue. Students benefit from paid internships with national media outlets, personal meetings with candidates, interactions with hundreds of journalists, and top seats to prime-time news events.X
Drake’s Equity Action Partner program is designed to unify diversity efforts across campus and to provide resources in the areas of equity and inclusion in all departments at Drake. The group serves as a resource to faculty, staff, and students and is available for consultation on equity and inclusion issues surrounding hiring, mentoring, professional development, and campus climate. During the spring 2019 semester, the group facilitated a book club for faculty and staff to read the book “So You Want to Talk about Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. More than 100 faculty and staff participated and met in small groups to engage in constructive and honest conversations about matters of race.X
“Drake has provided me with not only a solid legal education, but also the opportunity to gain practical experience. I believe this will ease the transition from student to attorney. I feel confident and capable entering the workforce.” — Victoria Zamora Millet, Class of 2018
Drake Law School prepares graduates to put the law in action. For over 150 years, the Law School has helped launch successful careers, providing a legal education that emphasizes experiential learning backed by a solid foundation in legal theory. As the only law school in the capital city of Des Moines, students gain unparalleled access to internships and clerkships.X
Drake University has become one of the nation’s top 20 schools for study abroad for doctorate granting universities. The University moved up to #19 from #30 for undergraduate student participation in study abroad programs, according to the “Open Doors” 2019 report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE). This growth in international learning experiences reflects Drake’s strategic approach to become a global knowledge hub. Whether studying in Madrid, interning in Dubai, teaching English in Chile, or shadowing a health professional in India, Drake is preparing students to become catalysts for intercultural understanding and global change.X
Commonly referenced as the capital of the Iowa caucuses, Drake University welcomed more than two dozen political events during the 2016 presidential campaign cycle and is well on its way to exceeding those numbers for the 2020 presidential campaign. Recent events have ranged from candidate Q&A sessions to hosting national broadcasts and live streams of town halls and forums featuring top-tier candidates. With the ability to experience American democracy first-hand, it’s no wonder that Drake students self-reported that their “Knowledge of how to participate effectively in the democratic process” significantly improved while at Drake. In November 2017, Drake received a bronze seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for its above-average student voter participation rate. Approximately 80 colleges and universities received the seal, including Harvard, Brown, and James Madison University. In addition to voting at an exceptionally high rate, 82.8 percent of Drake students registered to vote in the 2016 election. Drake strives to serve as a hub for civic and political engagement in order to maximize student opportunity and fulfill its core responsibility to promote civil dialogue.X
Drake leverages data in many ways to drive purposeful action. A recent example can be found in our internal effort to increase the retention rate for our students. A cross-collaboration team met with each college to determine specific areas of action. Retention rates were reviewed at a detailed level to identify opportunities. Based on this data, specific tactics were determined, per college. The outcome of this effort has been prioritized projects to support increased retention for our students. As updated data becomes available, new tactics will be determined, focusing on areas of need.X
“We are committed to our city, we are committed to our neighborhood, and we are putting our resources and our competencies to work in a way that is going to lift up the lives of the children of the Drake Neighborhood and their families.” — Drake University President Marty Martin upon the opening of the Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Club on Aug. 23, 2019.
Located on the southwest corner of 25th Street and Forest Avenue, the Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Club is only the second Boys & Girls Club in the nation located on a private college or university campus. In addition to providing kids and teens in our community with a safe, supportive place to be after school and during the summer, the Club provides numerous educational and service opportunities for Drake students and further integrates the University with the surrounding neighborhood.X
For the ninth consecutive year, Drake University was awarded the Tree Campus USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities for engaging their students and staff in conservation goals. With more than 1,500 trees on Drake’s nearly 150-acre campus, Drake’s Grounds Department is committed to effective urban forest management and can often be seen educating and engaging students about the benefits of trees. Follow @drakegrounds on Instagram to celebrate Drake’s beautiful campus and the work of its Grounds crew.X
The Office of Information Technology Services is committed to providing Drake University with a robust and connected technology environment. Beginning in August 2019, Drake is now a member of the worldwide Eduroam wireless network. Drake faculty, staff, and students will be automatically logged into the campus wireless network of any Eduroam university anywhere in the world. Our robust infrastructure also continues to outperform our targets; since the beginning of 2019, critical systems have been available more than 99.7% of all hours and have exceeded performance targets more than 99.8% of the time.X
Drake alumnus John Lorentzen, BN ’77, AS ’77, and spouse Penney Fillmer challenged Drake University in late 2017 to increase its commitment to sustainable practices. Responding to the challenge, Drake’s Facilities Planning and Management team identified several projects that would reduce the University’s carbon footprint and save Drake more than $40,000 annually in energy costs. These projects included a new lighting system in the Knapp Center, the installation of LED lights across campus, and solar panels on the Tennis Center, which are scheduled to be installed this summer. Thanks to a generous matching gift from the Lorentzen’s and support from alumni and friends, Drake fully secured the funds needed to make these projects a reality. As a result of this shared vision, Drake is one step closer toward achieving its carbon reduction goal.X
With the installation of solar panels on the Tennis Center, free bus passes for campus members, a bicycle library, car-sharing program, compost programs for food and yard waste, and academic programs such as Environmental Science and Policy and the internationally-recognized Agricultural Law Center, it’s no wonder that Drake met its 25% carbon reduction goal two years ahead of schedule. In 2007, Drake signed onto the President’s Climate Commitment, pledging to become carbon neutral by 2050. The University’s first quantitative goal on its path to meeting this pledge was a 25% reduction by 2020, which it met in 2018.X
Brent and Diane Slay partnered with Drake to create the Slay Fund for Social Justice, which is directed by Professor Renee Cramer. This is the first formal organization on campus dedicated to social justice issues. The Slay’s generosity has provided numerous students with experiential learning opportunities and connected Drake with Des Moines community non-profit agencies. Through support from the Slay’s, Law Professor Brent Pattison was awarded a grant to support an innovative project called #KnowJustice, in which Drake Law School students teach in-need youth about their civil liberties through art. Volunteers from the Drake Law School Legal Clinic facilitate workshops on school policies, juvenile courts, and immigration, and encourage the children to express themselves and illustrate their understanding of what they learned through art.X
One of the things that makes Drake so special is its culture of service. According to the University’s most recent community impact report, about 80 percent of undergraduate students engage in community service by the time they graduate. Next Course Food Recovery Network, a student-led organization on campus, works in partnership with Eat Greater Des Moines’ Move the Food Program to recover and distribute left over food from Hubbell Dinning Hall to local shelters and pantries. Since the group’s conception in 2014, more than 27,000 pounds of food have been donated, which would have otherwise been thrown away.X
Each year, the philanthropic generosity of faculty, staff, and alumni opens a myriad of opportunities for students in the form of scholarships and experiential learning opportunities. Alumni Jeff, JO’88, GR’92, and Elizabeth, AS’88, Hatfield are one example of this spirit of generosity. When they were 30, the Hatfield’s named Drake as a beneficiary in their wills, with some of the proceeds going to fund scholarships for students impacted by single parent households. “For us, it wasn’t a tough decision, we were paying back our University for what it had given to us,” said Hatfield.X
Drake University’s Annual Economic Impact
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Bulldogs help drive the Des Moines metro area economy. According to a Drake-commissioned study by Impact DataSource, University spending per year totals $413.5 million, student spending totals $55.2 million, visitor spending totals nearly $15 million, and central Iowa alumni spending totals $2 billion.X
The Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Club at Drake University opened its doors in August 2019. To help welcome students to the facility on its official opening day, Drake students, coaches, faculty, staff, and administrators gathered at the entrance to cheer and celebrate the students as they arrived to their new Club. The Burt Club serves more than 200 youth, providing kids and teens in our community with a safe, supportive place to be after school and during the summer. Additionally, the Club provides numerous educational and service opportunities for Drake’s students and further integrates the University with the surrounding neighborhood.X