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Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute

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In congruence with Drake’s educational mission, the Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute seeks to empower students toward responsible and meaningful leadership by facilitating opportunities for intentional learning, skill development, and self-reflection.

Our work is advanced by partnerships across campus and sustained by the generosity of alumni and friends. 


Spring 2019 Leadership Programs


Drake Emerging Leaders Model

Are you a first-year Drake student interested in leadership? Apply to participate in the newly-revised Emerging Leaders Model (ELM) this spring! This seven-week workshop series provides first-year Drake students an opportunity to build leadership skills, routines, and habits worth following. Prepare for your future leadership roles by gaining tangible tools to build your self-awareness and lead effectively as a college student. 

Attend an information session to learn more:

  • Thursday 2/7 at 3pm (Drake Room, Olmsted Center)
  • Friday 2/8 at 11am (Drake Room, Olmsted Center)

Ready to Apply? Visit to submit your ELM application by February 10th

Adams Leadership Academy

The Adams Academy is a signature program offered exclusively to Drake sophomore, junior (P1), and senior (P2) student leaders. This semester-long leadership program will enhance your leadership skills through educational workshops, interactive activities, and guest speakers from across the Drake and greater Des Moines communities. Students who participate in the Adams Academy will: 

  • Identify your unique strengths as a leader
  • Build authentic and inclusive relationships with a community of student leaders on campus
  • Receive 1:1 Strengths-Based Leadership coaching
  • Build authentic and close-knit relationships with other Drake student leaders
  • Join a network of 1,400+ Adams Academy graduates
  • Attend an information session to learn more:
  • Thursday 2/7 at 4pm (Olmsted Center, Drake Room)
  • Friday 2/8 at 1pm (Olmsted Center, Drake Room)

Ready to Apply? Visit to submit your Adams Academy application by February 10th


 Spring 2019 Sussman Leadership Conference

Nationally renowned author and speaker Zachary Wood is known for his dynamic perspective on free speech, race, and dissenting opinions. His TED talk, “Why it’s worth listening to people you disagree with,” topped the charts with 1.6 million views in 2018. All Drake students are invited to attend this conference brunch as we learn alongside Zach how to successfully engage with and practice civil debate as a leadership skill. Registration is free for all students, and includes brunch, Zach’s keynote address, and a roundtable discussion to apply this content to your leadership journey at Drake. Registration required. Details listed below:

  • Saturday, February 23, 2019
  • 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Parents Hall, Olmsted Center
  • Register at by February 20th


For more information contact Kristin Economos, Director of Student Leadership Programs, 

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