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Leadership & Service

Your education should prepare you for more than a successful career. It should help you develop a sense of purpose and offer you the chance to put your gifts to work for others. At Drake, you can start down this path right away, through many opportunities to get involved in community service and grow as a leader.


Developing your potential as a leader can happen in more ways than you might imagine. Yes, you can run for a Student Senate position and play an important part in campus life. But you can also step forward as a leader of the Drake Disc Golf Club, the Dance Team, or the Bass Fishing Club. Or you can become a leader on the playing field, in the residence hall system, or in your fraternity or sorority. Or, you can have a great idea and help launch a whole new organization or event.

In addition, Drake offers you several opportunities especially focused on leadership development. One is an academic concentration in Leadership, a program open to students in every major that combines theoretical understanding with hands-on experience.

Our Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute also offers leadership training, focusing on everything from what it means to be a leader to strategies for promoting inter-cultural conflict resolution. Highlights include the Emerging Leaders Program for first-year students, the Adams Academy, which offers yearlong leadership opportunities for sophomores through seniors, and the Lila and Richard Sussman leadership workshops and conferences.


Another great way to bring a sense of purpose to your education is through the Office of Community Engaged Learning & Service. At Drake, service is a way of life, something every fraternity and sorority, many volunteer student organizations and religious groups, and lots of individual students dedicate themselves to every term.

Campus organizations dedicated to service range from Big Brothers Big Sisters to Habitat for Humanity and from Meals for the Heartland to Collegians Against Cancer. Opportunities to volunteer include everything from tutoring local school kids to taking environmental action or partnering with developmentally disabled buddies.

Professional Preparation

One of the best rewards of a commitment to leadership and service is the sense of satisfaction you will feel. However, that’s not the only reward. Every opportunity you seize to pitch in and to take the lead is also an opportunity to build your resume. The experience you gain means a lot to employers and to admissions committees at law schools, medical schools, and graduate programs. Just ask any of the advisers in Drake’s career center.