Another incredible year at Drake University is coming to a close with much to share. I look forward to celebrating our 2023 graduates at this year’s commencement ceremonies. Each year as we come together for this momentous occasion I am reminded of the strength and excellence of a Drake degree. Our graduates are prepared with an exceptional education, incredible professional experience, and memories that will last a lifetime.
For the first time in school history, both the Drake men's and women's basketball teams competed in the NCAA Tournament during the same year. After winning their respective Missouri Valley Conference tournament championships, thousands of Bulldog fans came together to cheer on both teams in March Madness. I’m incredibly proud of all they have accomplished, and it is a great example of what Drake students frequently accomplish across academics, the arts, and athletics.
In early February we celebrated historic news for the University. The College of Business and Public Administration was named the Larry and Kathleen Zimpleman College of Business (Zimpleman College of Business) in celebration of the Zimpleman’s decades-long relationship with and continuing commitment to Drake, and in recognition of their multi-million dollar philanthropic investment. Larry and Kathleen’s support will allow the Zimpleman College of Business to pursue a range of initiatives focused on corporate social responsibility and equipping students with a deep understanding of environmental, social, and governance-related topics. The gift will enhance hands-on learning experiences that connect students to the higher purpose of business, provide additional scholarship support for students, and be a catalyst for developmental opportunities that allow faculty to continue to grow and serve as thought leaders in their disciplines. I feel tremendous gratitude and optimism for these transformative opportunities.
A few short weeks later we announced a $3.15 million commitment to Drake from Sammons Financial Group to support the development of the Sammons Intercultural Center and Sammons Plaza, along with support for two scholarship funds that will create a total of 14 endowed scholarships. Both spaces will be dedicated to celebrating diversity through student-centric community programming. They will be a place for the Drake community to build relationships that are central to the university experience and that will propel graduates into the world. I cannot wait to see how these spaces will transform our campus community. Additionally, the Sammons Financial Group Changemaker Scholarship and the Sammons Financial Group Inclusive Scholars of Digital Proficiency Scholarship will help cultivate students’ experiences in entrepreneurship, technology, and leadership. Current Drake students and those who are still to come will deeply benefit from Sammons Financial Group’s impactful gift and continued generosity.
Both of these gifts are celebrated as part of The Ones: Drake’s Campaign for the Brave & Bold, which launched in October 2021. Thanks to the overwhelming response and support from alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends, we have made powerful progress toward our ambitious vision to transform Drake’s campus and community for our evolving world. Thousands of individuals have invested to secure the future of our great University with more than $186 million raised toward a $225 million goal.
The success of The Ones is only possible through the dedication and generosity of people like you. Your support lifts our students up and enables us to offer them life-changing opportunities. Thank you for your continued leadership-level commitment as President’s Circle Members.
Moving forward, I will no longer be communicating through this format. Instead, I will exclusively extend an invitation for virtual discussions with loyal members of Drake’s President’s Circle to engage in conversations about progress on and around campus. This decision has been made based on feedback from President’s Circle members who have expressed an interest in engaging through other channels. I have enjoyed connecting with you through the President’s Insider Blog but look forward to the deeper connections made through our conversations. You should have received an invitation for two opportunities for virtual discussions with me on May 9 and May 11. To RSVP, please contact Emily Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all you do for our University.
President, Drake University