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Spring 2007


From the President. . . IN THE PAST YEAR, THE AFFORDABILITY OF A COLLEGE EDUCATION (an issue I raised in these pages a

year ago) has taken center stage as a national issue, thanks in part to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, created in September 2005 by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Noting that “average tuition and fees at private four-year colleges and universities rose 36 percent (adjusted for inflation)” from 1995 to 2005, the Commission stated: “Public concern about rising costs may ultimately contribute to the erosion of public confidence in higher education.” In September 2006, Secretary Spellings herself said, “There is little to no information on why costs are so high and what we are getting in return.” There is no question that the Commission’s emphasis on affordability reflects a genuine — and very justifiable — public concern about why college costs so much, what institutions do with the money and what efforts are being made to keep costs down. I want you to know that we take these questions very seriously, and I think that Drake has some very good answers to them. The primary driver for the cost of operation in a private university of our quality is salaries—the Drake learning model of small group interaction with faculty (and staff) members (not graduate teaching assistants) is not only educationally powerful, but expensive. We obviously believe it’s well worth it, given the results. Employee benefits and utility costs also have a major impact, as do


the dramatic increases in costs for library books, periodicals, and equipment necessary for teaching and research. It is important to note in this context that tuition income covers only about 60 percent of the cost of providing a Drake education. We have a very direct response to the question of where the money goes (and where it comes from): the University’s audited financial statements are posted on Drake’s Web site, and Vice President Victoria Payseur and her staff are always happy to respond to questions on this issue. Finally, I would like share with you just a few of the ways in which Drake strives not only to keep costs down but also to facilitate affordability and to maximize the effectiveness of our resources in supporting excellence in teaching and learning: Program Review, an intensive 18-month process begun in 2000, eliminated $4 million in annual expenses and reallocated resources to match institutional priorities and goals;

lower energy costs and reduce our environmental impact; • We are making considerable efforts to increase the University’s endowment and annual contributions to the Drake Fund, as well as to increase non-tuition revenues, all of which relieve pressure on tuition; • We have made a strong commitment to keep our tuition increases as low as possible — the average annual tuition increase at Drake in the past eight years has been 4.1 percent (the national average in this time period was close to 6 percent annually); • This year, we have committed $37 million in University resources for financial aid; roughly 98 percent of our students receive aid from the University, and the average total award is in excess of $15,000/year; • Drake benchmarks a range of key financial indicators against other institutions to provide a context for measuring our own performance; • One of the goals of the University’s new 3-year planning cycle is continuous improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of operations. As a result of these and other efforts, Drake University is listed as a “Best Buy” by several major college/university ranking publications. In the group of 12 private universities with whom we compete most for students, we are ranked at the top for academic quality, but 10th in cost. As we go forward, we will continue to intensify our efforts to minimize costs and increase effectiveness. We will also continue to operate with the greatest transparency

“Drake’s learning model of small group interaction with faculty members (not teaching assistants) is not only educationally powerful but also expensive.” Strategic Budgeting, a 3-year budget cycle, connects financial and programmatic decisionmaking and prioritizing to the University’s strategic goals and emphasizes reallocation of resources rather than assuming additions to the budget; • Drake has outsourced some operational and administrative functions to improve services and reduce costs; • We made an $11 million investment in HVAC infrastructure to increase efficiency,

possible, providing our students and their parents, our faculty, staff, alumni and friends with the easily accessible information they need to address their concerns, and to fully understand and support Drake University’s mission, goals and operations.

Dr. David E. Maxwell, president



The Magazine of Drake University

contents President


Dr. David E. Maxwell


Director of Marketing & Communications Brooke A. Benschoter


Pharmacy Professor and His Siblings Pursue Answers to Scientific Quandaries in Some Unusual Places

Director of Alumni & Parent Programs Barbara Dietrich Boose, JO’83, GR’90

EDITORIAL STAFF Editor Casey L. Gradischnig

Art Director


Travis J. Ludwig

Graphic Designers Amber Baker • Courtney Hartman


An Interview with Drake President David Maxwell

Contributing Writers

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Katie Knorovsky, JO’06 • Tim Schmitt Abbie Hansen, JO’01 • Lisa Lacher

Drake Notes Editor

Abbie Hansen, JO’01


Aaron Jaco • Jeremy Holtan • Katie Shaw

Publication Support



Jaquie Summers • Andrea McDonough

DRAKE’S MISSION is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship.


The Drake experience is distinguished by collaborative learning among students, faculty, and staff and by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. To submit news or update your alumni file, contact Drake’s Office of Alumni and Parent Programs. Call: 1-800-44-DRAKE, x3152 E-mail: Surf:

Departments CAMPUS


New Science Classrooms Foster Active Learning • Pharmacy School Receives $1.5 Million For Endowed Faculty Chair • Hubbell Elected Chair of Drake Governing Board • CBPA and Law School Partners With Chinese University • Law School Moot Court Team Places First in Regional Competition • CEO of Citizens Financial Group Bestows Scholarship • Drake Art Students Bend Creativity for Works Displayed at Art Center



Adams Receives Crystal Apple Award at Michigan State • Dodd Receives Fulbright Award to Teach in Iceland • Strentz Honored for Promoting Open Government, Freedom of Information • Craig’s Sculpture to be Featured at Michigan Exhibition • Stensrud Awarded State’s Highest Honor


Drake blue is published as a service to Drake alumni, parents and friends by the Drake University Office of Marketing and Communications. Views expressed in Drake blue do not necessarily reflect opinions of the editors or the University. We welcome articles by and story ideas from and about Drake alumni. Send correspondence to Editor Casey L. Gradischnig, Drake University, 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. E-mail:


Journalism Graduate Puts Her Degree to a Jazz Singer


Men’s Basketball Team Rules Iowa • Ehrhart, Former Relays Director, Dies • A-Plus for Athletes • Going for Gold • Hardcourt Faithful



Pioneering Pharmacist Honored • SOE Honors Three Outstanding Alums • Alumni Award Winners Announced • Alumni Portal to Launch • Reunions Scheduled for Relays and Commencement Weekends

Copyright Drake University 2007

The Magazine of Drake University




campus buzz NEW SCIENCE CLASSROOMS FOSTER ACTIVE LEARNING Drake science students will learn as scientists practice their disciplines — through the process of experimentation and discovery, thanks to a new set of classrooms in Olin Hall dedicated this fall. The classrooms eliminate the outdated model of a lecture course supported by a once weekly lab and bring more active and participatory learning to biology and psychology students. The $4 million project includes new labs for biology and psychology classes, new classrooms and offices and the renovation of the large lecture hall on the second floor, entrance and plaza. Lead gifts came from the Mary Wheatley estate and the Victoria Pewick estate while supporting gifts were received from the Roy G. Carver Charitable Trust and William Smith, LA’70. PHARMACY SCHOOL RECEIVES $1.5 MILLION FOR ENDOWED FACULTY CHAIR John R. “Jack” Ellis, PH’57, and his wife Audrey, presented a $1.5 million gift to Drake University to fund an endowed faculty chair in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The title of John R. Ellis Distinguished Chair will be bestowed upon a new faculty member. The position will carry a salary bonus and additional financial support for lecture costs, research and work-related travel expenses. “I received a tremendous education at Drake and the faculty helped me form my professional work ethic,” Ellis said. “We wanted to make a gift to enhance the education of pharmacy students so they can make a difference in the profession. An endowed chair is a stable, lasting gift that will keep on giving.”


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When Ellis graduated nearly 50 years ago, Drake’s pharmacy program boasted an enrollment of 185 students. Since then, the program has grown to more than 800 students. HUBBELL ELECTED CHAIR OF DRAKE GOVERNING BOARD The distinguished Hubbell name invokes all the hallmarks of a generous family deeply committed to the growth of the community. James W. Hubbell III, chairman of Hubbell Realty Co., continues his family’s legacy as the newly elected chair of the Drake University Board of Trustees. Hubbell, who was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 1984, is serving a three-year term as chair. He is joined by newly elected members Roger K. Brooks, Peggy Fisher and William C. Knapp II. As chair, Hubbell’s goals include building a stronger endowment with a focus on the funds available for student financial assistance and increasing salaries for faculty and staff. “I don’t think the campus has ever looked better,” Hubbell said. “Drake has many challenges

ahead, but we have a support group ready, willing and able to help us meet those challenges. Our students, faculty and staff, alumni, trustees, as well as the entire Des Moines and Iowa communities are behind us.” Drake University’s Board of Trustees meets four times yearly and serves as the University’s policymaking and governing body. CBPA AND LAW SCHOOL FORGE PARTNERSHIP WITH CHINESE UNIVERSITY Drake has further cemented its budding partnership with the Southwest University of Political Science and Law (SWUPL) in Chongqing, China, with a new agreement that will make it possible for Southwest University students to earn a master of financial management or a master of accounting from Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration. The agreement marks Drake’s first collaboration with a Chinese university that allows students to earn a continued on page 6

The Anderson Gallery hosted “Cuba: Women Artists in the Revolution,” a rare exhibition

featuring 50 works by major Cuban artists. Artist Jeremy Drummond presented a lecture on his exhibit titled “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” which was on display in the Anderson Gallery. The gallery also featured “Text and Subtext: Works by New Faculty,” which showcased works

by Alexandra Lakin and Sarah McCoy. University of Texas professor and author Robert W. Jensen presented “The Problem of Diversity: The Politics of Race, Class and Gender” on Nov. 1 as the fourth annual Community in Diversity Lecture. Drake theatre brought the musical The Boyfriend to the stage, followed by the plays Sunday on the Rocks and On the Verge. Charlie Wittmack, the first Iowan to reach the summit of Mount Everest, spoke as part of the “Let’s DU Lunch” series, and Judith Roof performed Samuel Beckett’s Not I for the Drake Writers and Critics Series. Susan Schmidt Bies, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, gave a presentation titled “The Economic Outlook” at the 20th annual Drake FEI lecture. Drake’s Center for Global Citizenship

hosted a panel discussion titled “The Globalization Game: Who Wins? Who Loses?” and Jane

TONY AWARD-WINNING ACTRESS CHERRY JONES (CENTER) visited the Drake campus Dec. 14 to discuss her career and answer questions from Drake theatre students, faculty and friends. Jones, who won a 2005 Tony Award for portraying Sister Aloysius in Doubt, was in town reprising the role at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines.


Elliott, an internationally renowned teacher and lecturer, gave a speech about power, perception and prejudice. God’s Dad, a local band featuring three Drake faculty members, brought its jazz- and rock-influenced beats to the Olmsted Center. Pink Flamingo, a 30-minute film produced by two Drake students, premiered at the Bulldog Theater, and Des Moines Register editorial cartoonist Brian Duffy spoke at the Live! at Cowles Library event.


The Magazine of Drake University



Kelsey Rahn, JO’05, could be the poster child for Drake’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication New York City trip. When she entered the CondeNast building at 4 Times Square she was in awe. After spending time visiting about the industry with Wendy Naugle, an editor for Glamour and Drake 1996 journalism grad, Rahn was determined to work there someday. “Lucky for me, someday came sooner rather than later,” she says. “After graduating in May, I moved to New York in July. Two months later a Drake alum forwarded me a job opportunity at CondeNet.” Rahn is now a junior Web designer for the online division of CondeNast. TAKING A BITE OUT OF THE BIG APPLE: “Our goal was to connect students to New York publishing — to show them how things were done at Glamour or Real Simple or Time,” says Patricia Prijatel, the E.T. Meredith distin-

The Magazine of Drake University



guished professor of journalism, who designed the trip for junior magazine majors and took the first group in 2003. “It’s important for our students to see how many possibilities there are and to learn what people in New York are looking for,” adds Angela Renkoski, assistant professor of magazines, who took over as advisor for the trip two years ago. “This experience teaches students how to position themselves to get jobs.” SACRIFICING FOR SUCCESS: When magazine major Katie Stuhler first heard about the trip, she knew she was willing to make a sacrifice to pay the cost of airfare, food and a hotel stay. “By directly observing editors and learning what they expect out of potential employees, the experience helped me enhance my professional presence,” she says. “Every session I attended showed me the importance of staying updated on maga-

zine industry trends and development and also proved to me how ever-changing the industry really is.” “This trip gave me confidence as I graduated and started my job search,” adds Rahn. “It also made me realize that Drake has prepared me for the real world, and I trusted all the experience I had there would get me a job.” And it did. — Abbie Hansen, JO’01


campus buzz continued from page 4 degree from Drake and signifies yet another expansion of the University’s growing efforts to reach out to China. “The new agreements with Southwest University of Politics and Law are an important next step in our growing relationship with Southwest, providing new educational options for their students and exciting and enriching opportunities for Drake faculty and students,” President Maxwell said. “As someone who has been active in international education my entire career, I place tremendous importance on educational and cultural exchange as a vital force in global relations. It is very rewarding to see Drake’s emergence as a major factor in U.S.-China educational collaboration.” In addition to the business program, the Law School is continuing its efforts to develop exchange programs with Southwestern and enhance

international initiatives already in place. Two students from Southwestern University of Politics and Law are enrolled in the Drake University Law School this year and Law School faculty have visited China and participated in exchanges with Chinese universities. LAW SCHOOL MOOT COURT TEAM PLACES FIRST IN REGIONAL COMPETITION The Drake University Law School National Moot Court team continued to prove itself a force to be reckoned with as it finished first in a field of 14 teams at the regional rounds of the National Moot Court Competition. Drake and the second-place team from the University of South Dakota advanced, along with 26 other teams, to the national finals in New York City. The Drake team, which also won the Best Respondent’s Brief

ACTOR MICHAEL J. FOX came to Drake on Oct. 30 at the invitation of Drake Democrats. Fox spoke to a packed crowd in Parents Hall on behalf of then-gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver and to promote embryonic stem cell research. Fox, who has been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1991, has campaigned for political candidates in several states and appeared in advertisements in Missouri and Maryland.


Award, consists of third-year student Emily Peebler, second-year student Jill Link and second-year student Christian Walk. Peebler was named the Best Oralist in the Final Round. Walk placed fifth among the individual oralist awards and Peebler finished sixth. “It’s a great recognition of the tremendous time and effort the teams have put into preparing for the competition,” said Laurie Dore, professor of law and coach. “I expect they will do as well when we go to New York City.” This success marks the 15th time in 17 years that one of Drake’s teams has earned a place in the national tournament in New York City and the 13th time in 17 years that Drake has placed first in the regional competition. PHARMACY STUDENTS RECOGNIZED FOR RESEARCH, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT In a competition against both undergraduate and graduate students from more than 100 institutions, three Drake Pharmacy students received first-place awards for outstanding scientific research presentations at the 2006 Sigma Xi Student Research Conference in November. Additionally, the Drake chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association received the Outstanding Community Service Award at the SNPhA National Convention. The award is given to an SNPhA student chapter that demonstrates a strong commitment to its local community through an emphasis on service and local involvement based on the ideals of the national association. The Drake chapter coordinated several events during the 2005-06 academic year including the Drake Diabetes Clinic, clothing and food drives, and a fundraiser for the Xavier University College


of Pharmacy Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Drake’s SNPhA members also held a brown bag session to help senior citizens sort their prescriptions and learn about possible drug interactions at the Des Moines University Senior Health Fair. NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION ARCHIVES TRANSFERRED TO DRAKE LAW SCHOOL LIBRARY Drake Law School dedicated the transfer of the National Bar Association (NBA) archives from the Des Moines Public Library to the Drake Law School Library with a program, ribbon cutting and reception in February. Linnes Finney Jr., president of the NBA, spoke at the dedication, which commemorates the pioneering civil rights work of Charles Howard, a 1920 graduate of Drake Law School, and 11 other lawyers who co-founded the NBA in 1925 in Des Moines. The NBA was established because the American Bar Association did not accept African-American lawyers as members at that time. Today, the NBA network encompasses more than 40,000 African-American judges, lawyers, educators and law students. DRAKE ART STUDENTS BEND THEIR CREATIVITY FOR WORKS DISPLAYED AT THE ART CENTER “I never knew how much you can learn from just taking things apart and rewiring them to make something unique and beautiful,” said first-year art student Ashley Machacek. Machacek was referring to the experience she shared with nine other Drake students in the week-long “Organic Bending” workshop, instructed by internationally acclaimed artist ShihChieh “CJ” Huang. In Huang’s hands, mundane items such as household electronic devices


The Magazine of Drake University

and childhood toys are transformed into dynamic, kinetic works of art. “I don’t think our students have experienced working with an artist like CJ previously,” said Phillip Chen, associate professor of art and design. “They’re quite sensational, what he makes out of these ordinary things.” Huang and the students started the week by going on a shopping spree armed with $50 stipends each for purchasing supplies at area discount stores such as Dollar Tree, Big Lots and Home Depot. The final creations featured pop cans, toy soldiers, pom-poms and various other odds and ends. Huang encouraged the students to explore electronics as an artistic medium, challenging them to incorporate at least one electronic component into their work. Each of the students’ final works spins, moves or lights up in some fashion. The students’ sculptures and installations were on display in the Adrienne and Charles

Herbert Galleries of the Des Moines Art Center in November. DRAKE LIBRARY NOMINATED FOR NATIONAL AWARD FOR INNOVATION The innovative and cutting edge use of technology has earned Drake University’s Cowles Library recognition and a nomination for the fourth annual WebFeat President’s Awards for Innovation. Cowles Library is among 30 libraries nominated nationwide for the award, which recognizes innovation in design and function in state-of-the-art information systems. “This is great recognition for the development of access to our digital holdings and our talented library staff, but then we’ve already been recognized in the most important way — unprecedented growth in student use of library resources,” said Rod Henshaw, Cowles Library dean. CEO OF CITIZENS FINANCIAL GROUP BESTOWS SCHOLARSHIP Lawrence K. Fish, JO’66, attrib-

CAMPUS LECTURES ADDRESS LAW, SCIENCE AND LEADERSHIP Recent speakers on the Drake campus included Penelope E. Andrews, professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law, who lectured on the South African Constitution; Philippe Buhlmann (above), chemistry professor at the University of Minnesota, who discussed his research as part of the Science Colloquium Series; and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack who gave the keynote address at Drake’s Innovation and Leadership conference in November.

utes his alma mater with instilling in him a strong sense of conviction that helped launch his enormously successful career in business. Fish is chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group, the


Rita Alvarez, a junior journalism exchange student, has been keeping an almost daily journal of her life at Drake since her arrival from Asturias, Spain last September. The chronicle of Alvarez’s Drake experience is being shared in blog form on the admission Web site,, along with the adventures of eight other students from diverse backgrounds and several areas of study. The blogs, uncensored and

The Magazine of Drake University

created individually by each participating student, include photos, videos, links to favorite Web sites and profiles, as well as personal running commentary and unique insight into what life is like not only at Drake but also as a student in Central Iowa. Potential students, their families and others can access these first-hand accounts of student life simply by clicking on links provided on the admission home page. The concept of encouraging students to relate their



experiences directly with visitors through such technology is fairly new, but the practice is becoming more widespread. Universities such as Drake now recognize that allowing potential students to learn about campus life and opportunities directly from their peers is a more meaningful way of communicating to a younger, more tech-savvy audience. Look for more technological enhancements such as podcasts and virtual tours on the admission Web site in the near future.

nation’s eighth largest commercial bank-holding company. To celebrate his Drake experience as well as commemorate his 15-year anniversary at Citizens Financial Group, Fish announced an agreement with Drake earlier this fall to offer the Lawrence K. Fish Scholarship, a $550,000 commitment to fund a full, four-year scholarship that he plans to offer every year. The scholarship includes Drake tuition, room and board and a $2,000 annual stipend. The award is designated for a child of an employee of Citizens Financial Group who is pursuing a degree in journalism or business. “The time I spent at Drake prepared me to move forward in life with confidence,” Fish said. “I am doing this in order to provide a young person with an opportunity to attend this wonderful college with the luxury of being able to dedicate themselves fully to their education and time away at school, without financial worry.”


faculty focus ADAMS RECEIVES CRYSTAL APPLE AWARD AT MICHIGAN STATE Longtime Drake University administrator Donald V. Adams received the Crystal Apple Award for his accomplishments and dedication to education during an awards ceremony at Michigan State University in October. The Crystal Apple Award recognizes members of the education community — from kindergarten through the university level — who display excellence and commitment to the practice. In his 37 years at Drake, Adams has served as vice president of student life, vice president of enrollment, executive assistant to the president, secretary of the University and director of government relations. He is now senior counsel and 125th anniversary fellow. Drake created the Donald V. Adams Spirit of Drake Award in his honor. It is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who exemplifies the spirit of Drake. In 2000 Adams reinforced his commitment to Drake by helping alumni create the Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute, a program based on Adams’ values and ideals that helps students develop leadership skills and a strong commitment to community service. DODD RECEIVES FULBRIGHT AWARD TO TEACH IN ICELAND What would compel a southerner residing in Iowa to pack his bags for the even colder climate of Iceland? For James L. Dodd, professor of accounting, the answer is a second Fulbright Scholar grant, which has enabled him to lecture at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik during the spring semester. Dodd is one of approximately 800 U.S. citizens, selected on the basis of academic or professional


achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields, who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Scholar program. The program was established to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world. Dodd’s first Fulbright grant enabled him to guest lecture and conduct research during the 1999-2000 academic year in Trondheim, Norway. “I feel very fortunate to receive the support that a Fulbright award provides,” Dodd said. “I am once again looking forward to the opportunity to learn from another culture and share my experiences in my courses at Drake.” STRENTZ HONORED FOR PROMOTING OPEN GOVERNMENT, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Herb Strentz, professor emeritus of journalism, received the 2006 Central Iowa Activist Award in the First Amendment category for his commitment to openness in government and his leadership role at the Freedom of Information Council. The Des Moines Business Record honored Strentz for his relentless dedication to the council and his continued promotion of openness in government. After the Freedom of Information Council’s formal incorporation in 1977, Strentz served as the organization’s executive secretary until his retirement in 2000. For almost 25 years Strentz organized and conducted training for journalists, attorneys and librarians; produced educational materials; and manned an FOI hotline. Strentz was inducted into the Open Government Hall of Fame in 2003 and is also the only person to have received the Distinguished Service Award from

ROBERT STENSRUD, professor of education, (right) was awarded the state’s highest honor in recognition of his dedication to enhancing the empowerment and employment of persons with disabilities. Master of ceremonies Dave Mills and Joe Mowers from then-Governor Vilsack’s office presented Strensrud with the award in an October ceremony in the rotunda of the state capitol. Mills noted that Stensrud’s former students describe him as a champion who works quietly and diligently behind the scenes to change the system. “They caution that Dr. Stensrud is the kind of man who will not be thrilled to receive this award,” Mills said. “Since he came to Drake University in 1988, he has written and received grants to train professionals to work with people with disabilities. He brings millions of dollars into the state of Iowa and he mentors students, but not for his own glory. Dr. Stensrud needs to receive this award for exactly that reason. He has, quite literally, been the ‘wind beneath the wings’ of many of us working in the disability field in Iowa as well as across the country.”

the Iowa Newspaper Association and recognition from the Iowa Broadcasters Hall of Fame. CRAIG’S SCULPTURE TO BE FEATURED AT MICHIGAN EXHIBITION Robert Craig, associate professor of art and design, has been chosen to participate in an exhibition that features works of art from prominent sculptors from around the world. Craig’s untitled steel sculpture currently sits along the banks of the St. Joseph River in St. Joseph, MI, as part of the Krasl Sculpture Invitational organized at the Krasl Art Center.


The Center, devoted exclusively to sculpture, focuses on outdoor works by prominent sculptors. The biennial exhibition in which Craig is participating attracts artists from around the world and celebrates the talents and creativity of contemporary sculptors and their innovative three-dimensional works. The current exhibition includes the works of 30 national and international artists, which are on display inside and on the grounds of the Krasl Art Center as well as at 16 sites along the St. Joseph River. The exhibition opened in September and will continue through August 2007.


The Magazine of Drake University



DRAKE PROFESSOR OF PHARMACOLOGY RON TORRY sits in a fishing boat on a quiet lake in Alexandria, MN, with his brother Michael and his twin Don. But the storybook picture of the trio’s annual gathering ends there. Rather than peacefully discussing walleye bait, the Torry brothers are more likely to spend a day on the lake vociferously discussing the latest research in medicine and science. Torry, who holds a PhD in cardiac physiology, has his hands full when debating his brothers. Don is a professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology, as well as obstetrics and gynecology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and Michael is the director of research at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Vail, CO. The collective intellect and shared interests make for some lively family get-togethers. Given that his parents were not scientists — dad was a high school superintendent and mom worked at Caterpiller — Torry is unsure why he and his siblings share such interest in science and medicine. His best theory is the biology teacher all three boys shared in high school. “His passion for biology made it appealing to us,” he says. That early inspiration is evident in Torry’s own enthusiasm for lab work and research. “Lab work involves lots of serendipity — you just need luck and chance,” he says. “There is no way to prepare for every possibility in the world of research but you do have to be prepared to learn from your mistakes.” WONDER TWINS: Currently, Torry is examining the communication between heart cells and the vascular system and collaborating with his twin brother in a study of pre-eclampsia. The pair has already published a paper on the subject — one of the first devoted to the specific subject matter they are exploring. CHANGE IS GOOD: Given the opportunities to teach and conduct research at Drake, Torry considers his current position a “dream job.” The balance between these two areas keeps him engaged with students and on top of current advances in the field. When meeting with students who are unsure which path to take, he stresses the importance of diversity in a career. “Try bunches of things, like shadowing people, because there are lots of opportunities available,” he advises his students. “The field changes so quickly. That’s what keeps it interesting.” — Emily Kruse

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Jenna Bormann

Richard Golfin III

Timothy Greeno


Marketing & Management

Actuarial Science & Finance

by Abbie Hansen, JO’01




The Magazine of Drake University


Javier Hernandez started climbing the corporate ladder the first day of his freshman year at Drake. And when the senior majoring in marketing and international business graduates in May, he’ll have already worked for two FORTUNE 500 companies.

He won’t be starting out on the bottom rung. Neither will Tim Greeno or Jessie Shepherd. Greeno, a junior majoring in actuarial science and finance, has been employed by national insurance companies such as AmerUs Group, AEGON and The Principal Financial Group. And Shepherd, a senior marketing major, spent last summer at Starcom

Worldwide, a media buying giant, and has worked with clients such as Macy*s, Best Buy, Kellogg, Kashi, Nintendo and Showtime. CHANGING TIMES While employers continue to seek individuals with academic degrees who have proven themselves in the classroom, companies also demand candidates with real-world, professional experience; they look for solid credentials and strong personal references. The College of Business and Public Administration ensures that its students possess these qualities and that they are far beyond their peers at other colleges and universities in terms of

experience at the end of their four years at Drake. “We want to catch students early on to get them engaged,” says Amy Jo Reimer-Myers, career development manager at the CBPA. “We want students to understand it’s a very competitive world.” The message is being heard. Take Hernandez, for example, who has been a part of Institutional Advisory Services for the Third Party Distribution team at Principal Global Investors since May 2006. For Hernandez, morning meetings have become commonplace. And concern for keeping current on all

financial information in the marketplace is as imperative to him as his work inside the classroom. Hernandez analyzes data as it pertains to the company’s various strategies, reviews performances, works on efficiency projects and cultivates the relationships that PGI has established with some of its best-known clients. “So far, to a certain degree, I have learned more things about myself than I have about the business world. I was able to really gauge my strengths and weaknesses, and come to realize the importance of coordination, collaboration and communication,” says Hernandez. “As far as

the business, I have learned more finance than the average person cares to know. I also learned that I actually like finance. I have seen how both of my majors work together and feel confident, not cocky, in my own capabilities.” Likewise, Shepherd was ready to succeed and excel professionally at Starcom. “For one of our clients, Best Buy, I monitored the television traffic on a weekly basis in order to ensure that schedules were being followed correctly by the networks. And when there were errors, I was in charge of alerting the reps at the networks and this required me to

negotiate with individuals in the business world,” she says. “The CBPA helped me develop those negotiating skills and has given me the confidence to effectively use them.” THE PERSONAL TOUCH The CBPA has a strategic program that begins with personalized career planning and training. Students are admitted to the business school immediately and start learning from business professionals their first day of classes. Training opportunities offered through the program include career assessments that identify professional talents and aptitudes; profession inventories, which include salary ranges, requirements and future growth continued on page 12

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continued from page 11

opportunities; personalized career counseling that features a strategic career plan tailored to each student; professional resume development; mock interviews; career and job fairs designed specifically for business majors; and career workshops on various topics such as etiquette and salary negotiation. On a more basic level, professors work with students inside and outside of the classroom. Such an experience provides four years of in-depth preparation that is adapted to each student’s personal goals and career aspirations.

“THE CBPA HELPED ME DEVELOP THOSE NEGOTIATING SKILLS AND HAS GIVEN ME THE CONFIDENCE TO EFFECTIVELY USE THEM.” fessional portfolio is given to students as soon as they set foot on campus as a business major. A tool for organizing all their materials, the portfolio helps students track important business appointments in a professional planner, serves as a place to carry personalized business cards, compile samples of the student’s professional work on interactive CDs, stores important business documents and serves as a device for build a professional network. Students are also able to access the The Wall Street Journal throughout their four years at Drake. Utilized on a day-to-day basis, these materials are instrumental in assisting students in organizing, implementing and achieving their career goals.

The associate dean of the college works one-on-one with first-year students to assist them in putting together a resume. From their first day on campus, they’re thinking about preparing for and getting their first internship. “I have found that the leadership within the CBPA is its strongest feature,” says Hernandez. “The professors and faculty are very supportive and have a passion to teach — this can be exhibited in a simple conversation with any professor or faculty member.” Greeno agrees. “My experience at Drake has been extremely positive. I have enjoyed close personal relationships with several of my professors and greatly appreciate their commitment to my future,” he says. “The seminars the CBPA sponsors are an incredible resource, and I have used much of what has been taught in these programs in the workplace.”

Another asset the CBPA shares with its students is Career bluePrint. The customizable, proprietary database allows students to track their career experiences. Through this program they’re able to match their interests with a large network of employers, alumni and other business professionals. The database includes a search engine known for its ability to link recruiters with Drake business candidates who fit specific employment needs.

Reimer-Myers also works alongside students to help them in any way possible. “Throughout their time here, we continue working with [students] and acting as a liaison, pushing them ahead and helping them land an interview,” says Reimer-Myers.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE The CBPA knows how important first impressions are to a potential employer. Students need to look like and present themselves as professionals. To get them started, the CBPA pro-


Javier Hernandez Marketing & International Business

“The CBPA has done an excellent job preparing me to not only land entry level jobs, but also to excel in those positions and rise through to the top of a company,” Greeno says. “We are equipped with the necessary tools to see our dreams become reality.”



The Magazine of Drake University

The Magazine of Drake University




Q. What is Drake University: Vision 2025, and what is its purpose?

Q. How does it differ from the fiveyear Strategic Plan?

A. Vision 2025 is a collaborative attempt to portray what Drake University can (and should) be in the year 2025. It has several purposes — all of them important — as noted in the document itself:

A. The most important difference is that it is not a plan — it’s a vision. That may sound like splitting hairs, but it is not by any means. We need a vision for the future, something toward which we can strive, reach for, that gives us a broad-brush sense of where we want to go and why we want to go there. The vision is, in essence, a picture of our desired and expected future — a picture that we hope will come true and that we will work hard to realize. That long-term vision is meant to reflect back on our immediate future, and our shorter-term (five-year) planning in ways that provide context, guidance and goals for the planning process. In essence, our strategic plan must point in the direction of Vision 2025, and identify the concrete actions that we must take to make the vision a reality, step-by-step.

• It is intended to be aspirational, identifying goals that will stretch us as an institution, but that are at the same time necessary and feasible; • It is intended to be inspirational, encouraging all those who care about Drake University to help make the vision come true; • It is intended to provoke and challenge — to make us ask, and answer, the difficult questions about the present and about the future. What new things do we need to do? What things do we need to do differently? What parts of our heritage do we need to cherish and protect so that the University will continue to thrive in a world that we know will be very, very different?

Q. How was Vision 2025 developed? A. In recent years, as we completed successive iterations of the Drake University Strategic Plan (which is a rolling five-year plan), we have had frequent conversations about the challenges facing the University in the longterm future, and about the ways in which we will need to manage those challenges to ensure that Drake continues to fulfill its mission in a vital and vigVision 2025 is a orous manner. About 18 months ago, I sat down at the computer and wrote a draft that incorporated what collaborative attempt to I was hearing on these topics from faculty, students, staff, Board of portray what Drake Trustees, alumni and friends of the University. My goal was to take all of these conversations and ideas and University can (and should) integrate them into a cohesive narrative that would serve as a useful basis be in the year 2025. for continuing conversations. It has served that purpose well; we have had many useful and important discussions based on Vision 2025 (including the Board of Trustees, the Faculty Senate, the Student Senate and the All-Staff Council), and I’ve revised the document periodically to reflect that ongoing input.


Q. What audience is Drake trying to reach with these concepts? A. Vision 2025 is meant for everyone who cares about Drake University and its future — students, faculty, staff, alumni, Board members, parents, friends and colleagues. We hope that people will engage in the vision, think about it, give us their input as we go forward, and do whatever they can to help us make it happen. One of our most immediate tasks is to think about how we tell the story of Vision 2025 to others in a meaningful and compelling way. Now it has a fair amount of academic jargon and references to things we talk about in higher education all the time, which may not make complete sense to those who don’t live in it every day.

Q. Why should we focus so far ahead when there are things we need to be doing right now and in the immediate future? A. They’re not mutually exclusive — they’re actually mutually reinforcing. There is tremendous danger when you focus only on the present or on the immediate future without a long-term vision. It is all too easy to make decisions that appear to make sense in the shortterm, but that have disastrous long-term consequences. In addition, large organizations don’t change very quickly,



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and if we are going to manage future challenges successfully, we need to be thinking long-term. In a sense, as Erik Peterson of the Seven Revolutions Initiative said on campus a few weeks ago, it’s the difference between management and leadership. If you’re only focused on where you are and on the very next steps, you quickly lose sight of where you’re going. Peterson also noted Darwin’s observation that organisms that do not adapt to change do not survive. That concept is critical to the success of a university. It’s not just anticipating and responding to change. We must anticipate and manage change, but we also need to exploit the opportunities inherent in change, and ultimately make change happen. The goal is not just to survive, but to thrive in fulfilling our mission and keeping our promises.

Q. Is a 20-year vision realistic? It’s a long period of time, but it is also very ambitious. A. We recognize, of course, that in a 20-year period of time the world can change in dramatic ways that will require us to rethink some (or all) of our assumptions. As Vision 2025 states, if we’d undertaken this exercise 20 years ago, we would not have anticipated the impact of the Web and other technologies on virtually every aspect of our lives. So while we will do everything that we can to make this vision come true, we have to acknowledge that it is somewhat speculative, and that not all the variables are under our control. We also have to acknowledge that it is by no means complete, that the details are meant in most cases to be representative — to be illustrations of what we’re talking about, and that it will continue to be infused with new thinking and new approaches as we revisit it periodically.

Q. How does Drake move from the broad strokes that constitute this plan, to the fine details that will make it a reality?

have our first all-University Futures Conference, in which all campus units will present “white papers” on their respective challenges, opportunities, and aspirations for campus discussion (the Conference will coincide with our June Board of Trustees meeting as well.) This spring, the campus will also elect a Planning Council, to be Drake University has the chaired by the President. The Council will take the ideas presentpotential to be nationally ed at the Futures Conference, as well as other relevant information, recognized, in the next five and over the fall create a draft of the next Drake University Strategic Plan for review by all relevant conto six years, for what we all stituencies. The Strategic Plan will identify all of the concrete steps already know it to be — that need to be taken to move us another five years in the direction of Vision 2025 — and it will identione of the very best fy the resources that we will need to get there.

universities in the country.

One of the most important ideas that derives from the development of Drake University: Vision 2025, and that will feed into the strategic planning discussion, is the fact that we firmly believe that Drake University has the potential to be nationally recognized, in the next five to six years, for what we all already know it to be — one of the very best universities in the country. We have already begun a discussion of what that means with a number of on- and off-campus groups, and I look forward to exploring that exciting aspiration with the Drake family in the coming months.

Vision 2025 in its entirety can be found online at by clicking on “Drake University: Vision 2025”

A. At the initiative of one of our campus committees working on our institutional self-study for reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (the review will take place in 2008), we have developed a three-year planning cycle that will “institutionalize” an ongoing planning and implementation process. Next June, we will

The Magazine of Drake University




sports sideline EHRHART, FORMER RELAYS DIRECTOR, DIES Former Drake Relays director Bob Ehrhart, 75, died from cancer at his West Des Moines home Jan. 7. Ehrhart retired in September 2000 after serving 31 years as Drake Relays director — the longest tenure of any of the 11 Relays directors in school history. Ehrhart came to Drake in the summer of 1969, succeeding Bob Karnes as Drake Relays director and head track and field coach. Under Ehrhart’s direction, Drake’s track and cross-country teams won nine Missouri Valley Conference championships, including six in indoor track, two in cross-country and one in outdoor track. He filled the position with distinction, watching the Drake Relays begin its string of 41 consecutive sellout crowds for the Saturday session — the longest string of any track meet in the world. The number of events at the Drake Relays expanded from 49 in Ehrhart’s first year, to more than 100. The number of college teams and participants almost tripled from 2,763 athletes in 1970 to a record 9,185 entries in 2000. In addition to countless meet records, 14 national colle-

DRAKE ATHLETICS HAS A BRAND NEW WEB SITE that features a new Bulldog store and includes options that allow users to watch games online, receive scores on their mobile phones, sign up for electronic newsletters and more. Check it out at

giate marks, 13 American records and one world record were set during Ehrhart’s tenure. In 1992 Ehrhart was named the first full-time director of the Drake Relays, stepping down as Drake’s head track coach. A-PLUS FOR ATHLETES The Drake softball team has been honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for holding the second highest cumulative grade point average among the NCAA Division I programs during the 2005-06 academic year. The Bulldog team combined to post a cumulative 3.51 grade point average during the 2005-06 season. Ninety-five schools were recognized for owning cumulative grade point averages of 2.5 or better. “We are extremely pleased with being recognized as one of the top academic teams in the country,” said Rich Calvert, Drake softball coach. “Our team takes great pride in trying to represent Drake both on the field and in the classroom.” GOING FOR GOLD With an 11th-place finish in the December California International Marathon, Zac Schendel, ED’00, has become

the third former Drake crosscountry standout to qualify for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Schendel, who resides in Minneapolis, was clocked in 2:20:34 in the California International Marathon held in Sacramento, CA, Dec. 3. Schendel joins former Drake teammates Jason Lehmkuhle, FA’00, and Matt Gabrielson, ED’00, for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be held in conjunction with the New York City Marathon in November 2007. Schendel won the 10,000meter run for Drake at the 2000 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Lehmkuhle won the 1999 MVC individual cross-country title and set the MVC 10,000-meter record of 28:44.91 in 2000.

MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM RULES IOWA With a Feb. 8 victory at the University of Northern Iowa (67-59) the Drake men’s basketball team secured its position as the top Division I team in the state. Led by coach Tom Davis, pictured right with Billie, ED’50, and Robert, BN’52, LW’54, Ray, the Bulldogs swept all four games played against Iowa’s three Division I programs for the first time in school history and took possession of the state title for the first time since the 1978-79 season. Drake earned an 80-78 victory at Iowa State Dec. 3 and then whipped Iowa, 75-59 before a record crowd at the Knapp Center on Dec. 16. The Bulldogs also claimed a 74-61 home victory against Northern Iowa on Jan. 27.


Gabrielson owns the Drake school indoor record in the 3,000-meter run of 8:06.44 in 2000. The trio was instrumental in leading Drake to a team title in the 1999 MVC CrossCountry Championships. RUNNING MAN Drake junior running back Scott Phaydavong was a repeat selection as the co-offensive player of the year for the Drake football team during the 109th annual Channing Smith Awards banquet this fall. Phaydavong, a three-time first-team Sports Network MidMajor 1-A All-American choice, shared the honor with senior fullback Matt Goodwin and junior offensive tackle Matt Haas. Haas and Phaydavong also earned first-team All-Pioneer Football League honors. Senior linebacker Brian Conway, Waukee, IA; sophomore safety Jacob Craig, Mount Vernon, IA; and senior defensive end Kevin Jennings, Lockport, IL, shared defensive player of the year honors. Craig and Jennings were first-team All-PFL selections. The Bulldogs, under coach Rob Ash, posted a 9-2 record this fall, including a 6-1 secondplace finish in the Pioneer Football League. FOOTE (BALL) The Drake women’s soccer team earned its first berth in the NCAA Tournament this fall with



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champions a 1-0 overtime win over Evansville in the MVC Conference Tournament in Omaha. While the Bulldogs bowed to St. Louis University 2-0, the tournament appearance capped a landmark season for the young program. Drake went 12-6-2, led by junior Sarah Foote, who set a single-season scoring record with 12 goals. Foote was named to Soccer Buzz magazine’s All-Great Lakes women’s soccer region third team. Foote was the only Missouri Valley Conference player to be named to a regional squad. She ranked as high as 23rd in the NCAA in points-pergame and was named the MVC Most Valuable Player. Stars in the classroom as well, three players — Danielle Oswald, Melissa Nelson and Mallory McGannon — were named to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Team. MVC Defensive Player of the Year Danielle Oswald, who holds a 3.33 grade point average in sociology, leads the trio. Senior Melissa Nelson was also named to the first team for the third straight year, holding a 3.85 GPA in pharmacy. Senior Mallory McGannon received honorable mention laurels with a 3.57 grade point average in accounting. SIX PACK Drake senior Blake Siberz was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) College Men’s Soccer Scholar All-American Third Team. Siberz helped lead the Bulldogs to a 6-7-6 record and an appearance in the semifinals of the State Farm MVC Championship. He anchored a Drake defense that held eight opponents scoreless. Siberz holds a 3.31 grade point average in sociology and was one of six Drake men’s soccer players named to the

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MVC Scholar-Athlete team. The other top student athletes from the program were Alex Bollinger and Luke Frieberg on the first team, and Phillip Breuer, Keith Gorczyca and Kurt Larson who earned honorable mention honors. Bollinger sports a 3.77 grade point average in biochemistry and microbiology while Siberz maintains a 3.31 GPA in sociology. Frieberg earns a 3.68 GPA in finance. Breuer owns a 3.65 GPA majoring in English. Gorczyca maintains a 3.21 grade point average in finance while Larson has a 3.46 GPA majoring in radio/television. MORE THAN THE SCORE New lights and a scoreboard brightened the Drake Knapp Center this winter. Fans were treated to a new Daktronics scoreboard with video capabilities that was unveiled in late January. In addition, a new Musco Lighting system was installed and the sound system was upgraded. “We are excited about the enhancements for our fans,” said Sandy Hatfield Clubb, Drake athletic director. “The unparalleled commitment of our Champions Club donors has allowed us to make these important improvements to the Knapp Center. The upgrades will improve the quality of the in-game experience for studentathletes and fans.” Drake, the only private school in the Missouri Valley Conference that has an on-campus facility in which to play its home games, averaged nearly 5,200 fans per men’s basketball game which is the third highest single-season attendance mark since the facility opened in 1992.



Hardcourt Faithful DESPAIR NOT, THE STRUGGLES OF DRAKE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM ARE A SIGN OF BETTER THINGS TO COME. The 2006-07 Drake women’s basketball season has required perseverance like the program has seldom needed. The Bulldogs started the season as the favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference title. That, however, was before star senior forward Jill Martin lost her entire season to a back injury and surgery, and point guard Jordann Plummer was sidelined with a nagging foot injury. Without their top ball handler and leading scorer, Drake lost its way, going winless in the conference until late January. “This season has been very hard on us as a team,” says Lindsay Whorton, a junior forward from Independence, MO. “We know we’re not living up to expectations, but we can see improvement every game. We have to constantly refocus on our goals and not give in to feeling sorry for ourselves.” Whorton’s never-surrender attitude is a matter of faith. Before every game, Whorton pulls on a pair of knee pads with Bible verses from Isaiah and Deuteronomy stitched in dark lettering at the top. The verses come from chapters that detail the journey of the Israelites through the desert and battles for freedom from the Egyptians. Whorton’s favorite Deuteronomy passage says, in part, “God has led you … in the wilderness that he might humble you, testing you to know what is in your heart.” It’s a message that helped Whorton keep perspective during rough patches throughout the season. “You have to realize that sometimes the best things you learn in life come from the hardest times,” she says. “Struggle is good for you. The thing is you have to have faith that better days are ahead.” — Daniel P. Finney, JO’97


alumni update PIONEERING PHARMACIST HONORED Wendell Talbot Hill Jr., PH’50, will be posthumously awarded the Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal of Honor on April 25.

Wendell Talbot Hill Jr., PH’50

Following his academic training at Drake University and the University of Southern California, Hill was instrumental in advancing hospital pharmacy practice between 1954 and 1976.

ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED Drake University will honor five alumni at the annual Alumni Awards Dinner, Saturday, May 12 on the Drake campus. JONATHAN AZU Jonathan Azu, BN’99, will receive the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Azu, vice president, strategic music partnerships, CBS Radio, Infinity Broadcasting, New York, develops integrated multimedia programs that link advertisers, labels and artists with CBS Radio’s music brands. Azu remains actively involved in the Drake community; he has helped organize the annual Bulldog Bash in his area and, when he lived in St. Louis, the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament alumni event. Azu also served on the alumni host committee for Drake’s 125th birthday party last October.


In 1977, Hill was appointed dean of the College of Pharmacy at Howard University. He earned recognition from his peers for superior leadership as a member of several professional organizations, including his place on the board of trustees at Drake University. Hill was also awarded the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from Drake in 1975. He met his wife, Marcella Washington, GR’49, at the University and together the couple raised two sons. The Weaver Medal of Honor is the College of Pharmacy and Health Science’s highest honor. SOE HONORS THREE OUTSTANDING ALUMNI School of Education graduates Tom Andersen, Constance Cohen and James Heslop were

CHARLA LAWHON Charla Lawhon, JO’78, will receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Lawhon is managing editor of InStyle, a celebrity lifestyle magazine with 1.6 million monthly readers. Since graduating, Lawhon has shared her expertise with Drake students, meeting with magazine majors and speaking as part of the School of Management and Communication’s Executive in Residence series, which is designed to expose students to real-world situations in the workplace. WILLIAM “BILL” BUCHANAN The Alumni Loyalty Award will be presented to William “Bill” Buchanan, BN’57. A member of the College of Business and Public Administration National Advisory Council, Buchanan and his wife Jean have hosted alumni receptions at their Kansas City home for prospective students and their families. The couple

named the 2007 Outstanding Alumni at the school’s annual event on March 8. Andersen, GR’72, GR’88, has served as a teacher and consultant for the Iowa Department of Public Instruction for 34 years on topics such as equity, civil rights and school improvement issues. He has been involved in the development and implementation of school integration programs, the multicultural-gender fair curriculum, diversity training for educators, affirmative employment programs and equity monitoring systems. Cohen, ED’72, GR’77, JD’87, is a member of the Juvenile Court bench in Iowa where she oversees cases involving dependency, delinquency, termination of parental rights, involuntary

juvenile commitments and adoptions. She started her career as an elementary teacher and school administrator before obtaining her law degree. Heslop, ED’54, served in the Peace Corps as a teacher in the Phillippines before moving to Banning, CA, to take a position as a history teacher where he became assistant principal and principal. Later Heslop was promoted to assistant superintendent. Since his retirement in 1989 he has been asked by the Banning School District to return as a consultant. He has remained active by establishing a branch of Habitat for Humanity in his community. In 2005, he received the city of Banning’s highest honor and was inducted into the Riverside Education Hall of Fame.

has also made leadership gifts to the University to endow a scholarship fund in their name and to support new and continuing programs in the College of Business and Public Administration. Buchanan, an innovator in the insurance industry and Fellow in the Society of Actuaries, served on a committee to create and support the Adams/Bowers Actuarial Education Center at Drake.

of retirement age in central Iowa. She was a member of the National Commission II, which engaged alumni and friends in a comprehensive planning effort for the University and which laid the foundation for Drake’s most recent major fundraising campaigns. Grandquist is also a member of the Friends of Drake Arts and past member of the Drake College of Arts and Sciences National Advisory Board.

BETTY GRANDQUIST Betty Grandquist, LA’74, will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award. As executive director of the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Grandquist has received numerous honors for her service to Iowa, state government and the chronically ill and aged. At Drake, Grandquist is secretary and program chair of the RaySociety, which provides university-level noncredit educational opportunities to citizens

VINAYA SHARMA The Young Alumni Loyalty Award will be presented to Vinaya Sharma, BN’93. Sharma is a credit analyst and actuary with Quantitative Risk Management in Chicago. Sharma has served on his five-year reunion committee, helped organize local Bulldog Bashes and supported numerous other regional alumni activities. Call the alumni office at 1-800-44-DRAKE, x3147 for info.



The Magazine of Drake University



AT LEAST ONE CRITIC HAS CALLED LESLEY PICCHIETTI BYERS, JO’78, one of the “most promising young jazz singers

of our era.” Yet the career that has taken Byers on several crosscountry tours and resulted in several critically acclaimed albums was not intentional. “After graduating I got an advertising job in Chicago,” Byers recalls. “I thought I could take the business world by storm, but reality hit me hard.” While working full-time for a wage barely above poverty level, Byers began singing at a dinner theater to help make ends meet. Before long, this side job was paying more than her “career.” In 1996, she joined a jump blues band, just one year before a swing music craze hit the country. “We were easily working six nights a week,” she says. “I would sleep in my car for about an hour between a gig and work. It was fun, but I felt like I was doing both jobs mediocre. I thought, ‘I can always get another job but I have to try this music thing.’” She quit her day job a decade ago and hasn’t looked back. Byers formed Lesley Byers and the Jazz Cats in 2000 and in January embarked on her first-ever world tour. MORE THAN LUCKY: “We’re just having an amazing ride. I’ve been extremely lucky.” But Byers knows it’s more than luck — and talent — that is responsible for her successful music career. “I am a working musician because of my business background, not because I can sing,” she says. “There are a lot of great singers out there who are sitting at home.” And she realizes now that her journalism education has been beneficial in ways she never imagined. “Doing press releases, layout for a press kit, mailing lists, and my own sound engineering — in all of those things I have enough background to know what I’m doing,” says Byers. “I am certain that has been the driving force keeping me from having to go back and get a day job.” — Tim Schmitt

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alumni update NOT “LOST” Michael Emerson, FA’76, pictured here in character on the “LOST” set, took the long road to find success. And while on his way, he nearly gave up on his acting career altogether. It wasn’t until 1995 when a glowing New York Times Broadway review helped him find his way. He’s since guest starred on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Without a Trace” and landed a big screen role in Saw. Emerson has recently found fame on the ABC hit series “LOST.” Initially signing on for a mere three episodes, he’s now one of the leading cast members in season three.


May – June

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 Weaver Medal of Honor Lecture and Reception Des Moines

Bulldog Bashes Various cities worldwide; visit for details FRIDAY, JUNE 8 – SUNDAY, JUNE 10 Law Alumni Reunions Classes of 2002, 1997, 1987, 1977, 1967 and 1957 Des Moines

FRIDAY, APRIL 27 – SATURDAY, APRIL 28 Drake Relays Des Moines SATURDAY, APRIL 28 20-year Cluster Reunion Classes of 1986, 1987, 1988 Des Moines 5-year Cluster Reunion Classes of 2001, 2002, 2003 Des Moines Reunion of the Drake Chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Des Moines

May ALUMNI PORTAL TO LAUNCH Drake alumni will have access to Drake’s password-protected online alumni community this summer. The central repository of information lets alums reconnect with classmates, update information, learn about and register for upcoming events, see news from around campus and learn more about the services offered by the Alumni Association, all in a secure environment. In short, alums have access to information unavailable to the general public and it’s all in one place. It’s a great way to stay connected. Watch for additional communication in the mail. REUNIONS SCHEDULED FOR RELAYS AND COMMENCEMENT WEEKENDS The classes of 2001, 2002 and 2003 will gather for their first cluster reunion this spring. Committee members are coordinating events for the five-year reunion as well as plans for a 20year cluster for the classes of 1986, 1987 and 1988. Festivities for both reunions will take place during Relays weekend, April 27–29.


Drake will induct the class of 1957 into the 50-Year Club during commencement weekend May 11–13. Members of the classes of 1937 and 1947 will be honored as well. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences class of 1952 reunites the same weekend. In addition, Law School graduates of 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2002 will come together on campus June 8 – 10. Interested in helping plan these events? Contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs at 1-800-44-DRAKE, x2500. IT’S ALL ABOUT CONNECTIONS In order to enhance the Drake experience and its connection with alumni, parents and friends, it’s important that the University conduct surveys. Through constructive feedback Drake is better able to evaluate what it has done well and identify areas in which the University can improve. Please take a minute and respond to a few brief questions by logging on to between April 1 and May 1, 2007.

THURSDAY, JUNE 14 Chicago Golf Outing Chicago FRIDAY, JUNE 29 – SUNDAY, JULY 1 Des Moines Arts Festival Des Moines

July SATURDAY, JULY 14 Schaumburg Flyers baseball game and pre-game picnic Schaumburg, IL

FRIDAY, MAY 11 Drake 50-Year Club Dinner Des Moines


Law School Commencement Des Moines


FRIDAY, MAY 11 – SATURDAY, MAY 12 Class of 1957 Reunion and Pharmacy Class of 1952 Reunion Des Moines


SATURDAY, MAY 12 Drake University Commencement Drake Annual Alumni Awards Dinner Des Moines

Visit for details regarding alumni events and services, to update your contact information, to share news and more.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 Parents and Family Weekend

☛ For more information and a full listing of all Drake events — including athletics and fine arts events — visit:



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ments on attorney George LaMarca’s desk is the 2007 Seeds from Italy catalog. “Don’t make me out to be too much of a vegetable grower,” says the 1970 Drake Law School grad. But whether LaMarca admits it or not, his careful attention to detail and the way he nurtures relationships with his clients are reflected in his passion for gardening. A FAMILY TRAIT LaMarca inherited his green thumb from his grandfathers, both Italian immigrants. His passion is in his herb and vegetable gardens, but his backyard is also lush with extensive perennial and annual beds. For herbs alone he grows four varieties of thyme, eight of basil and 10 types of rosemary. Given his personality, it comes as no

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surprise that peppers and eggplant are his favorite vegetables. “Because they’re challenging to grow,” he says. FROM GARDEN TO COURTROOM That sense of dedication is apparent in the way he practices law as well. LaMarca is known for being an aggressive litigator who leaves no stone unturned. “I constantly strive to do the best that can be done for the cases I’ve undertaken,” he says. “I can’t guarantee that my clients will win every case. But they will know I have done my all. If I’ve done that, even if I lose, I keep my clients’ respect.” His real fervor for law took root while working as a clerk for former Chief Justice Louis Lavarato, LW’62, when LaMarca was still a law student. “I was fortunate in that

very formative first decade in my law practice to have such a great mentor,” LaMarca says. “[Lavarato] set an excellent example of hard work, the importance of caring for clients and maintaining high ethical standards.” LaMarca had plenty of time to learn from him; he joined Lavarato after graduation and practiced law with him for nine years before Lavarato went to the bench. Such training served LaMarca well. His practice, LaMarca & Landry P.C., was founded in 1988. Composed of Drake Law School graduates, his firm includes 11 attorneys and a support staff of 23 and represents regional, national and international clients. — Abbie Hansen, JO’01


alumni update 2 1 3

4 5

Picture 1: Tim Nied, BN’02, and Casandra Sims have much to celebrate during the Drake alumni event held in Washington, D.C.; the couple was recently engaged. Picture 2: LouAnn Burney, Drake Board of Trustees member Rudy Trebels, BN’73, and Lee Trebels enjoy an alumni event in Chicago. Picture 3: Drake first lady Madeleine Maxwell along with President David Maxwell (center) share the evening with (from left) Priyanandini Menon, BN’04, Drew Gulley, AS’05, and Irina Kovaleva, BN’05, in New York. Picture 4: (From left) Thomas O’Brien, LW’96, David Hanus, LW’96, Mike Sinnen, LW’06, Jennifer Allamby Hansen, senior advancement officer, Samantha Steinle, LW’02, and Curran Burns, LW’04, gather for a Law School event in Milwaukee. Picture 5: Charlie Wittmack, the first Iowan to climb Mount Everest, speaks at a Let’s DU Lunch event. Picture 6: Pete Helgesen, ED’98, Mary Adams and Drake Board of Trustees member Don Fletcher, BN’67, visit at the Kansas City alumni event. 6




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YOUR GIFT SUPPORTS: • Scholarships to 98 percent of Drake undergraduates. • Ongoing operations. • State-of-the-art classrooms with technological enhancements. • Retaining and recruiting top-notch faculty. • The arts, athletics, leadership opportunities and the overall betterment of campus life. • Making the Drake experience in and out of the classroom unique and transformational.

The Drake Fund For more information or to make a contribution, contact Director of Annual Fund Programs Pam Pepper at 1-800-44-Drake, x4558 or go to and click “Support Drake.”

Make your gift online — — and click on “Support Drake”!



Martin Luther King Day celebration. The event featured the Drake Gospel Choir and St. Paul A.M.E. Gospel Choir; a discussion of King’s work and legacy by Jennifer Harvey, assistant professor of religion; historical vignettes by The Langston Hughes Players; a praise dance by Drake junior Erica Austin; and spoken word presentations by Drake students Maryn Bass, James Bridgeford, Reggie Lee and Sterling Shadd.

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DRAKE’S MISSION is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. The Drake experience is distinguished by collaborative learning among students, faculty, and staff and by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation.

Drake Blue Magazine - Spring 2007  

The official alumni magazine of Drake University.