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Winter 2008



past three years; a $4 million renovation to classrooms, laboratories, and office space in Olin Hall. In addition to the objectives specified in our strategic plans, a number of other deliberate initiatives have contributed in a meaningful way to the quality of the work environment at Drake University, including: • A FOCUS ON PARTICIPATORY DECISION-MAKING — all major issues and decisions are thoroughly (and publicly) vetted with Faculty Senate, All-Staff Council and Student Senate;

From the President. . .

SCHOLARSHIP — Adequate time is given

for scholarly pursuits; • ENGAGEMENT INDEX — The emotional connection employees have to an organization; • LIFE INSURANCE .

LAST SPRING, The Chronicle of Higher Education,

the preeminent weekly publication for higher education professionals, conducted a national survey of workplace satisfaction among college and university faculty and staff. In July, The Chronicle published the results of the survey in a supplement entitled “Great Colleges to Work For.” The findings were a powerful confirmation of our ongoing efforts at Drake University to provide a supportive and productive work environment: Drake placed in the top five in the nation among institutions of our size (500–2,499 employees) in 11 categories: • HEALTHY FACULTY — Administration Relations — Senior leadership communicates with and respects faculty members; • COLLABORATIVE GOVERNANCE —Faculty members are appropriately involved in decisions related to academic programs; • TEACHING ENVIRONMENT — Faculty members say the institution recognizes innovative and high-quality teaching;

The Chronicle supplement also focused on Drake University for a companion article focusing on leadership style and the culture of transparency. Needless to say, we were very, very pleased by the results of the survey and by the visibility that the publication gave to Drake as a national model for excellence in higher education. It is important to note, though, that we should not be surprised — since 2001, Drake University’s strategic plans have had as a major goal, “Recruit and retain faculty and staff of the highest quality,” an aspiration essential to the promise of our Mission Statement in providing “an exceptional learning environment.” The objectives identified to realize that goal include ensuring fair and equitable compensation, supporting professional development, and improving the physical working environment, and we have made significant progress on these objectives: • $11 million added to the faculty/staff compensation budget in the past six years;

• INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS — Ideas are fully considered and issues debated for better results;

• A dramatic increase in the funds available for faculty and staff development (support for research, travel to professional conferences, etc.), and redirection of faculty development funds to focus on the educational outcomes mandated by our mission;

• TENURE CLARITY AND PROCESS — Requirements for tenure are clear, faculty members say;

• A significantly enhanced staff development program;


• A major revision to the new faculty orientation program;

• CONFIDENCE IN SENIOR LEADERSHIP — Leaders have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary for institutional success;

• RESPECT AND APPRECIATION — Employees are regularly recognized for contributions; • CAREER DEVELOPMENT, RESEARCH AND


• 31 classrooms renovated (most with significant technology upgrades) in the

• AN EMPHASIS ON ACCESS — students, faculty and staff have ready access to the University’s senior leadership; • COMMUNICATIONS — regular messages to the campus community on all issues of interest, as well as periodic public presentations on topics such as the budget and fundraising; • RECOGNITION — a variety of formal initiatives to recognize exceptional effort by faculty and staff, including Staff Appreciation Week, the True Blue Awards, and the Madelyn M. Levitt Award for Employee Excellence; an emphasis on an informal “culture of appreciation”; • RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF FACULTY AND STAFF — including free transportation on the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit; life coaching programs; individualized retirement planning counseling; the Wellness Program and annual wellness screenings. We are, of course, delighted that our sustained efforts on behalf of our faculty and staff are acknowledged in their survey responses to The Chronicle and that their responses have brought us national recognition as a “great college to work for.” As our more than 60,000 alumni know, it is the people of Drake University — the faculty and staff — who define our students’ experiences at Drake. It is the people of Drake whose teaching, mentoring, collaborating, encouraging, guiding, supporting and commitment enable our students to aspire to great things. It is the people of Drake, ultimately, who embody the promise of our mission, and who make this University distinctly Drake.

Dr. David E. Maxwell, president



The Magazine of Drake University

blue blue






Dr. David E. Maxwell

Director of Marketing & Communications


Brooke A. Benschoter


Drake University, in the fall of 2008, is in one of the most vital and vibrant periods in its 127-year history.

Interim Director of Alumni & Parent Programs Paul Secord

EDITORIAL STAFF Editor Casey L. Gradischnig


Art Director Courtney Hartman

Class Notes Editor


With a century of historic events, thousands of races and millions of fans in the stands, the Drake Relays is off to a great start.

Abbie Hansen, JO’01

Graphic Designers Amber Baker • Calee Himes

Writers/Copy Editors Abbie Hansen, JO’01 • Tim Schmitt



Lisa Lacher • Tory Thaemert Olson, JO’05

Interns Amy Benes • Nicole Freise Emilee Richardson • Michelle Thilges


Attorney balances explosive career with public service.

Publication Support Andrea McDonough • Jaquie Summers

Departments CAMPUS 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: 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:


Law School Ranks No. 2 as Best in Practical Training • MBA Program Ranks First in Business Record’s Annual Poll • Student Wins National Award for Magazine Article • Drake Receives High Ranking from The Princeton Review • Drake Rated in Top Five Nationally in “Great Colleges To Work For” • New Drake West Village Opens



Prescription For Success: Skill and Opportunity Led this Pharmacy Professor to Soaring Career Heights • Professor Receives Fulbright • SJMC Professor Addresses Converging Media • Kende Speaks at Oxford



Hurdling the Globe: West African Athlete Lands on His Feet at Drake Pharmacy School • Bowl Teams Reunite • Seasonal Sports Briefs

Copyright Drake University 2008



Marathon Man: Business Grad Knows a Few Things About Going the Distance • Nominate Accomplished Alumni • It’s Reunion Time Pictured on cover: Michael Johnson and Perdita Felicien.

The Magazine of Drake University




campus buzz LAW SCHOOL RANKS NO. 2 AS BEST IN PRACTICAL TRAINING Drake University Law School took the No. 2 spot as Best in Practical Training in the National Jurist Law School Rankings. Drake scored 45.7 percent on clinical opportunities available per student to put the school in second place behind Yale Law School. Drake tied for second with the University of Wisconsin. The magazine highlighted Drake’s trial practicum program in which first-year students observe — from start to finish — an actual criminal or civil trial. The article noted that unlike most law schools, Drake has faculty who have actually practiced law. DRAKE MBA PROGRAM RANKS FIRST IN BUSINESS RECORD ’S ANNUAL POLL For the second consecutive year, Drake has been named Best MBA Program in the Business Record’s Best of Des Moines readers’ poll. “Three years ago our graduate faculty took a hard look at the MBA curriculum and the feedback

we were receiving from students and the metro business community,” said Danette Kenne, assistant dean of graduate and professional programs in Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration. “They redesigned the program to maintain the identified strengths and complemented them with an understanding of sustainability and values and ethics in decision making. The results have been very well received.” Drake’s MBA degree program uses an integrative approach that emphasizes real-world application of knowledge and problem-solving strategies and techniques. Technology and management are incorporated into and across courses. In addition, the program is flexible and is tailored to suit students’ goals. It enables students to learn from experienced faculty and successful business leaders. PARTNERSHIP BRINGS PRIMATE STUDIES TO DRAKE The Great Ape Trust of Iowa and Drake University have collaborated to make primate studies part of

DRAKE CHOIR’S RECENT EUROPEAN TOUR included singing in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, touring the Sistine Chapel and the Coliseum, as well as visiting a Nazi concentration camp in Austria. The choir, directed by professor Aimee Beckmann-Collier, traveled to Italy and Austria from May 22 to June 3, performing concerts in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Salzburg, Melk and Vienna.


the HOT list the University’s curriculum and to create research opportunities for students and faculty. The joint fundraising partnership will help develop an awareness and depth of understanding for primate mental abilities, evolutionary history, behavior and conservation through Drake education and research projects. This fall, Drake added a concentration in primate studies through the College of Arts and Sciences. The track of study requires courses in primatology, primate cognition and learning, primate conservation and a primatology senior capstone project. In addition, Drake students will be able to partake in summer research experiences with Great Ape Trust scientists in Iowa or join in research abroad with the Great Ape Trust or its affiliated research and conservation sites.

Cowles Library unveiled an exhibition featuring the history of astronomy at Drake, including the discovery of the Morehouse Comet. Anderson Gallery opened the fall season with “America Imagines Chinese: 19th Century Advertising Trade Cards and the American Imagination.” The

second annual Night of Stars concert showcased performances by Drake music and theater faculty. Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr.

delivered the 11th Dwight D. Opperman Lecture in Constitutional Law. Grammy Award-winning dramatic soprano Cheryl Studer

was the featured performer at the Edwin Earle Ferguson Event. Thomas R. Pickering, former ambassador and undersecretary of state for political affairs, delivered the fall Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture. Executive assistant for Fox TV’s “Family Guy” and staff writer for its new

PHARMACY FACULTY, STUDENT HONORED Three Drake professors and a fourth-year pharmacy student received awards from the Iowa Pharmacy Association. The awards were presented at the Association’s 2008 Annual Meeting Banquet in Des Moines June 21. Richard Morrow, the Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, received the 2007–2008 Honorary President Award. IPA’s Honorary President is selected annually to recognize a lengthy and sustained commitment of support for its association and the pharmacy profession in Iowa. Anisa Fornoff, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, received the Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award. This annual award recognizes pharmacists in each state who have demonstrated innovative practice activities that result in


spin-off “The Cleveland Show” Kevin Biggins, JO’01, performed

on campus as part of the Drake SJMC/Times-Delphic reunion festivities. Musical highlights included the Drake Symphony Orchestra performing its premier concert featuring Akira Mori, new director of orchestral studies, conducting Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Anderson Gallery featured “Building a Modern Campus: Eliel and Eero Saarinen at Drake University.” The fall fine arts season featured theatrical productions of Exit the King and Urinetown.


improved patient care. Fornoff has developed a pharmacy practice to address the needs of those with mental or physical disabilities or diseases. Carrie Koenigsfeld, associate professor of pharmacy practice, continued on page 6

The Magazine of Drake University



WHEN DRAKE PROFESSOR EMERITUS Robert and Carol, GR’70, ’78, Evans established an endowed scholarship in their name, it was, among other things, a unique way to commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary. But to Laina Kurth, a senior elementary education major, it was much more than the two former teachers anticipated. “I didn’t understand how someone I didn’t even know could be so concerned about contributing to my education or so interested in me and my future,” Kurth says. REALIZING A DREAM As a first grader Kurth knew she wanted to be a teacher. “I don’t know why I knew as a 7-year-old that’s what I wanted to do, but I knew,” she says. Her Drake experience has solidified her decision. “Everyone talks about the college experience and how much you learn and grow — all of the cliché things. But they’re all true. You learn so much about yourself — who you are and who you want to be.” The programs in the School of Education have put her in a classroom every semester. The hands-on approach has resulted in sharing experiences with teachers and children. “Kids are one thing I have the most patience for,” Kurth says. “I enjoy … I don’t know … their innocence, maybe. They’re so pure and fun and willing to learn.” And according to Kurth, the semester she spent in Salzburg, Austria, as part of Drake’s study abroad program has reinforced the fact that she wants to “see more of everything.” She would like to couple teaching with her other passion — travel. Ultimately Kurth would like to teach American students on an army base in a European country. A DELICATE BALANCE Kurth isn’t your typical college student.

For her, it’s been more than classes and social events. In addition to a full course load, she works two jobs off campus — one at a day care and the other at a local restaurant. “I do a lot. I learn a lot all of the time,” she says. “I feel like I’m always growing and changing.” But she’s learned to keep things in perspective and remember what is important in life. “I’ve learned all of the things I put the most value in as far as life and learning from [my mother],” says Kurth. “She’s always done everything with grace and love.” — Abbie Hansen, JO’01

The Magazine of Drake University




campus buzz continued from page 4 was installed as a trustee on the IPA Board of Trustees. She also was selected as the Faculty Preceptor of the Year by CPHS in 2004 and was named Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year by the IPA in 2007. Emily Nufer, a fourth-year pharmacy student from Niles, IL, received the IPA’s Karbeling Leadership Award. Named for Jerry Karbeling, a 1974 Drake pharmacy graduate and an involved alumnus who died in 2005, and his leadership and dedication to the profession and student involvement in professional associations and politics, the award recognizes a student from each of Iowa’s two colleges of pharmacy for their individual leadership and involvement. HIGHER LEARNING COMMISSION EXTENDS DRAKE’S ACCREDITATION Drake University’s accredited status was continued by the Higher Learning Commission without any need for follow-up reports or focused visits.

Having fully met the accreditation standards of the commission, Drake is scheduled to have its next comprehensive team visit in 2017–2018. The commission’s action followed a comprehensive self study by the University and a three-day site visit last February by a team of nine consultant-evaluators. In its written summary of the review, the commission concluded that: Drake University is a far stronger and focused institution than it was 10 years ago; its mission is clearly understood and embraced by the administration, faculty and trustees; a culture of assessment of learning has taken hold; and, finally, the University has demonstrated a continuing commitment to provide opportunities for students and faculty to serve the broader community. MOREHOUSE COMET FEATURED Cowles Library unveiled an exhibition in September featuring the history of astronomy at Drake, including the discovery of the Morehouse Comet. The display

will run through December in the James Collier Heritage Room in Cowles Morehouse Library. Drake alumnus Daniel Walter Morehouse, who served as Drake president from 1922–1941, discovered the comet that bears his name in September 1908. DRAKE RATED IN TOP FIVE NATIONALLY IN “GREAT COLLEGES TO WORK FOR” Drake University is rated in the top five nationally for institutions of its size in 11 categories in the “Great Colleges to Work For” survey released in the July 14 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. “This is very exciting, and very rewarding,” Drake President David Maxwell said. “Drake is at one of the most vital and vibrant points in its long history — and that’s due entirely to the energy,

admission update DRAKE RECEIVES HIGH RANKING FROM THE PRINCETON REVIEW Drake University is one of the best colleges and universities in the Midwest, according to The Princeton Review. The New York City-based education services company selected Drake as one of 159 institutions it recommends in its “Best in the Midwest” section on its Web site feature “2009 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” The 159 colleges chosen for this year’s “Best in the Midwest” designations were located in 12 states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The 630 colleges named “regional best(s)” represented only about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges. The Princeton Review survey


for this project asked students to rate their own schools on several issues — from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food — and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and their campus life. Comments from surveyed students peppered each Princeton Review college profile on its site. Two student comments quoted in the profile on Drake were: “[Des Moines is] a great city because it offers many opportunities for Drake students to get involved in activities that complement their learning experiences.” “Drake’s Student Activities Board, as well as several other on-campus organizations, offers many programs and things to do throughout the week and during the weekend as well.”


enthusiasm, vision, commitment and goodwill that our faculty and staff have so generously contributed. We should be very proud — and very grateful — that our collective efforts have been recognized in this way on a national scale.” LAW SCHOOL ACCEPTS PROFESSIONALISM AWARD Law School officials recently accepted the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association at the ABA’s annual meeting in New York City. “The goal of Drake’s program of instruction,” the ABA concluded, “is to provide students with a focused, integrated, comprehensive curriculum of ethics and professionalism, which pervades the law school experience.” The E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards recognize projects that enhance professionalism among lawyers. Law Schools, bar associations, law firms and not-for-profit law-related organizations are eligible for the awards. Drake was the only law school to receive one of the three awards presented this year. STUDENT WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR MAGAZINE ARTICLE Journalism student Justine Blanchard received a national Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her nonfiction article “A Shot in the Dark,” which was published in Drake Magazine. Blanchard accepted the award September 5 at the association’s luncheon at the 2008 Society of Professional Journalists Convention and National Journalism Conference in Atlanta. Her award-winning article focuses on diabulimia, an eating disorder in which Type I diabetics skip insulin shots to lose weight. Blanchard interviewed medical


The Magazine of Drake University

professionals and two girls with the disorder for the article. “It was an interesting article to write because very few people in the medical community have knowledge that this disorder even exists,” she said. SOE TEACHER-ENHANCEMENT PARTICIPANTS GRADUATE Five participants of the Teacher Quality Project (TQP) graduated from Drake University last May and, in the fall, returned to the classroom as teachers. All five inaugural graduates accepted positions in Des Moines Public Schools: Praveen Bannikatti, social studies, North High School; Darin Henry, social studies, Future Pathways program; Olivia Howe, English language learners, Lincoln High School and Scavo Campus; Sonal Khokhari, math, Goodrell Middle School; and Noemi Mendez, kindergarten, McKinley Elementary School. The Teacher Quality Program began in spring 2006 as a joint effort to increase the number of minority teachers in schools that enroll large numbers of lowincome students from ethnic minority groups. Through the program, students may work toward completion of their bachelor’s or master’s degrees. The program’s goals include supporting minority teacher recruitment, funding forgivable loans and other supports, and creating four professional development schools that will become demonstration sites for quality urban education. Students in the program are provided tuition, books, a laptop computer and child care, but must agree to teach in Des Moines Public Schools upon receiving their Iowa teaching license. They commit to teach in Des Moines one year for every year they participate in the program. In fact, students are hired by the

The Magazine of Drake University

school system even before they begin taking classes. DRAKE WEST VILLAGE OPENS Drake West Village, the $37 million mixed-use housing and retail complex that Drake University and Hubbell Realty Company developed at 31st Street and Carpenter Avenue, officially opened in September with a ribbon-cutting celebration. The first two tenants of the retail portion of Drake West Village are Starbucks and locally owned sports restaurant The Stadium Grill & Bar. “This is a wonderful example of the ways in which the University can collaborate with community businesses to make good things happen for our students,” said Drake University President David Maxwell. “The project gives upperclass, graduate and law students the opportunity to be more connected to campus life while enjoying apartment-style living.” BUSINESS GRADS WIN MAJORITY OF POSITIONS IN NEW LEADERSHIP PROGRAM Recent CBPA graduates were selected for four out of five positions in the new Leadership Development Rotation Program started by Principal Financial Group. More than 200 students applied for the program, which Principal established to appeal to highpotential college graduates. The program is designed to create a pipeline for producing the next generation of leaders at Principal, one of the nation’s largest insurance companies. Those selected for this first year of the program were chosen on the basis of academic achievement, talent and future leadership potential. Participants in this elite program will spend two to three years in six- to 12-month rotational assignments. Rotation paths will



vary by participant, based on their background, skills and preferences. Once the participants successfully complete the program, Principal will work with them to determine their best fit and launch them into their new careers. SJMC MAGAZINES TAKE TOP AWARDS Think, 515 and Drake Magazine — three Drake student-produced publications — reeled in honors in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s 2008 Student Magazine Contest. Think, a news magazine produced by senior magazine and news-Internet majors, took the top award for General Excellence in the Single Issue of an Ongoing Print Magazine category. “Combining sleek and accessible design, the magazine contained the range of news and features that its targeted audience might find appealing: short and long,

serious and light, with different entry points on the longer pieces,” said David Kaplan, senior editor at Newsweek, who judged the magazine. “I also was impressed with much of the photography and graphics.” In addition, Think scored high marks for the magazine’s editorial content for a Single Issue of an Ongoing Print Magazine, finishing in second place. 515, a lifestyles publication produced by magazine seniors, ranked third as a Single Issue of an Ongoing Print Magazine for its editorial content. All magazines — Think, 515 and Drake Magazine, a bi-annual magazine produced by Drake students — tied for second place for design in the Single Issue of an Ongoing Print Magazine category. Drake’s Chelsea Hottovy, JO’08, AS’08, took second place for her 515 magazine article titled “How to Act Swell in Every Situation.”

DRAKE STUDENTS TEAMED WITH JOURNALISM STUDENTS from the University of Missouri to work on a collaborative course offered by both schools, Writing and Reporting from the Democratic National Convention. While at the convention, the students and faculty were featured on Denver’s local public TV station in “Snapshots from the DNC,” on Channel 12. MTV News took note of the students’ involvement as well. In addition, several journalism students experienced the Republican National Convention up close through internships with various national media organizations.



Drake University, in fall 2008, is in one of the most vital and vibrant periods in its 127-year history.


2 0 0 7 - 2 0 0 8 P R E S I D E N T ’S

ANNUAL REPORT AS I ENTER MY TENTH YEAR AS PRESIDENT OF DRAKE UNIVERSITY, I cannot help but look at this past year as a watershed moment in the University’s history — as the consequence of major initiatives and the energetic commitment of hundreds of people over the past nine years, and looking forward, as the robust platform on which we have begun to shape the University’s future. Drake University, in fall 2008, is in one of the most vital and vibrant periods in its 127-year history. I’d like to share some of the indicators that validate that statement, but it is important to note that virtually all the highlights of this past year have their roots in deliberate, planned strategic initiatives of the past decade. Enrollment: Last fall, we enrolled the largest first-year class in decades, with a slightly higher academic profile than the previous year’s class. At 924, the first-year class was 144 students larger than the previous year and 94 more than our “target” of 830. We also enrolled the largest group of transfer students in recent history, and we had the largest international student population ever. I must emphasize that while we are, of course, delighted with this dramatic increase in demand for a Drake education, we have no desire to increase the size of the undergraduate population. We know that small class size and the relatively small size of the campus community are highly valued by our students (and by our faculty and staff), and we do not want to grow ourselves out of that defining feature of the University. We will continue to refine our admission


strategies to hit that “ideal” number of 830. The increasing demand enables us to become more selective; not just simply accepting the students with the best grades and the best standardized test scores, but putting together a class of students who are diverse in every possible way, from academic and nonacademic interests, career aspirations, and talents to geography and demographics — united by a passion for learning and service and a commitment to the values that define the Drake experience. Finances: At the beginning of the millennium, Drake University faced some daunting financial challenges — a significant operating budget deficit, increasingly noncompetitive salaries and a growing deferred maintenance backlog. Program Review (2000–2001), the development of a strategic plan, the efforts and guidance of the board of

trustees and Vice President for Business and Finance Vicky Payseur, and increased enrollments not only reversed this trend but also placed the University on a firm financial foundation. This past year, for the fourth year in a row, Drake had a modest operating budget surplus. The surplus in each of these years has been placed directly into physical plant improvements. In total we have put more than $65 million into the physical plant in the past six years, with projects including classroom and laboratory enhancements, renovation of every residence hall, replacement of the campus heating and air-conditioning infrastructure, a new student center in Olmsted campus beautification and the revitalization of Drake Stadium. At the same time, we undertook a focused and aggressive compensation initiative to ensure that our faculty and staff salaries were competitive and equitable; as of this year, we have put more than $11 million in new money into the compensation budget. We are not quite where we want to be yet, but we’re in a more competitive position than we’ve been in decades. Ultimately one of the most important aspects of the University’s finances is the fact that we now have a strategic budgeting process in place, ensuring that resource allocation is consistent with the University’s strategic goals and that we



The Magazine of Drake University

To conserve resources, Drake’s 2007–08 Honor Roll of Donors is posted online at

have long-term budget projections that anticipate the needs of future years and that provide the budgetary resiliency that we need to respond to uncertainty. Student Success: The most meaningful evidence of student success is individual and anecdotal; virtually every one of our students represents a unique story of engagement in learning, commitment to the community, personal growth and exciting career aspirations. But there are also some very important numbers that collectively paint an extremely compelling picture of the success of our students and of Drake University’s success in keeping the promise of our mission, including: the first- to secondyear retention rate in recent years has been 86 to 88 percent (extremely high for

The Magazine of Drake University



a master’s university); 76 percent of Drake students were involved in community service and volunteer work this past year; 80 percent of Drake students participated in at least one internship; our six-year graduation rate is 73 percent (the national average is 56.9 percent); in recent years, 99.1 percent of Drake graduates have found career employment or entered graduate school within six months of receiving their degrees; Drake’s student athletes reigned last year as the Missouri Valley Conference Academic Champions, while winning regular season or conference championships in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s tennis, and softball; and we were the only Division I school in the nation to have men’s and women’s Academic All-American basketball players. Drake’s scores on the National

Survey of Student Engagement outperformed our peers in a majority of categories and Drake is one of the top master’s institutions in the country for Fulbright Scholarships awarded to faculty and graduating seniors. National Recognition: Ultimately the most important indicators of the University’s health and vitality are the objective measures that we use to assess our own performance, but it is certainly rewarding to see the ways in which what we have done at Drake is increasingly recognized on the national level, including: • We continue to be ranked in the top five among Midwest master’s universities by U.S.News & World Report (and No. 8 on its “Great Schools, Great Values” list).



What we have accomplished thus far constitutes the foundation on which we can build great things.

• Kiplinger’s Personal Finance rated Drake as one of the top 50 private universities in the United States. • The Princeton Review ranked Drake among the “best in the Midwest” and Drake is included in Barron’s Best Values in College Education. • The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was ranked No. 5 in the country among private university programs. • The Drake Law School was ranked No. 2 in the country for practical training in the law by National Jurist and was awarded the 2008 Gambrell Award for Professionalism by the American Bar Association. • As noted in my letter inside the front cover, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Schools to Work For” ranked Drake in the top five in the country in 11 categories. Accreditation: Every 10 years, colleges and universities must undergo reaccreditation by their regional accrediting body — in our case, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. For the past four years, dozens of faculty, staff and students on campus, led by Provost Ron Troyer and Associate Provost Sue Wright, were engaged in an intensive assessment and analysis of virtually every aspect of Drake’s operations, culminating in the preparation of the University’s formal selfstudy document (available on the Drake Web site). The result of these efforts was not only a completely “clean” reaccreditation (no follow-up actions or reviews required) but also one of the most laudatory overall assessments that any of us had ever seen. The accreditation report was a ringing endorsement of the quality of the academic



program, institutional planning, pervasive commitment to the mission and our preparation for the future. Financials: The financial report card below provides a quick review of the University’s financial results for the year ending May 31, 2008. The six objectives cited were selected three years ago as the most important annual indicators of general institutional financial health. Four (and a half) of the six objectives were met or exceeded for FY08. Volatility in the investment markets was the primary reason for the failure to increase net assets and the inability to meet our investment benchmark. Financial Report Card  Balance the operating budget and meet surplus targets: This goal was met. The target was 1.9% of total operating revenues; the actual surplus was 2.7%.

trustees, advisory councils and the community. While we have much to be proud of, we have ambitious aspirations for our future, which include the aspiration to be one of the very best institutions of higher education in the country and the desire to keep the promise of our mission to prepare students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishment and responsible global citizenship. What we have accomplished thus far constitutes the foundation on which we can build great things. It gives us confidence that with careful strategic planning and concentrated, collaborative effort, we can do what we set out to do and that our vision for the future of a university that is distinctly Drake is well within our reach.

Increase net assets: Net assets decreased $2.9 million due to market losses.

 Create positive cash flow: Cash balances increased by $7.6 million.

 Meet or exceed all debt covenants: All covenants were met. Meet or exceed investment benchmarks: The endowment return was a -3% compared to a target of 5% over inflation (or approximately 9%). The endowment spending target was 5%; the actual spending rate was 3.7% of the average market value of the endowment.

 Receive an unqualified audit opinion. This goal was met. • • •

Drake is thriving, thanks to the collective efforts and support of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, our board of



The Magazine of Drake University

Agreat beginning… Relays timeline


April 23, 1910 — First

1914 — The first world

Relays is held in a blizzard. Fewer than 100 participants from Drake, other colleges and area schools are present.

record is equaled in the Relays when Illinois runs the two-mile relay in 8:00.0.

1916 — The first individual 1911 — In its second year the Relays attracts more than 500 participants from 15 schools.

event is run at the Relays as Grinnell College’s Charles Hoyt completes the 220-yard dash in :21.4.

1922 — The Relays expands to a two-day event. 700 athletes compete in front of 10,000 spectators. The Relays also becomes the first track and field event to have a live radio broadcast. 1933 — Ronald Reagan begins his broadcast career announcing the Drake

Early Relays crowd

1916 Charles Hoyt

1933 Ronald Reagan

Relays for WHO Radio in Des Moines.

1934 — Martha Stull is named the first Relays Queen.

and sets the American Broad Jump record of 26-1 3/4. He goes on to win four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Germany.

Cunningham wins the three-quarter-mile special. Jesse Owens equals the Relays record in the 100

1934 Martha Stull

the first major track meet to have a live television broadcast.

1956 — What many 1951 — Five Drake

1935 — Glenn

1953 — The Relays is

athletes running on the relay teams win the 440, 880 and mile relays.

1935 Glen Cunningham

consider the greatest race in Relays history takes place. 8,000 fans brave 36-degree temperatures and a driving rainstorm and watch Duke’s Dave Sime

1956 Dave Sime

y 1993, Carl Lewis had nothing to prove. He’d already earned eight gold medals in four Olympics. He was a world champion, and the Sports Illustrated World Athlete of the Decade for the 1980s. So when Lewis was scheduled to compete in the Drake Relays that year in the midst of snow and sleet, few would have blamed him for scratching the race. Several less famous and successful runners had already dropped out, but Lewis was there to run. “We literally had to scrape the sleet off the track and Carl got out there and helped,” recalls Paul Morrison, JO’39, athletic historian for Drake University. “That’s something about the Drake Relays. Here’s an international track star who could have said ‘I’m not running in these conditions,’ but he wanted to run.” And he’s not alone. Since its inception in 1910, when fewer than 100 athletes participated, the Drake Relays has earned a reputation as one of the premier track and field events in the world — drawing world-class athletes from around the country to compete on the blue oval. Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Michael Johnson, Lolo Jones and Bruce Jenner are just a few of the big names that have competed at Drake alongside college athletes from around the country. “I don’t know of any other event in Des Moines that has the same significance,” says Morrison. And if anyone would know, it would be Morrison, who attended his first Relays in 1934 and has been present every year since 1946. “There’s something about the Relays that keeps people coming back every year and makes them feel a part of the action.”


finish the 100-yard dash in :09.4.

1959 — Jesse Owens and about 25 other Relays Hall of Famers gather at Drake to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Relays in front of 18,000 fans. Owens is named the Top Athlete of the First Half Century of Relays.

1959 Jesse Owens

1961 — Women’s competition debuts. Wilma Rudolph, gold medal winner in the 1960 Olympics 100-meter dash, wins a special 100 against Iowa competitors. 1966 — The Saturday Relays events sell out in advance, setting a precedence that has continued every year since.

1961 Wilma Rudolph

Additional photos courtesy of Cowles Library and Drake Athletics.

bigger than drake

Morrison’s attendance record is extraordinary, but he is far from the only fan so dedicated. “It’s a tremendous show. I can hardly wait to get there each year,” says Bob Spiegel, AS’34, a volunteer historian who has compiled reports on each of the 64 Relays he’s attended. From these detailed notes, Spiegel has written books commemorating the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the Relays and is putting the finishing touches on the 100th anniversary edition that will be available in April. He does this voluntarily, and takes no profit as his way of giving back to the University. Spiegel credits the success of the event to the many Relays directors who’ve been in place over the years, from John L. Griffith, who established the Relays in 1910, to Brian Brown who took over the position in 2006. “Because Drake supported [the directors] and the city of Des Moines supported them, it’s always been a great event,” says Spiegel. “That’s made all the difference.” Brown, who has viewed the Relays as fan, competitor (he set the high jump record in 1997) and as the current Relays director, recognizes that the Relays is special not only to Drake but the entire city and everyone involved — whether on the track or in the stands. “The Relays is a great showcase for our city,” Brown says. “But it is more than a home meet for Drake University, more than an economic boost for the city (generating approximately $4.5 million in consumer spending annually) or a feather in the cap for the Relays director. It is truly America’s Athletic Classic track and field event. It is a right of passage for all throughout the state of Iowa.”

1967 — Relays fans witness for the first (and second) time ever a mile run in less than 4 minutes. Kansas sophomore Jim Ryun does it twice: in the 4-mile relay and later in the distance medley that produced a world-best time.

1975 — Future Olympic

1974 — Ronald Reagan,

1976 — The Drake track

then governor of California,

is converted from 440 yards

1974 Ronald Reagan

returns to the Drake Relays to serve as Relays parade marshal. champion Bruce Jenner produces the highest decathlon score in the world with 8,138 points.

1975 Bruce Jenner

to 400 meters as the Relays joined the national move to metrics. The scoreboard goes automatic and officials for the first time go to all electronic timing.

1983 —Tudie McKnight from Kansas sets a long jump Relays record of 21-10 1/4 and Denise Thiemard of Nebraska sets a javelin Relays record of 194-4.

1979 — Steve Scott runs

1992 — Natasha Kaiser

the open mile in 3:55.26, through chill winds of up to 32 miles-per-hour.

Brown, a Des Moines high schooler who competed in 16 Relays, helps the U.S. to a silver medal in the

1979 Steve Scott

1992 Natasha Kaiser Brown

Changing Traditions

4x400 relay at the Barcelona Olympics. She returned to Drake in 2002 as a track coach.

1993 — Olympic champion Carl Lewis runs in the snow even after lesser competitors scratched the race.

1999 — The Drake stadium track is restructured into a world-class rekortan surface. 2001 — A Relays record 39,280 attend events at Drake University. 2006 — A $15 million

the 97th running of the Drake Relays on April 26. The High Jump event is held in downtown Des Moines for the first time.

2007 — Alan Webb runs the mile in 3:51.71, setting a Relays record.

brary and Cowles Li urtesy of Photo codahl. Rich Hoi

This rite of passage has helped the Relays continue to grow, build upon its fan base and become an event that transcends track and field. Over the years, many traditions have developed around the last weekend in April: breakfast at West End, beers at Peggy’s or The Library, street painting, the beautiful bulldog contest, class reunions and many others. And as new traditions take hold, others have inevitably fallen to the wayside. In 1934, Drake began naming a Relays Queen from among its student body, a practice that continued until the mid-1970s. There was a football letterman’s relay for a couple years and a bellhop relays in which real bellhops would race from the Savery Hotel at Fourth and Locust, suitcase in hand, for several blocks downtown. Currently, the 8K and half marathon races are public events that encourage participation from everyone. “The Relays is a pillar in the track and field community providing an amazing stage for our youth, collegians and postcollegiate stars,” says Brown. “It is different because the main focus is and has always been on what is best for the athletes, fans and coaches.” Adds Morrison, “It has a great hold on people. It’s our window on the world. I don’t think the Relays will ever die, and the future looks very good. We’ve maintained the competition over the years and we’ve been successful, and the show always goes on, no matter what.” One hundred years in and we’re just getting started …

2008 — Pole vaulters take to the air inside the Jordan Creek Town Center shopping mall in front of surprised shoppers. In addition, 27 former Drake relays participants compete at the Olympic games in Beijing, China.

Photo courtesy of Cowles Library and Rich Hoidahl.

renovation to the 81-yearold Drake Stadium is finished just hours before

1993 Carl Lewis

2006 Drake Stadium

2007 Alan Webb

2008 Jordan Creek

faculty focus CAMPUS MOURNS LOSS OF R. DEAN WRIGHT R. Dean Wright, the Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Drake University, died August 15, after a yearlong battle against cancer. He was 69. Wright, an internationally renowned scholar, was best known locally for his tireless community service and for teaching generations of students about poverty, homelessness and crime. “He will be remembered as a professor who cared deeply for students, a person who applied his discipline in the community, and a mentor who provided helpful advice to many young faculty R. Dean Wright members,” Drake Provost Ron Troyer said. “His most important legacy is the remarkable impact he had on the thousands of students who took his classes. He will be greatly missed.” Wright joined the Drake faculty in 1971 after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pittsburgh State University and his PhD from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He moved rapidly through the academic ranks to full professor and served as chair of the sociology department and director of the criminal justice program. PROFESSOR RECEIVES FULBRIGHT GRANT, TRAVELS TO VENEZUELA Darcie Vandegrift, assistant professor of sociology, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and conduct research in Venezuela during the 2008– 09 academic year. She is teaching classes in globalization and research methods at the


University of the Andes in Mérida, the main center for education and tourism in western Venezuela. Her research project involves interviewing adults born between 1970 and 1990 about how they see their economic futures and national identity in light of Darcie Vandegrift the changes that have occurred in the global economy and in Venezuela, which has been enriched by its abundant oil supply, but is rife with political divisions between pro- and antiChavez factions. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Vandegrift, who joined the Drake faculty in 2004, recently received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in Drake’s College of Arts and Sciences. SJMC PROFESSOR ADDRESSES CONVERGING MEDIA Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor of journalism, participated on a panel “Converging in the Classroom: How in the Multimedia World Do We Do This?” at the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication annual convention in August. She discussed how the SJMC reworked its Introduction to Visual Communication course to find a balance in teaching technology and skills to students so they will have a competitive edge in the job market. DRAKE PROFESSOR INTERVIEWED ON BBC RADIO Drake University lecturer Kieran Williams, author of The Prague Spring and its Aftermath

Czechoslovak Politics, 1968–1970, was part of a BBC Radio story that aired in September about the Soviet Union’s 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. “The Russian government’s recent action in Georgia makes this story seem very timely all of a sudden,” Williams said. “But an important difference is that in 1968, Czechs and Slovaks ruled out the use of force as futile. Instead, they put all their energies into nonviolent civil resistance to great effect in the short term.” The story is part of a series of programs the BBC is doing this summer on 1968 — a year of music, love, protests and assassinations. Williams also is co-author of books on the reform of the secret police and of electoral systems in post-Communist countries. He is now working on a study of judicial

review of electoral disputes around the world. LAW PROFESSOR SPEAKS AT OXFORD Mark Kende, the James Madison Chair in Constitutional Law and director of the Constitutional Law Center, participated in the AALS midyear meeting in Cleveland as chair of the Constitutional Law section. Last spring, Kende also spoke at Oxford University and presented “The U.S. Supreme Court and the War on Terror.” He also attended the annual Law & Society meeting in Montreal and gave two presentations titled “Education and Human Rights: A South African Perspective” and “A Critique of Ran Hirschl’s Juristocracy from the South African View.”

PHARMACY PROFESSORS TAKE AWARDS Anisa Fornoff, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, won the Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award at the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s annual meeting. Geoff Wall, associate professor of pharmacy practice, Carrie Koenigsfeld, associate professor of pharmacy practice, and Andrew Meisner recently won the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s Poster Award. The poster was titled “The Effect of Sample Medication Restrictions on Prescribing Patterns at a Private Internal Medicine Clinic” and was judged based on originality/innovation, reproducibility, impact on the profession, presentation and methodology. IPA chooses one original project each year that advances the practice of pharmacy in Iowa and presents the award at its annual meeting.



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A CAREER IN ACADEMIA never entered the mind of Geoff Wall,

associate professor of pharmacy practice, during his early years. In fact it wasn’t until midway through his internal medicine residency at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, while fulfilling a teaching requirement that had him in the classroom one day a week at the University of Texas, that Wall became interested in academia. “My desire to teach, as well as my desire to teach pharmacy at a higher level, brought me to Drake and I’ve been rewarded more than one hundredfold,” he says. CLASSROOM AND CLINIC In addition to his teaching responsibil-

ities, Wall is also the internal medicine clinical pharmacist at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and the clinical pharmacist for the Iowa Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. He is a preceptor to pharmacy students and has been instrumental in offering inflammatory bowel disease patients highly specialized pharmaceutical care. “My colleagues and I will say to each other in passing, ‘What are you doing today?’ And the response always is, ‘Saving lives.’” Of course it’s said tongue-in-cheek, but in all seriousness, Wall says, “It’s that moment, which doesn’t happen every day, when you make a recommendation and you realize that you’ve made a difference in a person’s health — that you’ve helped them in a profound way.” MORE THAN A CAREER “Being a pharmacist is a large part of my identity. Who I am outside of the profession isn’t much different,” says Wall. “I love my job; I love what I do.” Of the honors he’s received, including the 2008 Madelyn Levitt Mentor of the Year Award, the one acknowledgment that means the most to Wall is a T-shirt given to him by students of the first Clinical Pharmacokinetics class he taught at Drake. That somewhat rough semester ultimately culminated in success for both Wall and the students. “The last day of class the students presented me with a box, and inside was a T-shirt that commemorated their appreciation of me and the class,” he says. “Then I realized the entire class was wearing one. I still have the shirt and wear it the final day of that class every year.” — Abbie Hansen, JO’01

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sports sideline FOOTBALL Football coach Chris Creighton began his Drake coaching career with a 17–13 win over Upper Iowa on August 29. Drake started slowly, falling behind 10–0 while gaining only two first downs. The Bulldog defense rallied. Cornerback Tim Harvey picked off a pass and returned it to the Upper Iowa 20-yard line. Cole Ingle tossed an 8-yard pass to Zach Brower for a touchdown. Drake took the lead late in the second quarter when Spencer Cady stripped the ball from the Upper Iowa punter. Bulldog teammate Andrew Asbell recovered the ball and ran it 12 yards for a score. VOLLEYBALL The Drake volleyball team opened its season 2-0 for the first time since 2003 to welcome new head coach Phil McDaniel. Drake came from behind to notch its second win, beating Ball State in Houston on August 29. Angela Bys smacked 18 kills to lead the match. Sophomore Alana Wittenburg came up one dig shy of equaling her career high, recording 23 digs. Michelle Reidy chipped in eight kills. Caitlin Johnson, in her first appearance as Drake’s setter, distributed six assists. Drake bettered Ball State in kills

(52–47), assists (51–43) and blocks (11–6), while Ball State won the dig column 69–58. MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY The Drake men’s and women’s cross country programs have been nationally honored for their successes off the course. The Bulldog teams were selected to their respective U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Teams. To be considered for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team award, a team must have a minimum 3.0 team cumulative GPA and compiled a team score at an NCAA regional meet. This is the ninth consecutive year that the Drake men’s cross country program was honored. MEN’S SOCCER Three Drake men’s soccer players were named to the preseason allMissouri Valley Conference team. Junior forward Garrett Webb, junior midfielder Luke Gorczyca and junior midfielder Kevin Shrout, three of Drake’s top four returning scorers, were voted to the squad by the league coaches. Webb led the Bulldogs last season with seven goals and five assists, en route to earning all-MVC first-

team honors. Webb registered a team-high three game-winning goals. Gorczyca was second on the team with six goals and was named to the all-MVC second team. Shrout earned honorable mention all-MVC honors while ranking fourth on the team with five goals and three assists. WOMEN’S SOCCER The Bulldogs will have a familiar helping hand on the sideline this season. Former Drake women’s soccer standout and 2006 Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Most Valuable Player Danielle Oswald was announced as the first assistant under first-year Drake head women’s soccer coach Lindsay Horner. Oswald played forward and defender for the Bulldogs for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Oswald appeared in 36 games for the Bulldogs, earning firstteam all-MVC honors as a senior in 2006. She also guided the Bulldogs to a pair of MVC regular season titles and their first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament. WOMEN’S GOLF Drake’s Olivia Lansing, Elena Vukmir and Michelle Mathwick have been named to the 2007–08 National Golf Association AllAmerican Scholar Team.

BOWL TEAMS HUDDLE ON CAMPUS Nearly 20 alumni from the 1945 Raisin Bowl and 1948 Salad Bowl football teams reunited at Drake’s 2008 Homecoming celebration. The alumni were honored at a banquet on September 26 that featured former radio voice of Drake football Larry Morgan as the emcee. An enthusiastic crowd welcomed the teams during the homecoming game’s halftime festivities.



The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent of all college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.5 and studentathletes must have competed in at least 50 percent of their team’s matches. Lansing, who is a graphic design and magazine major, captured individual honors at the 2008 Missouri Valley Conference Championship with a 77-73-77=227. She carded a 77.9 stroke average in 13 matches this past spring. Mathwick is a pharmacy major, and Vukmir is a marketing and management major. Vukmir had an 82.2 stroke average, while Mathwick had a 84.2 average. WOMEN’S BASKETBALL The Emerald Isle will soon add a blue streak. Former Drake women’s basketball star Jill Martin signed a professional contract to continue her basketball career with the DCU/Mercy Basketball Club in Dublin, Ireland. She will be playing in the Superleague, which is Ireland’s top division. Martin will remain overseas throughout the duration of the Superleague season, which runs from October through March. A 2008 first-team all-MVC selection, Martin turned in the best offensive campaign of her career, registering team highs in scoring (16.8) and rebounding (9.1) in helping spark the Bulldogs to their first regular-season Missouri Valley Conference title since the 2000–01 campaign. In 34 games, she ranked 43rd and 69th nationally in points per game and rebounds. Martin became the fifth 1,000-rebound player in Drake history when she surpassed the plateau with a careerbest 16-rebound performance versus Green Bay on March 22. She finished among the MVC leaders in six statistical categories.


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For a triple and long jumper, that goes with the job description. But the biggest leap for Dzradosi, PH’04, was the one that brought him to Drake University. Dzradosi, a native of the West African city Accra in Gahna, researched colleges and universities around the world for a place to pursue pre-med coursework and continue his athletic endeavors. And of all the places in the world, he chose Drake. “It seemed the best fit for me academically and athletically,” Dzradosi says. That seems like a big leap. Des Moines is half a world away from Dzradosi’s hometown, and in April, during the running of the Drake Relays, the average high temperature is about 60 degrees — some 30 degrees cooler than Dzradosi’s native land. Yet it was a woman with Des Moines roots, Drake Track Coach Natasha Kaiser Brown, and her husband, Drake Relays Director Brian Brown, who helped Dzradosi settle into his unfamiliar surroundings. “My coaches and Brian Brown really made me comfortable,” he says. “I also have to thank all of my professors. I learned so much in the classroom at Drake. I would not be where I am today without all of them.” Apparently, Dzradosi got comfortable. He became a threetime Missouri Valley Conference long jump champion and a four-time MVC triple jump runner-up. He was an NCAA Outdoor Nationals Finalist in 2002 and a three-time NCAA Qualifier. After earning his PharmD from Drake in 2004, Dzradosi stayed competitive. While working 40 hours a week at Indiana Heart Hospital in Indianapolis, Dzradosi works with the Indiana Invaders, a track club sponsored by Nike that inspires youth to exercise and competes in meets nationwide. Dzradosi narrowly missed the cut for the 2008 U.S. Olympic track and field squad when he set his personal best in the long jump this spring. Yet he remained undeterred. “I didn’t make the team, which was a disappointment,” he says. “But I set a personal best and that’s very encouraging to me.” Dzradosi just turned 30. In track and field terms, that’s not a senior citizen, but the AARP card is in the mail. He thought about retiring this spring after falling short of the Olympic team. He decided against it. “My body feels good and I like the competition,” he says. “I’m going to keep going as long as I can.” Why not? It’s just another leap of faith for a guy who always seems to land exactly where he needs to.

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alumni update NOMINATE ACCOMPLISHED ALUMNI The Drake National Alumni Association Board is seeking nominations for the 2009 Drake Alumni Awards to be presented during the annual Alumni Awards Dinner Saturday, May 16. Each year the Alumni Board recognizes individuals whose outstanding professional accomplishments and volunteer services have contributed to the success and reputation of Drake University. The honors are the Distinguished Service Award, the top honor bestowed upon alumni of Drake University, which is awarded to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated outstanding community and civic service; the Young Alumni Achievement Award, given to a Drake graduate age 40 or younger for outstanding achievement in a career or profession; the Young Alumni Loyalty Award, awarded to an alumnus or alumna age 40 or younger for extraordinary service to the University; the Alumni Achievement Award, awarded to a Drake graduate for distinguished and sustained career accomplishments; and the Alumni Loyalty Award, given to an alumnus or alumna who has rendered exceptional service to the University. Nominations are due to the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs by December 19, and should include contact information for the nominee along with career information, service to the community and profession, service to Drake University and the specific award for which the person is being nominated. Contact information for the person making the nomination is also required. Send nominations to Betty See at Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311, or


IT’S REUNION TIME This year the classes of 1998, 1999 and 2000 come home to Drake for the 10-Year Cluster Reunion, and the classes of 1968, 1969 and 1970 return for the 40-Year Cluster Reunion. Festivities will take place during the 100th running of the Drake Relays April 24–25. That same weekend, on Saturday, April 25, Drake is hosting the first All-Greek Alumni Reunion. All Drake Greek alumni, including those whose organizations no longer have active chapters, are invited to attend.

In May the classes of 1959, 1949 and 1939 will gather and rekindle memories during Drake commencement weekend, May 15–16. For more information about the events, visit ALUMNI LEADERS WELCOMED Members of the Drake National Alumni Association Board are your representatives at the University. These individuals plan programs and activities that are designed to keep all alumni engaged with Drake and connected to the 60,000-member Alumni Association. The board president



and chair are ex officio members of the Drake Board of Trustees, the University’s governing board. The Alumni Board has 29 members from across the country, led by an Executive Committee consisting of Past President and Chair Bill Drury, LA’73, LW’77, attorney, Renaud, Cook, Drury, and Mesaros PA, Phoenix; President Christin Lore Anderson, BN’93, Palatine, IL, vice president for Banc of America Leasing & Capital in Chicago; Vice President for Programming Joe Aiello, BN’80, president, BAsSIK Services, Inc., St. Charles, continued on page 20



Ever y year the University honors top donors at the Francis Marion Drake Society Dinner. Picture 1: Gov. Bob Ray, BN’52, Billie Ray, ED’50, and Monroe Colston, board of trustees. Picture 2: Jack Jones of the Iowa College Foundation and Susie Jones. Picture 3: From left, Bonnie McNurlen, FA’48,’66,GR’49,’70,’85,’88, and Betty Grandquist, AS’74. Picture 4: Bethany Wright, ED’97, Jamie Wright, AS’97, Mike Allen, PH’98, and Liz Allen, PH’99.



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Marathon Man BUSINESS GRAD KNOWS A FEW THINGS ABOUT GOING THE DISTANCE AFTER SPENDING MORE than a half century in the insurance industry, building a successful business, raising a family, singing on stage and running dozens of marathons, William “Bill” Buchanan, BN’57, has definitely earned the right to take a breather. But Buchanan won’t have any of it. “I don’t intend to retire — ever,” he says, noting that he still puts in 40 hours a week as chairman of Unified Life Insurance based in Overland Park, KS. Buchanan purchased the firm in 1986 and has developed it from a company with $300,000 in assets and 30 policies in force to a national insurance provider operating in 48 states with approximately $100 million in assets and more than $20 million of gross premiums. ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE In addition to leading a company with 40 employees and hundreds of agents, his passion for performing, traveling and running keep his life in high gear. Buchanan and his wife, Jean, continue to sing with the Irving Chorale and performed Mozart’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall in 2006. The couple has traveled the world and has set foot on all seven continents. And after many marathons and ultradistance events (including the 810-mile Sumoni Joske Relay that starts 300 miles north of the Artic Circle and ends in Helsinki, Finland), Buchanan still pounds the pavement, even though he now calls his run “more of a shuffle.” AHEAD OF THE CURVE Buchanan has much to say about changes he’s seen in the insurance industry during his career. “I have had to become more of a businessman and economist than an actuary,” he says. While his responsibilities have broadened, the technical aspects have become more sophisticated or have been assumed by computers. “I’m a big-picture guy now,” Buchanan says, and he sees the trend continuing. “No longer can the new actuary depend upon on technical training alone,” he says. “You must be informed in general business and be aggressive in applying knowledge.” As a three-year member of the CBPA Advisory Council, Buchanan has urged the administration to think beyond numbers and passing exams and find ways to encourage creative problem solving and business development skills. “Times change and you have to keep up. Attitude is so important. To be successful, you must cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit.”

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alumni update February

FRIDAY, APRIL 24 — SATURDAY, APRIL 25 100th Annual Drake Relays

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4 Let’s DU Lunch InPlay, Des Moines

FRIDAY, APRIL 24 Parents Board Meeting

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 SOE Alumni Awards Dinner Parents Hall, Olmsted Center

10-Year Cluster Reunion Classes of ’98, ’99, ’00


40-Year Cluster Reunion Classes of ’68, ’69, ’70

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 Let’s DU Lunch InPlay, Des Moines

SATURDAY, APRIL 25 Drake All-Greek Reunion Des Moines

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 — SATURDAY, MARCH 7 Law School Supreme Court Celebration The Drake University Law School recognizes generous donors with membership in the Leland S. Forrest Society. Pictured at this year’s Forrest Society reception are, from left, David Brown, LW’75, Artis Reis and Mark Smith, LW’73.

continued from page 18 MO; Vice President for Advancement Peter Barber, JO’81, vice president, account director, DDB Chicago; Vice President for Student Recruitment and Relations Valerie Warnsby, BN’91, director of special events and individual giving, Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago; and Secretary Scott Stevens, FA’86, vice president/general manager, Silk Brand, White Wave Food Co., Denver. For more information about the Drake National Alumni Association Board, visit YOU’VE GOT MAIL Drake mail, that is. Through blueView, the University’s password-protected online community, Drake alumni can access information unavailable to the public — all in one place. This center for information and interaction enables alumni to find and reconnect with classmates, network with successful Drake graduates,


TUESDAY, MAY 5 Mentor Teacher Reception Levitt Hall, Old Main

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 Agricultural Law Dinner FRIDAY, MARCH 6 Drake Law Review Dinner

create groups of fellow alumni with similar interests, update personal information, learn about and register for upcoming events, see news from around campus, find out more about the services offered by the Alumni Association and more, all in a secure environment. Alumni can also shape and strengthen the future of Drake through leadership roles and support of The Drake Fund. To access the site, log on to

SATURDAY, MARCH 7 Supreme Court Competition


THURSDAY, APRIL 9 College of Business and Public Administration Business Banquet

A Bulldog Bash is an event where local Drake alumni come together to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. At Bulldog Bashes, alumni have the opportunity to mingle with other Drake grads from all generations in a fun, relaxed setting. It’s a time to take a break from a busy schedule to network, socialize and share stories. If interested in planning the upcoming season of Bulldog Bashes, contact Jonathan Brendemuehl at 515-271-3935 or


FRIDAY, MAY 15 — SATURDAY, MAY 16 Reunion Classes of ’59, ’49, ’39 FRIDAY, MAY 15 Law School Commencement

Moot Court Luncheon Supreme Court Celebration Banquet

50-Year Club Dinner Des Moines


SATURDAY, MAY 16 Annual Alumni Awards Dinner Des Moines

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 Let’s DU Lunch InPlay, Des Moines TUESDAY, APRIL 7 SOE Distinguished Lecture Cowles Library Reading Room

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Hooding Ceremony SATURDAY, MAY 16 Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 Weaver Medal of Honor Lecture and Reception Des Moines

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



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the nation’s top defense lawyers when it comes to cases involving explosives and fire. His work has absolved companies of liability in high-profile cases and saved them tens of millions of dollars. “I’ve been the trial counsel for the largest forest fire, industrial fire and propane fire of the past 50 years,” says McCoy. After law school, four years as a JAG attorney and time spent in a large law firm representing a propane marketer, McCoy founded McCoy and Hofbauer in 2002. In 2004, he “parachuted into a case” in Pennsylvania that, upon winning, was considered one of the top 10 defense victories of the year. “The company could have been hit for $20 million,” recalls McCoy. “We got out of that case without paying a penny.” HARD NOSE, SOFT HEART McCoy is more than a gritty

defense lawyer, however. He’s taken the Drake Law School credo of working for the public good to heart. He has created an organization that raises funds and support for autistic kids in need of educational support and worked with the governor to form the

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Wisconsin Clean Cities Group, which hosts conferences and works toward developing alternative fuels. And having been raised with two deaf brothers, McCoy has a unique understanding of the issues deaf people face. He cofounded the Wisconsin Deaf, Deaf and Blind, and Hard of Hearing Alliance, LLC, and handles many cases on a pro bono basis. “I’m known in the deaf community and locally as ‘the deaf man’s lawyer,’” he says. A HUMBLE LEADER McCoy has been honored with awards for both his professional and pro bono efforts, but he refuses to take sole credit. “It’s a lot of people doing the work,” he says. “I have 20 people — attorneys, paralegals, secretaries and others — who I work with. I’ve just been fortunate to be in a leadership position.” And the honors and awards, he says, are not the reason for doing the work. “As long as you do the best job you are capable of, you keep going to work in the morning and giving it your best shot,” he says. “That is what’s rewarding.” — Tim Schmitt


alumni update



3 Picture 1: Los Angeles area alumni gathered at the



Hollywood Bowl including Shirley and Art, BN’52, ED’57, Frankel. Picture 2: Joe Welcome, BN’84, enjoyed a pregame picnic at the Schaumburg Flyers game with his daughter Briana and Cynthia Abban, AS’02. Picture 3: Former students of professor Bill “Doc” Coleman met in Chicago to reminisce. Picture 4: Steve Brandstaedt (left) and Matt Walker participated in the Windy City Golf Outing. Picture 5: Pharmacy alumni gathered at the D.C. Event included (back row) Trina Gillette; Chris Gillette, PH’98; Tom Rickey, PH’68; Gary Alwan, PH’75; Bob Schnarr, PH’57; Dan Driscoll; and Dean Raylene Rospond. (Front row) Pat Rickey, JO’76; guest, Lori; Liz Schnarr; and Tracy Driscoll, PH’86.




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Office of Alumni and Development 2507 University Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50311-4505

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.



THE CLASS OF 2012 was welcomed to campus in true blue style this past semester as the Drake community warmly acclimated incoming first-year students to the Bulldog lifestyle. New students and their parents learned the lay of the land during a series of summer orientation sessions. The near record-setting 902 first-year class then were welcomed for their first weekend on campus with a barrage of informational, social and volunteer activities as well as the helping hands of their older classmates who assisted the new students by hauling boxes and occasionally wiping the tears of the fresh-eyed freshmen beginning their new lives as Drake students.

Drake Blue winter 2008  

The magazine of Drake University. Managing Editor: Casey L. Gradischnig