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Drake to honor six outstanding alumni

February 2, 2010
Six Drake University alumni will be recognized for their career accomplishments and loyalty to the university at an effervescent evening reception on Thursday, April 22.

The event, which is free and open to Drake alumni and friends, will begin with a reception, champagne toast and awards ceremony from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Cowles Library Reading Room.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit http://www.drake.edu/alumni or contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs at 515-271-2500.

The award winners, who were selected by Drake's National Alumni Association, are listed below:

  • Jerry Allen, a 1969 graduate, Alumni Loyalty Award
  • Herb Baum, a 1958 graduate, Distinguished Service Award
  • Scott Carlson, a 1993 graduate, Young Alumni Loyalty Award
  •  Richard Harrington, a 1994 graduate, Young Alumni Achievement Award
  • Cyndi Lesher, a 1970 graduate, Alumni Achievement Award
  • Timothy J. Ley, a 1974 graduate, Alumni Achievement Award

Allen of Wayzata, Minn., received a bachelor's degree in political science. He recently retired from ARI, where he worked for 20 years as regional sales manager. He serves on the President's Circle Board and has served on the National Alumni Association Board the Drake Parents Board. He also is active with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the Twin Cities area. Allen and his wife and alumna, Lori, have helped plan and host events for alumni, donors and prospective students in the Twin Cities area. The couple also created the Gerald K. and Lori A. Allen Scholarship Fund at Drake. 

Baum of Jupiter, Fla., received a bachelor's degree in business and is retired chairman, president and CEO of Dial Corp. Among his honors is Drake's 1989 Alumni
Achievement Award. In 1999, he was named one of Advertising Age's 50 Most Powerful People in Marketing. Baum served as the Executive in Residence at Drake in 2005 when he met with students and lectured about his career, integrity and leadership.

Carlson of Des Moines, earned a bachelor's degree in marketing. He is owner of West End Lounge and managing partner of Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Co. Carlson has been involved with the Downtown Community Alliance and the Court Avenue Association, among others. He was named in the Des Moines Business Record's "40 Under 40" list in 2007. Carlson frequently lectures at Drake, among other local colleges.

Harrington of Washington, DC, received a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. He is CEO of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company. As a respected trainer and author, he has produced more than 25 industry books on digital media and photography, including official texts for Apple and Adobe. He also is founder of the DC Podcaster Alliance and served as technical chair and program manager for conferences produced for the National Association of Broadcasters.

Lesher, of New Brighton, Minn., received a bachelor's degree in sociology. She is retired president and CEO of Northern States Power Co. Lesher also holds a master's degree in rehabilitation and psychology from St. Cloud State University. She is involved with many civic groups and boards, and served on the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. In 2000, CityBusiness magazine named her one of the Twin Cities' most innovative women.

Ley who grew up in Lakota, Iowa, received a bachelor's degree in biology. He also holds an M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, where he serves as the Apple chair in oncology and professor of medicine and genetics for the Washington University School of Medicine. Ley, who has authored more than 115 scientific papers, is renowned for his groundbreaking research in cancer genomics. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National
Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that American
physician-scientists can achieve.