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President Maxwell addresses Drake Advantage Admission Campaign

September 9, 2010
To: Drake University Community

From: David Maxwell, President

Date: 9/9/2010

Re: Drake Advantage Admission Campaign

As you well know, there has been a great deal of attention paid to Drake's new undergraduate admission initiative, and I personally have received a number of emails with messages ranging from "brilliant" to "what were you thinking," and everything in between. Virtually everyone appears to think that the core messages of the Drake Advantage campaign are powerful and compelling (and the pre-launch surveys, data on inquiries and campus visits and reports from the field tell us the campaign is extremely well-received by high school students, their parents and guidance counselors). Nonetheless, the use of the D+ symbol -- although intended to be ironic -- has elicited reactions in constituencies who are very important to us: the campus community and our alumni.

I want to emphasize how much I -- and all of us who participated in the design and approval of this initiative -- appreciate the input that we have received. Although we knew that the approach was certainly unconventional for Drake, we clearly did not anticipate the intensity of concern expressed by students, faculty, staff and alumni. We take full responsibility for the unintended reactions among members of the Drake family. We are an educational institution, and we learn from our experiences.

I also want to emphasize that I recognize the concerns expressed were the direct consequence of the pride you all have in Drake and the passion you have for the University. I am grateful to you for your willingness to convey that pride and passion. Drake University has great, inspirational stories to tell, and we are all committed to doing everything we can to ensure that those stories are the focus of everyone's attention.

Please take a look at the Drake Advantage website and see how we have responded to the input that we've received.