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Elegance and endowment at Des Moines distinctlyDrake event

February 8, 2011
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Ben Ullem, Larry Stelter and Peggy Fisher at the distinctlyDrake Des Moines event.

Drake rolled out the blue carpet for our alumni and friends in Des Moines for a distinctlyDrake event held Friday, Jan. 14, at the Temple for Performing Arts.

Guests mingled, sharing their excitement for the advancement of Drake amidst an elegant atmosphere.

The evening featured an array of appetizers and a hosted bar, as well as a video booth that encouraged attendees to record their personal Drake love stories. Alumni were invited to swing by the "genius bar," to use iPads and laptops to register for Drake's new alumni network. (Registering for the network allows Drake alumni to update information, look up classmates in the online alumni directory, more easily RSVP for events online, as well as set up a personal profile, join groups, post class notes and more.)

School of Education student Amelia Mieth spoke about her academic experience at Drake and President Maxwell addressed the crowd of supporters.

"The goal of distinctlyDrake," President Maxwell said, "is to keep the University's promise to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishment and responsible global citizenship. "The essential components of an exceptional learning environment are people, programs and facilities, and those are the focal points for distinctlyDrake, and this is where money becomes part of the narrative."

Those in attendance were the first to learn of the Principal gift of $2.5 million. Drake graduate Larry Zimpleman, BN'73, GR'79, chairman, president and CEO of Principal Financial Group and one of the co-chairs of the distinctlyDrake campaign, made the announcement.

"As you may know, Principal Financial Group loves Drake graduates -- they are some of the most capable, creative, passionate, well-prepared young people we see joining our company," Zimpleman told the crowd. "This is yet another example of Drake's innate culture of excellence."

View photos of the event on Drake University's flickr page .

Alumni nationwide will have the opportunity to take part in distinctlyDrake at events across the country. For more information, visit http://www.distinctly.drake.edu .