Seven of Drake's accomplished alumni were honored at the National Alumni Awards Reception on April 28.
The following individuals were recognized for their efforts to live out the ideals of the University by making a positive impact in their professions, communities and the world. (From left):
Michael Emerson, FA’76, Alumni Achievement Award
Peggy Fisher, FA’70, Distinguished Service Award
Paul Doucette, BN’97, Young Alumni Loyalty Award
William S. Duffey Jr., LA’73, Alumni Achievement Award
Jill Nickols Haug, PH’99, GR’99, Young Alumni Achievement Award
Jeffry R. Jontz, LA’66, Alumni Loyalty Award
(Not pictured) Christopher Goode, BN’98, Young Alumni Achievement Award
A reception held in the Cowles Library Reading Room kicked off the evening, which brought together alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, family, friends and Student Alumni Association members to celebrate the accomplishments of this year's award winners.
The reception highlighted the professional achievements and University involvement of the dedicated alumni, who credited Drake with setting the stage for many of their successes. Young Alumni Loyalty Award winner Paul Doucette, BN’97, searched for just the right anecdote to sum up the impact Drake has had on his life:
"Do I talk about lessons in leadership I learned during late night Student Senate meetings?" he asked. "Or from campus leaders like Don Adams and Mick Ferarri and Jan Wise and Tom Tronick and Jerry Price? Or was I going to talk about gaining a better understanding of friendship, justice and learning from my Sigma Chi fraternity colleagues? Or many I should talk about how becoming active in politics, both on-campus in student government and off-campus with the Iowa caucuses have gotten me to where I am today…It was the totality of my four years here. It was the challenges, the lessons, the opportunities ,but most importantly, the friendships that are why I remain committed to Drake today."
Alumni Achievement Award winner Michael Emerson, FA’76, (an old pro at acceptance speeches, given his two Emmy awards) kept his remarks short and sweet, to the delight of the crowd:
"It's nice to be back on the campus," he said. "I will just offer this up in tribute in a spirit of gratitude and amazement to my parents Ron and Carol Emerson of Grinnell, Iowa, who never batted an eyelash when I said I was going to major in theater. Thank you for letting me be impractical. Cheers."
Distinguished Service Award winner Peggy Fisher, FA’70, shared her own journey toward reconnecting with Drake. Co-chair of the distinctlyDrake campaign, Fisher found philanthropy opened up exciting opportunities to engage with students on campus.
"Inspiring a young person to want to give back is the biggest gift of all," she said.
Visit alumni.drake.edu/2011alumniawards for more information on the event, including honoree biographies. Footage of the ceremony is available at ustream.tv/channel/alumni-awards-2011. View a photo gallery of the 2011 Alumni Awards Reception on Flickr.