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distinctlyDrake brings visible changes to campus

August 30, 2012

Hard hats and safety signs were common sights on Drake University’s campus this summer—an indication of things to come for the look of the University. Construction began in May on two collaborative study spaces: the After Hours space in Cowles Library and the Morgan E. Cline Atrium for Pharmacy and Science. Bulldog Theater is also undergoing a makeover to better fit the needs of faculty and student organizations. All these projects were made possible by gifts to distinctlyDrake.

After Hours

After students packed up their books for the summer, construction crews moved into Cowles Library to start work on the After Hours space. Students said goodbye to the old study space facing University Avenue and hello to a renovated Cowles Café and modern, late-night group study area.

The new group-study area in Cowles is the first library construction project since 1967.

Students have access to Cowles for late-night cramming tentatively starting Sept. 19. The After Hours space will remain open 24 hours a day Monday¬–Friday. The space will close with the library Friday and Saturday nights and open at 7 a.m. on Sunday.

After Hours fits into the Cowles’ learning strategy for the Lower Commons, which aims to create a supportive learning environment encouraging collaboration. Marc Davis, coordinator of library technology, is confident that students will become more engaged in the learning process with a more welcoming study space.

A state-of-the-art library is something a visitor would expect at a top institution and was a priority of distinictlyDrake, the University’s fundraising effort aimed at propelling Drake to its place as one of the nation’s very best institutions of higher learning. The Cowles Foundation, the Kruidenier Foundation, and Drake Board of Trustees member Mark Ernst, BS ’80, were the primary funders of the project.

Ernst, a passionate supporter of Drake University and distinctlyDrake, desired that his money go toward a critical need on campus. Ernst decided the After Hours project was a much-needed addition to campus.

Both the Cowles and Kruidenier Foundations have funded past library projects. The Cowles Foundation, founded by Gardner Cowles, funded the creation of the library in 1937. The Kruidenier Foundation—named after the late David Kruidenier, a former member of the Drake Board of Trustees and donor to the University—contributed funds to support the completion of the 1967 library renovations, scholarships, and general operations.

After Hours is a direct response to the needs of students.

“The nature of students’ assignments is changing—there are more group projects and collaboration,” Davis says.

Features of the space include portable whiteboards, moveable wall dividers, convertible tables, and collaborative laptop stations. Groups can sit at the laptop stations and project their laptop screens on a monitor for everyone to view.

Cowles Café received a facelift as well to match the collaborative, modern style of the After Hours space. Booth seating and more laptop collaboration stations now furnish the café area.

Bulldog Theater transforms into Sussman Theater

Sussman Theater

When Richard Sussman, LA’51, and his wife Lila generously contributed to distinctlyDrake, they wished to directly impact students and foster leadership. Because student leaders utilize Bulldog Theater, the renovation project seemed like a good fit.

Bulldog Theater is the spot where many Drake students begin their leadership journey. The Theater has served as a meeting place for student organizations, faculty, and staff, and is frequented by students of the Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute.

The Theater had not been updated since the 1950s. The seating was worn after years of use, and the technology was out-of-date.

When construction is finished in September, Sussman Theater will be the name adorning the entrance to the space. The stadium seating and classic theater layout will stay the same, but the Drake community will enjoy an updated audiovisual system, enhanced technology, and new seating and walls.

Morgan E. Cline Atrium

The outdoor seating area between Harvey Ingham Hall and Cline Hall of Pharmacy and Science is the location for the newest facility on campus, the Morgan E. Cline Atrium for Pharmacy and Science. When construction finishes in January 2013, students will have a new space to study and work with peers.

Gifts to distinctlyDrake from Morgan E. Cline, PH’53; Hy-Vee, Inc.; and the Carver Trust provided funding for the new facility. These donors have been long-time supporters of the Drake pharmacy and science programs. Cline gave $2.5 million, and Hy-Vee, Inc., contributed $300,000 for the commons area.

The commons area, an experiential learning suite, and faculty offices will fill the Atrium. Technology will be at students’ fingertips in the Hy-Vee Student Learning Commons. It will be furnished with technology to promote creativity, team-building, and collaboration, such as large LCD screens for sharing presentations and research.

“The commons will provide students with the ability to extend their learning outside the classroom and to develop critical skills,” says Raylene Rospond, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.