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CBPA hosts awards ceremony to recognize outstanding students and faculty

April 10, 2014

Drake University’s College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) celebrated its annual awards ceremony on April 9 to honor Drake students, faculty, and community leaders for their contributions to the CBPA and business community.

Larry Zimpleman, BN’73, GR’79, chair of the Drake University Board of Trustees and chairman, president, and CEO of the Principal Financial Group, served as keynote speaker for the event and was honored with the CBPA Community Leadership Award. This award is presented annually to someone who has made an important contribution to the Des Moines community. Charlie Edwards, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, presented the award to Zimpleman.

Zimpleman was first hired at Principal in 1971 as an actuarial intern. He is a two-time Drake University alumnus and current chair of the Drake University Board of Trustees. He is co-chair of distinctlyDrake, the University’s comprehensive fundraising initiative. He also serves on the boards of several other local and national organizations, including the Financial Services Roundtable Board & Executive Committee and the American Council of Life Insurers.

Several awards were presented at the ceremony, including Outstanding Junior of the Year and Outstanding Senior of the Year.

“The CBPA Awards Ceremony, reminds me of what an outstanding group of students we have,” says Edwards, “and how much their success relates to their efforts, as well as to the very supportive faculty and staff.”

Jessica O’Donnell from Saukville, Wisc. was recognized as Outstanding Junior of the Year. O’Donnell is majoring in actuarial science and finance and is scheduled to graduate in May 2015. She is active in Alpha Kappa Psi and Drake Actuarial Student Society. In addition, she mentors students in the Iowa Reading Program and is a graduate of the Adams Leadership Academy.

Amber Funkhouser from Burnsville, Minn. was recognized as Outstanding Senior of the Year. Funkhouser is majoring in actuarial science and finance and is scheduled to graduate in December 2014. She has passed four actuarial exams and will intern at Athene in West Des Moines this summer. She is active in Delta Sigma Pi and Drake Actuarial Student Society. Additionally, she won Best Teamwork Award in the 2013 Brooks Case Competition.

The following faculty also received awards:

• CBPA Distinguished Service Award, Raymond Hubbard, Thomas F. Sheehan Distinguished Professor of Marketing
• David B. Lawrence Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Royce Fichtner, assistant professor of business law
• Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Thomas Root, associate professor of finance
• Harry I. Wolk Research Award/ CBPA Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award, Steven Scullen, associate professor of management and international business

For more information, contact Annette Watson at or 515-271-4715.