Home Official News Releases Drake’s RaySociety for lifelong learning gains room for classes, events

Drake’s RaySociety for lifelong learning gains room for classes, events

MEDIA CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Drake University will dedicate a classroom for its RaySociety in honor of Don and Dori Byers, who spearheaded the founding of the organization to promote lifelong learning.  

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Don and Dori Byers RaySociety Classroom in Drake’s Dial Center at 2407 Carpenter Ave. 
The dedication ceremony will feature special guests: 
  • RaySociety Past Chair and President Don Byers and his wife, Dori 
  • Former Iowa Gov. Robert D. Ray and his wife, Billie, Drake alumni and namesake of the RaySociety
  • Drake Provost Michael J. Renner 
Formerly two classrooms, the new space was remodeled and renovated into a single classroom with a capacity of 30 and convenient access from the Dial Center and Fine Arts parking lots off of 26th Street and Carpenter Avenue. The total cost of the project is nearly $37,000.

The announcement of the naming of the classroom “came as a complete surprise to us,” said Don Byers at the organization’s annual meeting last spring. “They did the work [on the classroom], but we got the credit.”

A multifunctional space, the room will also be used for some regular Drake classes in the fall. 

“This new classroom is a visible symbol of the partnership between the University and the RaySociety,” said Drake Provost Michael J. Renner. “Through this project, the RaySociety is gaining more stable access to classroom space and parking, while the University will be able to use the classroom at times of greatest classroom demand and for other special needs.”

New fall classes to cover myriad topics

The RaySociety is offering a new group of classes that focus on topics ranging from religious painting to personal safety to Native American archaeology.
These courses will be available this fall:
  • Power-Up for the Time of your Life
  • Religious Painting in Renaissance Italy from Leonardo da Vinci to Caravaggio 
  • On Traveling to Cuba 
  • Why You Say It! 
  • How to Write Your Life 
  • Identity Theft: What Is Identity Theft? And How to Protect Yourself
  • Biological, Cultural, Social & Political Aspects of Human Reproduction
  • Native American Archaeology in Iowa and the Upper Midwest 
  • Unsettled Law for Unsettling Issues 
The RaySociety’s annual membership fee is $50 (June 1-May 31). Most classes cost $25 each.

Exciting RaySociety events are also planned for this year, such as a bus tour on Sept. 16 to the Walter House designed by Frank Llyod Wright and other locations in northeastern Iowa. A Jon Anderson White Riverboat Ride and luncheon are set for Oct. 9, among other activities.

For more information about the RaySociety and its fall courses, activities and RSVP details, visit the Web site or call 515-271-2120.