Home Official News Releases Principal gift of $2.5 million will support international initiatives at Drake University

Principal gift of $2.5 million will support international initiatives at Drake University

Larry Zimpleman is chairman, president and CEO of The Principal and one of the co-chairs of the dist
Larry Zimpleman is chairman, president and CEO of The Principal Financial Group and one of the co-chairs of the Drake fundraising campaign.

Drake University today announced that the Principal Financial Group® and the Principal Financial Group Foundation are giving $2.5 million over five years to the University to support international initiatives, as part of the $200 million distinctlyDrake fundraising campaign.

In recognition of the generous support from The Principal®, Drake will change the name of its Center for Global Citizenship to The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship.
In addition to financial support, The Principal will provide active engagement opportunities with executives and employees of the company, providing real world experience and interaction for students.

The gift will support The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship and the objectives of the University’s Internationalization Strategic Plan. This plan calls for Drake to recruit more international students, faculty and staff, expand faculty exchanges, internationalize the curriculum and increase access to study-abroad programs.

The Principal also will continue to provide operating support for scholarships, an actuarial science chair and operating funds.

“Beyond the extremely generous financial support this gift provides, it is unusually exciting because it will foster a true collaboration between The Principal and Drake to help us achieve our mission goal of preparing students to be responsible global citizens,” Drake President David Maxwell said.

“There are many possibilities for collaboration that go far beyond the monetary contribution Principal is making,” Maxwell added. “These possibilities include having The Principal use its global network of offices, affiliates and partners to help place students in international internships, to provide mentors for students, to develop research opportunities for faculty, and to organize seminars for faculty with leading financial and government leaders from around the world.”

Drake alumni and friends were the first to learn of the Principal gift at a distinctlyDrake celebration in downtown Des Moines on Friday, Jan. 14. Drake graduate Larry Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO of The Principal and one of the co-chairs of the distinctlyDrake campaign, made the announcement.

“We are excited about this partnership with Drake for many reasons. Drake graduates who come to work at The Principal are some of the most talented, creative and well-prepared people at our company, yet another example of Drake’s innate culture of excellence” said Zimpleman. “The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship will serve as a campus forum to expose graduates to the cultural contexts and global perspective that help support the international business of The Principal.”

Zimpleman and his wife, Kathi, also have made a $1 million gift to distinctlyDrake to support international programs and services.

“Supporting our communities here and abroad is a precedent at The Principal. We’re pleased to give $2.5 million to distinctlyDrake and support a top-ranked university in Des Moines,” said Mary O’Keefe, president, the Principal Financial Group Foundation.

With Principal’s latest gift, the campaign, launched publicly on Oct. 1, 2010, has reached a total of approximately $83 million.

The Principal Financial Group is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group had $305.7 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2010 and serves some 18.9 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

“The goal of distinctlyDrake,” President Maxwell said at Friday’s gathering, “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.”

To fulfill Drake’s vision, Maxwell said the University needs to increase:

  • Resources for financial aid
  • Resources to endow faculty positions to ensure that we attract and retain the very best faculty
  • Funding for faculty and staff development”¨
  • Permanent funding for interdisciplinary centers and programs
  • Support for the Drake Fund, which bolsters the University’s operating budget and helps keep the cost to students and their parents as low as possible.
  • World-class facilities that provide an exceptional learning environment, including renovation and expansion of science facilities; a new School of Education building; renovation of and expansion of Cartwright Hall, home of the Law School; Cowles Library renovation and expansion; and renovation of the Field House

For more information about distinctlyDrake, visit http://www.distinctly.drake.edu.