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Drake’s golden club

Alumni from Drake’s classes of ’41, ’51 and ’61 gather to celebrate at the 50 Year Club reunion

Alumni from Drake's classes of '41, '51 and '61 pose for a photo with their gold medals and Drake President David Maxwell.

Gold looks especially striking against Drake blue, as graduates from the classes of 1941, 1951 and 1961 can attest.

In May, these alumni gathered to reconnect with old friends and reminisce about their Drake University experiences at the 50 Year Club Reunion. The club, which is composed of alumni who graduated from Drake 50 or more years ago, celebrated the induction of the class of 1961 in a ceremony featuring the presentation of gold medallions.

Lee Donnellan, FA’61, served on the planning committee for the event.

“I thought the reunion was very beautifully presented and very well done,” Donnellan says. “I was happy to be a part of the whole celebration and to serve on the committee; it was a very rewarding experience. The reunion gave us all a chance to renew friendships with fellow alumni whom we hadn’t seen in 50 years.”

During the two-day gathering, alumni watched presentations on how the University evolved in the last half century, toured campus and reconneced over meals and a cocktail reception.

The induction ceremony, medallion presentation and reunion dinner was held at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines on May 13. View photos of the event.

“The reunion dinner was wonderful,” says George Wood, LA’61. “It was a nice atmosphere, and it was great to be around a lot of people we hadn’t seen in a long time.”

The following morning, all three classes were invited to don their gold robes and medallions at Drake’s 130th Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony.

“My wife and I both enjoyed participating in the commencement ceremony,” says Wood. His wife, Jane, is a fellow member of the class of 1961. “We enjoyed hearing the commencement addresses delivered by Drake President David Maxwell, honorary doctoral degree recipients John and Mary Pappajohn and Student Body President Samantha Haas. It was a very heart-warming and moving experience.”