Drake University announced today that through the generosity of more than 22,000 donors, the distinctlyDrake fundraising campaign has surpassed its $200 million financial goal nearly six months ahead of target. This milestone, unprecedented in the University’s 134-year history, is a symbol of momentum for the ongoing campaign and for an institution that is in the midst of ambitious and innovative change.
“This is an extraordinary moment in Drake’s history,” said Drake University President David Maxwell. “I am truly honored and amazed by the commitment and generosity of the tens of thousands of people whose belief in Drake’s present and future is enabling us to realize a transformative vision for Drake University.”
University leaders publicly launched the distinctlyDrake campaign in October 2010 with a working goal of $200 million, which they hoped to raise by June 30, 2015. Since that time, despite an economic recession, the University has received a wealth of donations—including more than 60 gifts of $1 million or more—surpassing the fundraising goal well ahead of schedule. Contributions include $46 million in scholarship support ensuring access to a Drake education through 175 new scholarship funds; $36 million to enhance teaching and learning through endowed faculty positions and faculty development funds; and more than $45 million to support new construction and renovation of existing learning spaces. Of the $200 million raised so far, more than $110 million in gifts have been designated to the University’s endowment, which will provide financial support to University initiatives in perpetuity.
“Crossing the $200 million mark is truly momentous,” said John Smith, vice president of alumni and development. “While it’s the most successful campaign in Drake’s history, distinctlyDrake has always been about more than an ambitious dollar goal. From the beginning, this campaign has been committed to impact—the ways we are transforming the lives of students, now and into the future. Each generous contribution is an investment and a vote of confidence in the promise of a Drake experience.”
Looking first to the future
One of the most significant next steps, building on the remarkable momentum of distinctlyDrake, is STEM@DRAKE, an ambitious initiative that is poised to propel Drake to a position of national prominence for an interdisciplinary approach to learning in the sciences, education, mathematics, health sciences, and information technology. The plan includes the development of six new degree programs and $65 million in new construction and renovation, including the addition of two new buildings that would create an interconnected, six-building hub for the School of Education and Drake’s programs in STEM fields.
STEM@DRAKE will prepare students for in-demand professional fields such as data analytics, kinesiology, athletic training, and occupational therapy, while giving them a breadth of 21st century workforce skills required for professional success in a variety of careers. Philanthropic support will continue to play a vital role in maximizing the benefits that students derive from this initiative—one of many that Drake has undertaken to remain true to its vision and institutional mission.
Years of transformative philanthropy
While the Drake community looks to the future, the impact of distinctlyDrake can be seen and experienced throughout campus today. Professors work alongside students in dozens of newly upgraded classrooms and laboratories. Students complete group assignments in Cline Atrium, a vast meeting space that connects Harvey Ingham and Cline halls, funded by a $3 million lead gift from 1953 Drake alumnus Morgan E. Cline; or collaborate day and night in a new 24-hour study area within Cowles Library, primarily funded by the Cowles Foundation, the Kruidenier Foundation, and Drake Board of Trustees member Mark Ernst. Gifts from American Equity and its founder, David Noble, will create a new teaching and learning space for students in Aliber Hall, home to Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration.
Drake’s future business and civic leaders benefit from faculty and scholarship support from EMC Insurance, under the leadership of president and CEO Bruce Kelley, including donations to the EMC Insurance Center for Insurance and Risk Management. They learn essential workplace skills through Drake’s entrepreneurial programs and centers, which were enhanced by philanthropic gifts from 1957 Drake alumnus Bill Buchanan and his wife, Jean, who together established the Buchanan Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership; from John Pappajohn and his wife, Mary, founders of the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship Outreach; and from 1977 Drake alumnus John Lorentzen, who founded the Lorentzen Student Hatchery to empower undergraduates to start businesses and nonprofit organizations while still pursuing their degrees.
International scholars deliver free public lectures hosted by The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship. Researchers sift through historical documents in the new Drake University Archives in Cowles Library, funded by gifts from Stine Seed Company and the Polk County Board of Supervisors. The next generation of communications professionals gain in-depth practical experience through the Meredith Apprenticeship Program, a partnership with Meredith Corporation. Student-athletes sharpen their game in the Shivers Basketball Practice Facility, an $8 million structure that received its largest contributions from Ron and Beverly Shivers and Suzie and Greg Burt.
Every day brings more enduring stories, experiences, and innovations for the distinctlyDrake campaign, which is formally set to conclude at the end of June. The close of Drake’s fiscal year also marks the end of President David Maxwell’s tenure. When Maxwell retires after 16 years as president, it will be with full faith in the continued vibrance and strength of the institution.
“There is no limit to what the Drake community can accomplish when we unite for common purpose,” said Maxwell. “Drake is recognized as one of the finest master’s universities in the United States, and the success of distinctlyDrake confirms that we should have limitless aspirations for this wonderful institution.”