Home CAS News ArtSci News Drake’s 143rd commencement features nearly 70 Des Moines teachers

Drake’s 143rd commencement features nearly 70 Des Moines teachers

Drake University will hold a commencement ceremony this month to celebrate the accomplishments of 325 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students who completed their degree requirements as of the conclusion fall 2017 semester.

Drake’s 143rd commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in The Knapp Center, 2525 Forest Ave. Approximately 285 of the 325 degree recipients are expected to attend.

More than 65 honorees are Des Moines public school teachers. They are the first group of teachers to earn Drake’s new Master of Science in Education degree in Culturally Responsive Leadership and Instruction, which is specially designed in partnership with Des Moines Public Schools to meet the needs of educators in urban school environments. The innovative program has helped the school district to attract highly-qualified new teachers, boosted teacher retention, and improved cultural competency among program participants.

Saturday’s ceremony will include remarks by:

  • Two-time Drake alumnus Jim Verlengia, director of leadership supports at Heartland Area Education Agency in Johnston. He holds an education specialist and doctoral degrees from the Drake University School of Education (SOE) and is a recipient of the SOE’s Outstanding Alumni Award. He has served the University in numerous roles, including as chair of the Parents Advisory Board, chair of the SOE’s National Advisory Board, and adjunct faculty member for the SOE.
  • Abigail (Dierks) Grassmeyer, who is graduating with a Master of Public Administration degree. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Drake in August 2010. A granddaughter of the late Paul F. Morrison, Grassmeyer is one of 15 members of the Morrison family to have received Drake degrees.

Drake University will stream the ceremony live online at live.drake.edu. More information for participants and attendees is available online. Free parking is available anywhere in any campus lot during the ceremony; for more information, and directions to campus, visit this link.

The fall 2017 graduates join a network of more than 75,000 Drake alumni around the world.