Drake University will hold its 155th commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in the Knapp Center, located at 2525 Forest Avenue in Des Moines. The University will confer approximately 300 degrees during the ceremony.
Brian Orellana, who is receiving bachelor’s degrees in secondary teacher education and mathematics education, will deliver the student remarks. Orellana has held many leadership roles on campus. He has been an active member of Drake University’s Student Senate, serving as Community Outreach Senator; the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for both Drake’s Interfraternity Council and his social fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon; and a math tutor and teaching assistant, just to name a few.
Passionate about helping incoming students find their way and achieve academic success, Orellana also held several peer mentorship roles within the Office of New Student Programs. Most notably, he developed a first-generation mentorship program that connects first-generation students with a faculty or staff member who helps them build relationships on campus and navigate college life.
Orellana’s hope for his graduating classmates is “to continue to live Drake’s mission of transforming lives and strengthening communities through hope, optimism, and love.” He added, “I want everyone to remember that un mundo mejor es posible, si lo elegimos or a better world is possible, if we choose it. Keep choosing it.”
After graduation, Orellana plans to move to Minneapolis where he will begin his teaching career as an eighth-grade math teacher in the Minneapolis Public School District. He also plans to pursue his Master of Education in Educational Leadership.
Greg Johansen, PH’76, member of the Drake University Board of Trustees, will deliver the call to order. Drake University President Marty Martin will preside over the commencement ceremony and present graduates with their diplomas, welcoming them into a community of more than 75,000 Drake alumni around the world. The University will stream the event at live.drake.edu. Free parking is available in campus lots during the ceremony. More information on December commencement, including directions to campus, can be found on the Registrar’s web page.