Category Archives: Strategic Updates Archive

You’re invited: Celebration event to kick off Morehouse revitalization project Thursday at 1 p.m.

We’re putting on our hard hats and prepping for construction. You’re invited to a kickoff event to celebrate the renovation and revitalization of Morehouse Hall! Join us Thursday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. in the Morehouse historic living room on the first floor as we commemorate the beginning of the University’s latest development project that will transform the former residence hall into a lively student center.  

To properly launch the revitalization of a facility as unique as Morehouse Hall, we’re inviting ALL students, faculty, and staff to take part in this special event! 

The event will feature student and staff speakers to detail the impactful project that will create a gathering place and home base for more than 150 student-led organizations on campus, including a dedicated intercultural space for students.  

This is project is being funded by The Ones: Drake’s campaign for the Brave and Bold, in support of our goal of enhancing student experience. Every campus should have empowering spaces where students can come together to create, learn, reflect, and play. The revitalized space will be built on the values of community and inclusion and serve as a place where students can get plugged into the issues and causes they care about, collaborate with peers and community members, and lead and innovate beyond classroom walls.  

We hope you will join us for this exciting celebration! Light desserts and refreshments will be served.  

United Way campaign: One-fourth the way to our goal with three days left in campaign

Yesterday we kicked-off the 2023 United Way of Central Iowa campaign! Through this campaign full-time faculty and staff are invited to donate to the United Way of Central Iowa and/or partnered agencies. All contributions stay within central Iowa and are investments toward generating a thriving community.

As of this morning, we are one-fourth the way to our goal of 35% participation. You have until end of day Friday, Nov. 10, to donate, but why wait? I invite you to make your donation today!

Thank you for your consideration and your commitment to Drake and the Des Moines community.

— Ryan Arnold, Community Engagement

2023 United Way of Central Iowa Campaign

The 2023 United Way of Central Iowa campaign at Drake will be held next week, Nov. 6–10. Our goal is to achieve 35% participation from full-time faculty and staff. Every dollar donated stays within central Iowa, generating a thriving community by providing essential funding for hundreds of local social service nonprofits. Please watch for President Martin’s Monday, Nov. 6, kick-off email and subsequent communications from United Way of Central Iowa.

— Ryan Arnold, Director of Community Engagement

University Budget Town Hall, Oct. 23, 3 p.m., Parents Hall; Provost’s Social to follow

As President Martin has shared in recent messages to campus, the University will hold a town hall regarding the budget on Monday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. in the Olmsted Center, Parents Hall. All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend to learn more about the fiscal year 2023 results, overall financial health, fiscal year 2024 budget, and a look ahead to fiscal year 2025.

If you have questions you would like addressed at the town hall, please send them to

Provost’s Social immediately following the town hall

The Provost’s Social will be held following the town hall also in Parents Hall. Drake faculty and staff who exemplify the Core Value of Joyful Accountability will be recognized.

To nominate a colleague, please use this Qualtrics form. Feel free to fill out multiple forms. All those nominated will be recognized on a rolling display at the event. From among those nominated, several will be chosen at random for prizes. Refreshments at the social will include an assortment of beverages and light snacks.

Adam Voigts, Chief Financial Officer 

Drake to host President of Kosovo for moderated conversation Oct. 25, registration required

Drake is honored to welcome the President of the Republic of Kosovo, H.E. Dr. Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, to campus on Wednesday, Oct. 25. President Osmani will participate in a moderated discussion in Sheslow Auditorium from 10–11 a.m. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend this special event. Professor Deb DeLaet will lead the discussion, followed by an audience Q&A. Registration is required.

If you would like to ask a question of President Osmani, please submit your question in advance by Oct. 23 to Questions will be pre-selected for the Q&A portion of the discussion.

This event is part of the Iowa-Kosovo relationship that first started when the Iowa National Guard and the Kosovo Security Force partnered in 2011. Soon after, in 2013, the State of Iowa and the Republic of Kosovo became sister states. Kosovo opened a consulate in Des Moines in 2016, located on Court Avenue. This consulate remains Iowa’s only foreign diplomatic office.​

Drake has a strong history of engagement with Kosovo since 2017, starting with an official partnership agreement with the Ministry of Education. Since then, Drake has partnered with the Ministry and other entities in Kosovo in several ways, including:

  • Faculty from the School of Education have led several teaching workshops at multiple universities in Kosovo and have partnered with Kosovar professors on joint research.
  • Students and faculty participated in a J-Term travel seminar in 2019: Kosovo: Repairing and Rebuilding.
  • Recent Drake graduates have worked at non-profit organizations and corporations in Kosovo as part of Drake’s Working Worldwide program.
  • Three students attended the University of Prishtina’s international summer program in 2023.
  • Current education students can complete an international student teaching placement at the International Learning Group (ILG) school in Prishtina.
  • In addition, the Law School is currently hosting Zahir Çerkini, Professor at the University of Mitrovica Faculty of Law in Kosovo, as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar for the fall semester. Drake previously hosted two Kosovar Fulbright Scholars in Fall 2019.

President Osmani’s visit to campus is one of many ways Drake is weaving global thinking and intercultural learning into the Drake experience.

About Dr. Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu – President of the Republic of Kosovo
Dr. Vjosa Osmani Sadriu is the sixth President of the Republic of Kosovo. President Osmani was elected on April 4, 2021, having previously served as the Speaker of Parliament and after being elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) of the Republic of Kosovo in five consecutive mandates. She graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Prishtina and received her master’s and doctorate degrees in international law from the University of Pittsburgh.

The President of the Republic of Kosovo is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Kosovo Security Force and leads the country’s foreign policy, as per Kosovo’s constitution. As a staunch advocate for an impartial and professional justice system, President Osmani has strongly supported extensive rule of law reforms in Kosovo.

As President, Vjosa Osmani has relentlessly championed women’s rights, with regards to participation of women in processes of peace and security as well as their economic and political empowerment. The President is devoted to raising awareness for and supporting children with special needs. She is also committed to the empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalized groups in Kosovo. The President’s work has also focused on ensuring that action on climate change starts from the individual and gains further support at the highest political levels. In addition, empowerment of youth in different areas, from information technology to political decision making, has been an important part of the work of the President.

Read more about President Osmani

Drake to expand Martin Bucksbaum Lectureship Series 

Drake University is excited to announce the expansion of the Martin Bucksbaum Lectureship Series. Under the expansion, the University will now have two lectureship tracks—the original Bucksbaum Distinguished Lectureship and a newly launched Bucksbaum Lectureship in Business, which is made possible by an additional gift from Melva Bucksbaum and Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan. 

Managed through Drake’s Zimpleman College of Business, the new lecture track addresses topics at the intersection of business and society. Students and community members are invited to take part in an intellectual conversation with some of the nation’s foremost thought leaders to discuss how business and entrepreneurialism can make both an economic and societal impact.  

Inaugural Speaker: Heather McGhee 

Heather McGhee, the New York Times best-selling author and a champion of equality in America, will be giving the Inaugural Bucksbaum Lectureship in Business on Nov. 1 in Sheslow Auditorium on Drake’s campus. McGhee’s lecture will begin at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees will need to register ahead of time at The lecture will also be livestreamed at

Throughout her career in public policy, McGhee has crafted legislation, testified before Congress, and helped shape presidential campaign platforms. Her book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Us and How We Can Prosper Together, spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was longlisted for the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. She has most recently adapted her book for young readers with companion materials for classrooms. Her 2020 TED talk, Racism Has a Cost for Everyone, has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.    

“We couldn’t think of a better speaker to kickstart our inaugural lecture. This is an incredible opportunity to offer students, our campus community and anyone with a vested interest in the business field an important perspective to better enable business as a force for good,”​​ said Alejandro Hernandez, Dean of the Zimpleman College of Business. “I want to recognize and thank the late Melva and her daughter Mary for their continued generous support of Drake as we work to honor Martin’s memory with this second track of the lectureship series.” 

Carrying on the Legacy 

Nearly 30 years ago, Martin and Melva Bucksbaum launched their vision for sparking community discussion about the most poignant issues of our time through a generous gift to the University that helped establish the Martin Bucksbaum Lectureship Series. The late Martin Bucksbaum was a local business leader who served as chairman and CEO of General Growth Properties. He was also a member of the University’s governing board. Over the years, the Lectureship has included world-renowned speakers including Maya Angelou, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Bob Woodward, and many others—historically attracting more than 1,000 guests to the Knapp Center. 

Early ticket access for inaugural Bucksbaum Lectureship in Business featuring Heather McGhee

The Zimpleman College of Business is proud to announce the inaugural Bucksbaum Lectureship in Business. Thanks to an additional gift from Melva Bucksbaum and Mary Bucksbaum, the well-established Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series has expanded for 2023.

This new lecture series addresses topics at the intersection of business and society. Students and community members are invited to take part in an intellectual conversation with some of the nation’s foremost thought leaders to discuss how business and entrepreneurialism can make both an economic and societal impact.

We are proud to announce Heather McGhee as the inaugural lecturer on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at Sheslow Auditorium.

Heather designs and promotes solutions to inequality in America. Throughout her career in public policy, Heather has crafted legislation, testified before Congress, and helped shape presidential campaign platforms.

Her book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was longlisted for the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. She has most recently adapted her book for young readers with companion materials for classrooms. Her 2020 TED talk, “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone,” has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.

There will be limited seating for the lecture. While free and open to the public, tickets are required.

Prior to the public announcement of the lecture, a set of early-bird tickets will be available for students, faculty, and staff, from Tuesday, Oct. 3, through Thursday, Oct 5.

You will only be able to get individual tickets for early access through the link below.

Don’t wait. On Friday, Oct. 6, remaining tickets will be added to the general invitation and available to the public on Monday, Oct. 9, at

For more information please contact Erica Hartchen at

Let Freedom Read: A panel discussion on book banning

Join the Drake community for a panel discussion Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 6–7:30 p.m. in Sussman Theater as we come together to advocate for the preservation of intellectual freedom.

Registration is required

Our communities thrive on diversity and free expression, and it is essential that we amplify the importance of access to a wide range of literary works, even those that may be challenging or controversial. Drake University supports the right to explore different perspectives and defends the freedom of thought and expression. 

Panelists will range from legislators, educators, librarians, and activists who will share their experiences and perspectives on book banning. Topics discussed will include:

  • The history and impact of book banning on literature and society. 
  • The importance of diverse voices and viewpoints in literature. 
  • Strategies to protect intellectual freedom and combat censorship. 

Audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. The event is free and open to all individuals who value the freedom to read, think, and explore new ideas. Whether you’re an avid reader, a concerned parent, an educator, or simply someone who believes in the power of literature to challenge and expand our understanding of the world, this panel discussion is an opportunity to stand up for the right to access diverse literary content. 

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Also, check out Cowles Library’s featured collection this month that showcases some of the books currently being challenged in Iowa.

You’re invited: Major gift announcement Oct. 6 at 1:15 p.m. in Sheslow

The Center for Public Democracy will be receiving a major gift and will be hosting an event to honor the donors.

You’re invited!
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join President Marty Martin, Co-Executive Directors of the Center for Public Democracy Rachel Paine Caufield and Scott Raecker, alumnus Ron Olson (BN’63) and his wife Jane, and members of the Drake Community for a special announcement celebrating Drake’s strong leadership in civic and political engagement.

When: Oct. 6 at 1:15 p.m.
Where: Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University

Drake University is proud to serve as the nation’s epicenter for democratic discourse, dialogue, and action focused on supporting a healthy democracy. For decades, Drake has been the place where policy makers, community members, and our nation’s future leaders convene to tackle society’s most pressing, complex, and vital issues.

This high level of civic engagement is the foundation on which we built the Drake University Center for Public Democracy in 2022, and now the Center is ready to embark on its next great era—ensuring that Drake is the school of choice for politically minded students everywhere.

Due to the confidentiality of this announcement, there are limited details we can provide at this time. It is our hope that you can trust the significance of this historic moment and accept the invitation to share this experience with the Olsons.

TODAY: Governor Ray Day ice cream social

Celebrate the legacy of Governor Robert D. Ray with an ice cream social on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 2:30-4 p.m. on the Ray Promenade outside of Collier-Scripps Hall. Ice cream novelties will be served. The rain location will be inside Collier-Scripps Hall on the lower level.

Governor Robert D. Ray, the 11th President of Drake University and 38th Governor of Iowa, had an impact that extended beyond the state of Iowa and positively impacted people around the world. Best known for his humanitarian efforts and transformation of state government, Governor Ray’s legacy lives on through the work of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University.

The Ray Center invites the entire Drake campus community to celebrate Tuesday, Sept. 26, as Governor Ray Day in the state of Iowa.

Learn more about Governor Robert D. Ray’s life and legacy.

— Megan Wesselink, Robert D. & Billie Ray Center