The Ones Creating Access to Opportunity

University for all

The time is ripe for a more robust model of higher education that fully embraces opportunity as a fundamental right. Drake will enhance programs and partnerships that connect every generation within our campus and sphere of influence. We will empower individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds to enhance their lives and the lives of others through education.

Investment areas include:

The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center—One of the nation’s leading institutes for providing character education. The Ray Center’s programming reaches youth from early childhood through college-age, including the CHARACTER COUNTS! initiative that serves eight million youth worldwide.

Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Boys & Girls Club—Funding will support scholarships and programming to further strengthen the University’s relationship with the club and make Drake more accessible to its members.

Crew Scholars—Crew is one of Drake’s most successful programs designed to recruit, retain and support students of color.

John Dee Bright College—A two-year program that is unique tailored to meet the needs of a diverse cohort of students. Bright College’s innovative and distinctive curriculum provides hands-on high-impact learning experiences and serves as an accelerator for career development.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Drake—Formerly the RaySociety, OLLI is a program designed for people ages 50 and older who seek opportunities for lifelong learning to enrich their lives in a collegial environment of sharing and fellowship.

Bringing Children’s Laughter to Campus

Suzie Glazer Burt had a vision for a Boys & Girls Club at Drake University. Today, members of her and her late husband's namesake club are running, playing, and learning on campus and imagining themselves as future Drake Bulldogs.

The Ones Who Guide the Young Learners

The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center’s CHARACTER COUNTS! for Early Childhood program provides guidance to early childhood educators and families on how to teach young children about good character.

Kids pose in front of art board.

These lessons, tailored to students from preschool through second grade, are built on the Six Pillars of Character—trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

Kids posing on stage

The Ray Center’s program addresses a significant need in early childhood classrooms for materials that educate children about social/emotional skills, improve school readiness, and effectively engage families in their child’s development.

Kids at the Ray Center

Thanks to multiple philanthropic investments, The Ray Center will provide its CHARACTER COUNTS! for Early Childhood program for free to every early childhood classroom in Polk County, Iowa, reaching more than 37,000 students within two years.

Kids at the Ray Center
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For The Ones Who Put Belonging at the Center of Student Success

Bright College is creating new pathways for educational attainment. Hear from students about their remarkable learning experiences.

Feel the Momentum of The Ones

Share the excitement of Drake’s progress toward its audacious goal.

See our progress

Join the ones
who share the vision.

By elevating Drake together, we will secure a more vibrant future for those who follow our footsteps. Join the ones who will transform Drake’s vision into a reality by adding your support to the campaign for the brave & bold.

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