Celebrating the Ones Who Make Our Vision a Reality

Alumni and friends of Drake are showing their gratitude and support with gifts to The Ones campaign. We appreciate the generosity of our donors. You are the ones who are moving us toward our audacious vision.

The Ones graphic displaying amount of money raised for campaign

The Ones Who Secure the Future

Our campaign priorities represent a powerful vision that will transform our campus, students, community, and world. To realize the full potential of The Ones, we seek resources allocated in five areas.

Strengthening Student Access and Opportunity—Scholarship support will help Drake recruit, retain, and engage students whose interests and career aspirations align with our priorities and make the University affordable for the next generation. The Ones contains a defined commitment to expand access for students from underrepresented groups.

Goal: $60–$70 million

Enriching Programming—New or evolved programming will provide students with powerful experiential learning that will prepare them for successful futures, including opportunities for internships, travel, service-learning, leadership, and community engagement. It will also advance Drake’s commitment to transform lives and strengthen communities in Iowa and beyond.

Goal: $25–$35 million

Supporting Talent—Investments in our faculty and staff through endowed positions, fellowships, research support, and professional development will ensure Drake has the leadership, knowledge, and expertise necessary to implement our campaign initiatives and maintain our exceptional academic environment.

Goal: $40–$50 million

Funding Capital Projects—The construction and renovation of buildings will enhance the student experience and elevate teaching and learning. While the University Center and athletic facilities are the most prominent examples, capital support will also refresh classrooms, laboratories, and collaborative spaces.

Goal: $40–$70 million

Building Our Collective Strength—Annual gifts to The Drake Fund fuel our mission promise and help Drake deliver a resilient education that lasts a lifetime.

Goal: $10–$12 million

A Gift from the Heart

Paul and Claudia Schickler’s leadership gift to The Ones will enhance two causes close to their heart: rural America and Drake University.

The Schicklers have donated $2 million for the Jay N. Darling Institute to address the social, economic, and conservation challenges facing rural communities.

“Rural Americans were our customers for the more than four decades I worked for Pioneer,” said Paul, BN’74, GR’83, former DuPont Pioneer president and Drake University trustee. “Claudia and I are proud to work with Drake faculty to shape a program that makes concrete, positive change in the lives of rural residents.”

The Schicklers, avid fans of the Drake Bulldogs, have also given $1 million to support the men’s basketball program and $3 million to elevate the fan experience at the Knapp Center.

“Drake athletics are a unifying force,” Paul said. “Cheering on Des Moines’ hometown team builds deeper bonds between Drake students, alumni, and all residents of Greater Des Moines. Claudia and I are happy to give back to teams and facilities that have brought us years of excitement.”

Paul and Claudia Schickler

Championing Access to Education

Ernest Newborn, LA'79, has philanthropically supported Drake’s efforts to provide an exceptional learning environment to all students through scholarships for several years. The events of 2020 inspired further reflection and commitment.

“2020 will long be remembered as a year of unprecedented challenges for our country,” said Ernest. “I spent many a day last year reflecting on the deep and disturbing systemic inequities in our country, particularly when it comes to educational and career opportunities.”

Upon hearing the story of John Dee Bright, and learning about the mission of Bright College, Ernest was inspired to continue his financial support in hopes of making a Drake education more accessible to all. He created one of the first scholarships for Bright College students.

“I really believe that we have a moral obligation to create opportunities for those in our community that for whatever reason are not able to access or succeed in the traditional system,” he said. “These students are bright, they’re creative, they’re outgoing, and they’re eager to think in innovative ways and deserving of the opportunities that change lives in our community.”

Headshot of Ernest Newborn

Discovering Joy

As an oncologist, Dr. Richard Deming meets his patients at one of the most challenging moments in their lives. From his patients with cancer, he has learned valuable lessons about courage, grace under pressure, and joy.

“In my profession, mortality is in the room from the very beginning,” said Richard, medical director of MercyOne Cancer Center in Des Moines. “I believe a life well lived does not exclude adversity. The path of joy goes right through the path of suffering.”

Richard’s philosophy about joy guides his approach to life, compassionate patient care, and philanthropy. He recently committed a leadership-level estate gift to create The Deming Initiative: A Path to Joy Through Social Impact. The gift supports Drake’s Changemaker priority by creating grants for students and faculty whose projects advance social change and, ultimately, create a path to joy for those impacted by the work.

“I want this fund to provide Drake faculty and students with experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have,” he said. “I hope these grants help them reach above and beyond what they think is possible and realize the deeper sense of joy that can come from helping others.”

Headshot of Dr. Richard Deming

The Ones Who Build Community

When Tom Fitzgerald, BN’91, reflects on his Drake experience, he remembers the people and places who influenced him and helped define who he is today.

“My college experience was fantastic on so many dimensions—the academics, the way Drake prepared me for the real world,” said Tom, president of QBE Insurance Company. “I made some lifelong friends through campus and Greek life that I’ve maintained for the past 30 years.”

One of his favorite gathering spaces as a student was a grill in the basement of Olmsted Center. Now he wants to help improve the space for the next generation of students through an investment in the new University Center. Tom and his wife, Maureen, made the first gift to the project.

“The whole concept of community is a huge piece of college life and a was a huge piece of my academic career,” Tom said. “It is such an integral part of student life to have a top-notch place to hang out.”

Drake alumni Tom Fitzgerald and his family at an ice skating rink

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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