A Historic Moment

Feb 15, 2023

Larry and Kathi Zimpleman

Alumni Larry and Kathi Zimpleman believe the world needs more Drake graduates.

The couple are longtime champions and supporters of the University and recently made a multi-million dollar commitment to the College of Business to empower the next generation of business leaders. Their gift will enable the college to pursue a range of initiatives focused on corporate social responsibility, enhance hands-on learning experiences that connect students to the higher purpose of business, provide scholarship support, and be a catalyst for developmental opportunities that allow faculty to continue to serve as thought leaders in their disciplines.

In honor of this extraordinary commitment and their decades-long relationship with Drake, the University has named the business college the Larry and Kathleen Zimpleman College of Business. This is the second named college at Drake and the first named in honor of a philanthropic commitment.

“Kathi and I deeply believe in the College’s mission of empowering and preparing Drake business students to serve as a force for good in the world—the world needs more Drake graduates,” said Larry, BN’73, GR’79. “We are honored to be recognized in such a meaningful way and look forward to continuing to support Drake in its mission of providing students with an exceptional learning environment that prepares them for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship.”

Since 2006, Larry has contributed his leadership and knowledge on the Drake Board of Trustees, including time as board chair and co-chair of the distinctlyDrake comprehensive campaign. Larry, who is one of the most respected business leaders in central Iowa, held multiple leadership roles at The Principal Financial Group, including president, chairman, and CEO. As a senior leader, Larry strengthened Drake's ties with the organization and was a key advocate for Principal’s significant investment in the Principal Center for Global Citizenship at Drake.

The Zimplemans have invested in a number of programs and initiatives at the University, including the Harkin Institute, the Ray Promenade, the Drake men’s and women’s basketball programs, the College of Business, and Drake’s international programs.

“Drake fosters thinking and serving in a way that is broader than oneself,” said Kathi, LA’76. “During Larry’s time at Principal, we continually asked ourselves, 'how can we give back to this community that has given us so much opportunity?’ With this gift, we know we will be part of helping send more Drake graduates into the world who will think in terms of how they can contribute their time and their talents to advancing our communities in a positive way.”

Larry and Kathi Zimpleman

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