A Part of Progress

Apr 20, 2023

Marshall and Judy Flapan

A Part of Progress
Marshall and Judy Flapan

Marshall Flapan’s lifelong relationship with Drake began by chance. A friend was taking the train from Chicago to visit the Drake campus and invited him along. Marshall wasn’t aware of Drake before then, but by the end of his two-day visit, he had decided to attend.

Marshall, LA’59, studied biology at Drake and then went to medical school at the University of Iowa.

“The department of biology and the sciences departments in general were top-notch because when I got into medical school, which is quite rigorous, I felt very well prepared,” says Marshall.

Marshall moved back to Des Moines to practiced orthopedic medicine. He and wife, the late Judith Flapan, became involved with the University. Judy, FA’89, attended Drake after the couple’s five children were grown.

The Flapans have made many leadership contributions over the years, including a gift to the Science Connector Building to create the Flapan Research Lab and support for the renovation of Harvey Ingham Hall.

“I am what I am because of Drake,” says Marshall. “I felt I ought to give back.”

Their most recent contribution, a $1 million estate gift, will create the Marshall and Judith Flapan Professor of Biology. The endowed fund will recognize outstanding faculty in the biological sciences and expand opportunities for faculty and students to engage in scientific research.

“Research is important to everyone in the sciences and that is how progress is made,” says Marshall. “If we could be part of that progress and entice some undergrads into the sciences, I would be glad.”

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