Drake University

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Template:Infobox American Universities

Drake University is a private, fully accredited, coeducational university on a 120-acre campus in Des Moines, the capital and largest city in Iowa. Drake offers more than 75 undergraduate majors and many graduate programs in its six colleges and schools - Arts and Sciences, including Fine Arts; Business and Public Administration; Education; Journalism and Mass Communication; Law; and Pharmacy and Health Sciences.



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Old Main

Drake University is a nationally recognized university located in Des Moines, Iowa since 1881. Drake is known for having one of the highest academic reputations of any college or university in the Midwest. The school is also known for the very accessable faculty members and it has a student-teacher ratio of 14:1. Over 94% of the faculty members currently hold the highest degree available in their field.

Drake has been active in recruiting foreign students as they wish to have a diverse environment. Currently, over 60 different countries are represented on campus. There are also many student-ran organizations which represent various ethnicities.

Drake's Law School is known very well in Iowa. Attorneys who graduated from Drake make up an overwheming majority of the lawyers in Des Moines and Iowa.

Drake also has one of the most well known Pharmacy programs in the Midwest. Walgreens has made numerous large contributions to the program including funding for the program's main building. Walgreen's former CEO is a graduate of Drake's Pharmacy School and has also made large contributions of over $10 million towards scholarship funds.


Drake is consistantly ranked for:

  • Educational quality
    • #4 Masters University in the Midwest with an overall score of 91.
    • One of two highest rated midwest universities for reputation and academic quality.
  • Student achievement in and out of the classroom
    • National Study on Student Engagement.
  • Value for your dollar
    • Barron’s 300 Best Buys in College Education and Peterson’s Guide to Competitive Colleges)


A large amount of Drake students continue on to graduate schools. According to U.S. News, 43% of the students who attend graduate schools are enrolled in Arts & Sciences programs. 23% are enrolled in law schools and another 13% in medical schools.

Students have attened the following graduate schools in recent years:

  • Harvard University
  • Georgetown University
  • Case Western University
  • Stanford University
  • Yale University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Iowa
  • George Washington University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Columbia University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • Creighton University
  • London School of Economics
  • Duke University
  • University of Notre Dame


Drake University's campus is located in a residential section of Des Moines, Iowa's capital and largest city. The location is great for the school since many internships and opportunities are available that many other Iowa Colleges and Universities don't have. Des Moines is currently in the process of a major rennovation that includes overhauling the interstate system and improving the downtown area. Being a midsize city, many students feel that it is a perfect fit between a small town and a big city such as Chicago.

Notable Alumni

Arranged by the program in which they graduated from:


  • David Ferguson, AS'73, cardiologist, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD
  • Karen Gerdes, AS'83, pediatric critical care, Blank Children's Hospital, Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Des Moines, IA
  • Thomas Bennett, AS'72, physician and general and forensic pathologist, Pathology Consultants and Yellowstone Pathology Institute, Billings, MT
  • Timothy Ley, AS'74, professor of hematology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Utley Noble, AS'85, special agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation - Memphis division, Columbia, TN
  • Paul Bush, GR'94, director of forensic pathology, State of Iowa, Des Moines, IA
  • Frank Sylvester, AS'97, professor of physiology, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
  • Lara Lunde, AS'96, internal medicine, University of South Dakota
  • Robert Paul, AS'84, cardiology, Iowa Heart, Des Moines, IA
  • Lindsey Stephens, AS'98, president, Medihealth Solutions, West Des Moines, IA

Business and Public Administration: various majors represented

  • Hon. Robert Ray, BN'52, LW'54, former Iowa Governor, former president of Drake University, Des Moines, IA
  • George Cohon, BN'58, senior chairman, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada and Russia
  • Ronald D. Pearson, BN'62, chief executive officer and chairman of the board, Hy-Vee Food Stores Inc., Des Moines, IA
  • Larry Katzen, BN'67, managing partner, Arthur Andersen, St. Louis, MO
  • Bob Stein, BN'71, partner, Ernst and Young LLB, New York, NY
  • Richard Anderson, BN'74, senior vice president of finance, Wellmark Inc., Des Moines, IA
  • Jenni Fitzgerald, BN'90, director of basketball operations and assistant women's basketball coach, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Timothy S. Webster, BN'83, president and chief executive officer, American Italian Pasta Company, Excelsior Springs, MO
  • William Buchanan, BA'57, EA, actuary and chairman of the board, Unified Life Insurance Company, Overland Park, KS
  • William Oddy, BA'66, FSA, MAAA, chief executive officer, FBL Financial Group, West Des Moines, IA
  • James Brock, BA'69, FSA, EA, senior vice president, Nationwide Global, Columbus, OH
  • Mike Gersie, BA'70, FSA, MAAA, FCAS, EA, chief financial officer/senior vice president, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA
  • James Wallace, BA'77, FSA, MAAA, president and chief executive officer, GuideOne Insurance, West Des Moines, IA
  • Darrell Knapp, BA'81, FSA, MAAA, partner, Ernst & Young LLP, Kansas City, MO
  • Brian Clark, BA'88, FSA, MAAA, senior vice president/chief financial officer, AmerUs Life Insurance Co., Des Moines, IA
  • Alessandrea Quane, BA'92, MAAA, vice president, American International Group (AIG), Paris, France
  • Jeffrey Parker, BN'74, George Hay professor of economics, Reed College, Portland, OR
  • Mark S. Cady, BN'75, B.A., LW'78, justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, Des Moines, IA
  • Jeffrey Lamberti, BN'85, LW'89, GR '89, attorney, Iowa state senator, and chair of Iowa Senate Appropriations Committee, Ankeny, IA
  • Jack Uldrich, BN'86, deputy director of State Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning and Advisor to Governor Ventura, Minneapolis, MN
  • Barbara Oswalt, BN'87, senior utility analyst, State of Iowa, Des Moines, IA
  • Russell Smith, BN'88, assistant professor of marketing, Winona State University, Winona, MN
  • Jennifer Gerrish-Lampe, BN'94, LW'96, partner, James Law Firm, Des Moines, IA
  • Neal Young, BN'97, economic analyst, Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development, Minneapolis, MN
  • Thomas J. Rossley, BN'82, senior vice president, Lehmann Brothers, Chicago, IL
  • Donald Fletcher, BN'67, president, North American Personal Expression Business, Hallmark Cards Inc., Kansas City, MO
  • Fred Schiek, BN'59, retired executive vice president and COO, Employers Mutual Casualty Company, Des Moines, IA
  • Charles Freund, BN'90, vice president of retirement services, Retirement Counseling Services, Indianapolis, IN
  • Kim White, BN'91, brand manager, Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, IN


  • Jason Halfen, AS'92, assistant professor of chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • Martha White, AS'94, physician, U.S. Navy, San Diego, CA
  • Albena Ivanisevic, AS '96, assistant professor, chemistry, Purdue University
  • Sara Shaw, AS'99, forensic chemist, State of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Computer Science

  • David Biel, AS'89, software engineer, Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation, Boston, MA
  • Jeff Sass, AS'95, quality engineer, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Minneapolis, MN
  • Eric Brandt, AS'97, programming manager, Avatech, Des Moines, IA
  • David Loveall, AS'99, currently working for the FBI


  • Mark Doty, AS'90, poet, National Book Award winner, professor, University of Houston
  • Dr. Chi Doung, AS'89, physician, Kansas City, MO
  • Michael McGowan, AS'92, actor/dancer, Minneapolis, MN
  • Shawna Kasner-Hannam, AS'97, pharmaceutical sales representative, Eli Lilly and Co., Omaha, NE
  • Shari Stenberg, director of composition, Creighton University
  • Tanya Beer, AS'96, writer, Environmental Institute, Oklahoma State University
  • Sheila R. McCoy, AS'01, 2000 Truman Scholar, president of Phi Alpha Theta History Society, law student, Georgetown University
  • Anne Wallestad, AS'98, development consultant, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC
  • Heidi Williams, AS'77, pastor, Holy Trinity Church, Philadelphia, PA

Environmental Science

  • Page Kluge, AS'01, research assistant, NC
  • Sid Juwarker, AS'00, geologist, Des Moines, IA
  • Jana Mott, AS'00, assistant project manager, Pinelands Fire Ecology Project
  • Sarah Ojiambo, AS'99, Delta Environmental Consultants, Chicago, IL


  • Peter Coclanis, AS'74, endowed professor and chair, Department of History, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Hon. Nancy Stein Nowak, AS'57, federal court judge, San Antonio, TX
  • Amy Hoseth, AS'95, communications coordinator, Association of Research Libraries, Washington, D.C.
  • Sandy Marshall, AS'96, director of development and associate producer, Metropolis, Arlington Heights, IL
  • Sheila R. McCoy, AS'01, 2000 Truman Scholar, president of Phi Alpha Theta History Society, law student, Georgetown University


  • Ruth Gornet, AS'87, assistant professor of mathematics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • Jennifer Meyer, AS'84, assistant professor of management science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Casey O'Donnell, AS'01, Aerospace States Association National Scholarship recipient, doctoral candidate
  • John Seal, AS'89, vice president of advanced methods, Burke, Inc., Cincinnati, OH


  • Michael Baitzer, FA'95, assistant opera coach, Julliard School of Music, New York, NY
  • Larry Schipull, FA'79, associate professor, Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
  • Greg Sojka, FA'97, singer, Seattle Opera, Seattle, WA
  • Tim Robson, FA'74, deputy director, Case Western Reserve University Library, Cleveland, OH
  • Stephanie Johnson, FA, doctoral candidate, Cincinnati Conservatory, Cincinnati, OH
  • Janet Young, FA'88, teaching artist, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
  • Matthew Masko, FA'98, piano instructor, Waukesha Conservatory of Music, Hartland, WI
  • Michael Fischer, FA, piano arranger, minister of music, New England Conservatory
  • Sandy DiIulio, FA, piano instructor and corporate partner, Dallas School of Music, Dallas, TX
  • D'Ann Tschetter Cord, FA'96, operations manager, Des Moines Symphony, Des Moines, IA


  • Paula Waschbusch, AS'89, research specialist, Integrated Decisions and Systems, Eagan, MN
  • Lawrence Kidder, AS'89, research scientist, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Brent Buckalew, AS'97, astronomer/astrophysicist research associate, Rice University, Houston, TX

Political Science:

  • James Gimpel, AS'84, professor, University of Maryland, Jessup, MD
  • Suellen Overton, AS'87, GR‘90, attorney, Overton Law Office, Sioux City, IA
  • Steve Warnstadt, AS'89, Iowa state representative, Sioux City, IA
  • Michael Elston, AS‘91, assistant U.S. attorney and co-chief of the criminal appellate section for the U.S. attorney's office, Alexandria, VA
  • Pamela Siege, AS'92, managing editor, West Publications, Minneapolis, MN
  • Lori Mach, AS'92, assistant public defender, Philadelphia, PA
  • Shari Yost, AS'92, staff, Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), Washington, DC
  • Sean Parnell, AS'96, staff, US Representative Greg Ganske (R-IA), Des Moines, IA
  • Kristi Bowman, AS'98, attorney and clerk, US District Court Judge George Fagg, Des Moines, IA


  • Timothy J. Ley, M.D., AS'74, chief, Hematopoiesis Research Center, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, MO
  • William M. Murphy, M.D., AS'63, Dept. of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Peter Robinson, DDS, AS'63, dean, School of Dental Medicine, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT
  • Jeffrey G. Wiese, MD, AS'91, assistant professor of medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA


  • Ed Fallon, DV'86, Iowa state representative, Des Moines, IA
  • Linda Betts, DV'84, staff chaplain, Central Iowa Health System, Des Moines, IA


  • Michael Emerson, FA'76, actor, winner of a 2001 Emmy award for Outstanding Guest Star in a Dramatic Series for The Practice, New York, NY
  • Mickie Paskal, FA'90, owner, Tenner-Paskal Casting Agency, Chicago, IL
  • Bridget Flanery, FA'92, guest star, 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch', 'Teen Angel', and 'Sweet Valley High', Los Angeles, CA
  • Jean Rosone, FA'76, costume supervisor and costumer, '24', Los Angeles, CA

External links

Missouri Valley Conference:
Bradley | Creighton | Drake | Evansville | Illinois State | Indiana State
Missouri State | Northern Iowa | Southern Illinois | Wichita State
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Missouri Valley Conference


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