Story by Sarah LeBlanc
Drake University has earned a reputation as more than simply a small liberal arts college in the middle of Iowa, as it received recognition in the Huffington Post’s list of “The Most Interesting Places To Go To College.”
With small classes and connections to businesses in Des Moines, Drake’s location attracts students who want the educational opportunities and experiences that will help them in the professional world.
Lauren Baker, a first-year radio/TV production major, hopes the list will give Drake the recognition it deserves, for all its outstanding qualities.
“I think it’s good that other people are realizing all the great things that we already know,” Baker said.
Associate Professor and Chair of Magazine Journalism Lori Blachford said these lists help put Drake on the map.
“It’s nice when we’re recognized on those lists because it makes students give us a look,” Blachford said. “And I think once students give us a look, they see that there’s just a ton of potential here.”
With the help of big-name publications like the Huffington Post, Blachford said she hopes potential students will recognize the opportunities available at Drake.
“We’re pretty below the radar in the country,” Blachford said. “As a small liberal arts school in the Midwest, we don’t get a lot of attention.”
Recognized nationally for the annual Drake Relays held on campus, students get to enjoy a week of festivities, including decorating the painted street.
Since Iowa holds the first caucus for presidential nominations, the state also receives recognition for its political atmosphere.
The Huffington Post’s list adds to Drake’s renowned reputation by commenting on its prime location in the heart of Iowa.
Along with its political and journalistic connections, the list states that, “One of the other biggest benefits is that Des Moines is a small pond where one can quickly become a big fish.”
“I think Des Moines is a really good town to live in for college because there’s always things going on,” Baker said. “There are a lot of different cultures and different events.”
In terms of educational and career opportunities for students, Blachford said, “The fact that the Meredith Corporation is here is obviously a big driver for our journalism students, but not just journalism students.”
As well as print publications, the list states Des Moines as being “right in the middle of a burgeoning Silicon Prairie for anyone with a great idea for an app.”