Story by Molly Longman
Last year during the Drake Relays, the Alumni Association’s booth handed out a series of four buttons, one of them displaying the logo of the local Peggy’s Tavern.
Peggy’s is located within a block of Drake University’s campus and is a magnet for visiting alumni.
The bar was established in 1935 and has been serving aDrake students and alumni almost exclusively for over seven decades.
Last year, all of the buttons were given away almost immediately, said Director of Alumni Relations Blake Campbell.
“The buttons really draw the alumni in. They’re witty and were a huge success for us,” Campbell said.
This year, the Alumni Association will hand out four more buttons, with another button promoting Peggy’s.
The Alumni Association included alumni in the process of creating the buttons for 2014.
They allowed alumni to submit “witty Relays remarks or iconic images” and allowed them to vote for their favorite button idea through Facebook March 3-7.
The Top-4 alumni choices for the buttons were, “2% Perspiration, 98% Fun,” “Born to run,” “Only school named after a track meet” and, of course, the Peggy’s-pride button idea, “If found, please return to Peggy’s.”
The “If found, please return to Peggy’s” button won the contest, receiving 40 percent of alumni votes. “2% perspiration, 98% fun,” came in second with 34 percent of the votes.
“These buttons are targeted to our returning alumni,” Campbell said.
He explained that the alumni get a sense of nostalgia from seeing the logo of the popular college bar.
“We are being realistic that this is a part of life at Drake and has been a part of the university tradition for years,” Campbell said.
The Alumni Association does not have an advertising deal of any kind with Peggy’s. Rather, the bar simply sells itself.
“They’re not promotional or recruitment pieces. We’re just recognizing Peggy’s as alumni do — as part of the Drake and Relays experience,” Campbell said.
Drake accounting and finance student Garrett Gould agreed that Peggy’s is a part of Drake life.
“It’s definitely a legitimate part of life for a lot of students. But it needs us as much as we need it,” Gould said. “Peggy’s couldn’t survive without the students. That’s why the students have such a great relationship with Peggy’s. Like every good relationship, it’s 50/50.”
Another Drake student, Levi Larson, said she would want a Peggy’s button if she were in the shoes of the returning alumni.
“I would definitely want a button for nostalgic reasons, and then I’d want the current students to buy me a round,” Larson said.
Visiting Drake alumni can stop by the Alumni Association’s tent located across from the Drake Stadium during the Relays to pick up a button.
The Association will only make 750 of each button.
And you don’t actually have to return them to Peggy’s. Finders, keepers.