STORY BY SARAH FULTON
It is not just the beginning and end of a journey that matter but every step in-between. Traditions take time to build. Universities develop over time. Students learn over the course of four years. The steps that lead to the final product are immensely important and deserve to be recognized.
When Drake University began in 1881, Old Main was the first building on campus. Over time buildings like Jewett Residence Hall and Carnegie Hall began to surround it. Additions like the Knapp Center and the Harmon Fine Arts Center stretched the campus’ boundaries. Now more changes are in the works as the University prepares to add a STEM addition this summer.
Campus favorites like Peggy’s Tavern have remained in their place while traditions have grown around them. For 80 years the bar has been welcoming students and alumni to its Forest Avenue location. Some physical changes have taken place but it is the patrons that have shaped the history.
The city surrounding Drake’s campus has grown along with it. Des Moines, Iowa on the surface does not seem like a great attraction for young adults.
However, the young professional market is booming. The city is gaining a unique flavor that even made Portland, Oregon acknowledge it as the hipster capital of the United States.
Some of those young adults became young professionals at Drake. Students like senior Anna Chott grew over four years to become opposites of what they once were.
Others, like Zach Vasseur, discover new passions and change the course of their lives.
Even fewer return to Drake to teach. Professors like Jill Van Wyke began their Drake journey as students and are now continuing it as faculty.
The history of Drake is rich because it has evolved. At times the evolution was slow. Other times it was swift. Each trial and triumph builds what it is to be a bulldog. Each student, faculty and staff member adds to the progression and shapes Drake University.