DUing Good

Drake University is known for its traditions: street painting during Relays festivities, “Hubbelling” (using dining hall trays as snow sleds) and stealing a smooch at the campus “kissing rock.” Some pastimes fade and others grow as years go by.

The university’s recent emphasis on global citizenship, civility and community service has Bulldogs embracing a new custom, “DU Good Day,” which rallies its alumni network around the world to make a difference where they live. The third annual “DU Good Day” will be Sept. 28, with community-oriented projects in 19 cities nationwide.

“The National Alumni Board saw an opportunity for our alumni to connect and also do good works,” says Blake Campbell, director of alumni and parent programs for Drake. “We recognized our mission’s citizenship and service emphasis kind of ended at graduation, and thought, ‘Why don’t we have any programs or activities that would extend that?’ The idea is to allow folks in their city to do whatever makes the biggest impact.”

The event has taken off. Nearly 250 alumni joined in the inaugural event, and last fall, more than 400 volunteers in 13 communities participated, logging hundreds of service hours. This year, alumni in Chicago will deepclean a book-donation area, while counterparts from Phoenix will pack emergency food boxes. Volunteers in Denver will dish up a meal at the local Ronald McDonald House, and in Washington, D.C., Bulldogs will scrub a soup kitchen. Many alums don Drake apparel to showcase school spirit as they do good in a group. In cities without official events, alumni are encouraged volunteer on their own or with their families.

This year’s Central Iowa “DU Good Day” event is a cleanup effort in partnership with the Drake Neighborhood Association. Participants can help with various gardening and cleaning projects around Drake’s campus and neighborhood, as well as archival projects. The group will meet in front of Old Main on the Drake campus at 8:30 a.m., with projects running from 9 a.m. to noon.

“It’s doing good in the name of Drake,” Campbell says. “It builds community for our alumni while also giving back.”

Visit the DU Good Day website to see how other alumni are giving back, or contact the Central Iowa site coordinators, Kim Pfannebecker (kim.pfannebecker@gmail.com) and Susan Stocum (suselisto@gmail.com), to register.

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