Drake University in Des Moines announces $5 million gift

DES MOINES, Iowa- Drake University's announcing a five (m) million dollar gift. Two million dollars will be dedicated to addressing rural issues, $2 million is for Knapp Center upgrades, and $1 million is going to the Drake men's basketball program. The gift is from former Dupont Pioneer President and Drake Alumnus and Trustee Paul Schickler and his wife Claudia.

“Rural Americans were our customers for the more than four decades I worked for Pioneer,” Paul Schickler said. “Claudia and I are driven to give back to the hardworking people in rural America. We are working with Drake faculty to shape a program which makes concrete, positive change in the lives of rural residents.”

Specific plans for the Knapp Center will be announced later.

“Drake athletics are a unifying force,” Paul Schickler said. “Cheering on Des Moines’ hometown team builds deeper bonds between Drake students, alumni, and all residents of greater Des Moines. Claudia and I are happy to give back to teams and facilities that have brought us years of excitement.”

“We are so grateful to Paul and Claudia for their generosity to Drake University,” Director of Athletics Brian Hardin said. “The impact their investment will make for our student athletes that compete in the Knapp Center will be felt for many years to come. Paul and Claudia share my belief that their gift will inspire others to invest in our vision for Drake Athletics and the Knapp Center.”

Paul Schickler holds both a Bachelor of Science in management and an MBA from Drake.

Drake University President Marty Martin said there is a clear and direct line from the Schicklers’ gift to the University’s inspiration statement: “Together we transform lives and strengthen communities.”

“We are grateful to Paul and Claudia for helping us strengthen two communities dear to both them and to Drake,” Martin said. “Drake alumni have embraced our community-driven mission. They see its importance. They are finding where their personal passions overlap with our university goals, and they are taking action. Today is a proud day for Bulldogs everywhere.”

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