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Fostering Mentorship

After Phil De Koster, LW'10, received two cash awards at the Supreme Court Celebration in 2010, he made the decision to give back to Drake Law. His gratitude for his Dwight D. Opperman Scholarship—an award that covered his tuition and provided a stipend for expenses—also played a role in his desire to pay it forward.

As he thought about his potential gift, he recalled his undergraduate and law school mentors. He made the decision to focus his gift in a way that would foster mentorship and chose to name the award after K.M. Waggoner, LW'87. Waggoner taught De Koster when he was an undergraduate at Iowa State University and encouraged him to consider law school. 

"Law school can be such an overwhelming experience. Having someone who can give honest advice and who cares about you as a person is really beneficial," De Koster says. "The purpose of my gift is to encourage law students to mentor other law students, which is something that was important to me in my time at Drake."

The award was established to annually recognize one Drake Law School student who embodies Waggoner's spirit of mentoring and has made a significant positive impact on his or her fellow students through peer mentoring. The K.M. Waggoner Peer Mentoring Award is accompanied by a commemorative plaque and cash award.

"People who have received my award often ask me what they did to deserve it," De Koster says. "My response is, 'You're making a difference to people.'"

You Can Change a Life
Contact John Amato at 515-271-2849 or to learn how you can make a difference in the life of a Drake Law student.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Drake University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

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