When Learning Lasts a Lifetime
Tucked in the corner of Karen Branding's basement are her notes from nearly every class she took during her years at Drake.
"I am usually very lean and decluttered, but I can't part with my Drake notes because I learned so much," says Branding, LA'82.
While she holds on to those archives as a reminder of her academic achievements, she says some of her most influential experiences at Drake happened outside the classroom as a residence hall assistant (RA).
"Equally important to the academic learning and growth was what I got out of being an RA," says Branding, senior vice president for public affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. "What I learned as an RA is what I have applied in my business career. It was a wonderful leadership development opportunity for me. I learned about myself, my leadership style, and collaborating with other people."
Providing Training for Future Leaders
Her experience as an RA was so influential that Branding wanted to ensure future Drake students would have equally powerful experiences. She created a fund at Drake to provide training and development opportunities to current and future residence hall assistants.
"I hope my gift helps RAs uncover the best part of their leadership style so they can impact Drake and also prepare for the next stage of their lives," she says.
Through her will, Branding has also created a scholarship fund so students from St. Louis can attend Drake without financial worry.
"The scholarship means a lot to me because I love St. Louis and I have great pride in helping people from St. Louis advance their lives," she says. "Being able to go to Drake is just a wonderful opportunity to pass on to someone else after I am gone."
Help Drake Students Thrive
Give other students the opportunity to experience Drake University by providing a gift in your estate plans. Contact John Amato, 515-271-2849, or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.