Alumni and Development

Alumni House

2700 University Ave.

The Alumni House is home to the Office of Alumni Relations and is open to all alumni of Drake University. 

Announcements from the University
Aug. 22, 2013: Drake University announces Alumni House
Oct. 22, 2013: Preparing a new gathering spot for alumni 

Where is the house? The house is at the corner of 27th Street and University Avenue, across the street from Cole Hall. See the house here on Google maps
For maps and directions to Drake University, visit

Physical Address: 2700 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311
Mailing Address: 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, IA  50311

Check into the house on Foursquare. Use #DrakeAlumniHouse when referencing the house on social media.

History of the Alumni House

Timeline of the Alumni House

1901 House was built by Drake Chancellor William Bayard Craig
1920-1935 Women's Dormitory
1935-1941 Home of President Daniel Morehouse
1941-1945 Home of Henry Gadd Harmon
1945-1962 Chi Omega Sorority House
1969-1986 Women's Programs 
1969-1988 College for Continuing Education
1988-2003 International Center and Study Abroad Office
2003-2013 American Judicature Society Headquarters
2013 Drake University Alumni House

A house, later to be known as the Craig House, was built in 1901 by Mary Carpenter's first husband, William Bayard Craig, at 2700 University Ave. It was the home of Mary Carpenter and also a meeting place for many campus organizations. It did not actually become known as Craig House until she came back for her second term. When she left after her second term, the home was turned into a women's dorm.

With the coming of the 1920s, Drake had to face the concern over women's housing. It was a mini-dormitory and social center for women. It was administered by Mary Carpenter Craig - the daughter of the first chancellor and widow of the late chancellor. 
In 1935 the house became the home of President Morehouse and his wife.

The American Judicature Society moved from Loyola University in Chicago to the house at Drake in 2003. Along with providing other support, Dwight D. Opperman, LW'51, invested about $750,000 restoring the 1901 house, which became the Opperman Center. In 2013 it was 
announced that the house would serve as home to the Office of Alumni Relations and be called the Drake University Alumni House.

This is the earliest dated photo we have obtained of the house. This photo was found in the 1903 Quax yearbook (page 48). At this time the house was home to Drake Chancellor William Bayard Craig.

This photo, taken from the 1927 Quax yearbook, is of the house when it served as a women's dormitory.

A drawing of the house from 1952.


These two photos, dated 1958 and 1949, respectively, are of the house when it served as a home for the Chi Omega sorority house.

An undated photo of the house.

An undated photo of the house.

An undated photo of the house when it served as the Opperman Center, home of the American Judicature Society.

The Alumni Relations staff in front of the house's new sign on April 22, 2014.

The concept of an alumni house is not new to Drake University. This photo, at an undetermined location, was taken in 1968 with the Student Alumni Association and Alumni Relations staff.