Exterior Campus Photo

Alumni House History

This 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 as well as a meeting place for many campus organizations. When Mary Carpenter returned to Drake for her second term, the house began to be known as the Craig House. When Mary Carpenter left Drake after her second term, the Craig House was turned into a women's dorm.

With the coming of the 1920s, Drake had to address the concern of women's housing. The house was turned into 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. Then, 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. In addition to providing other support, Dwight D. Opperman, LW'51, invested about $750,000 to restoring the house, turning it into the Opperman Center. In 2013 it was announced that the house would serve as home to the Office of Alumni Relations and be referred to as the Drake University Alumni House.

Alumni House Timeline

Year Event
1901 The House was built in by Drake Chancellor William Bayard Craig
1921 - 1935 Women's Dormitory
1935 - 1941 Home of President Daniel Morehouse
1941 - 1945 Home of President Henry Gadd Harmon
1945 - 1962 Chi Omega Sorority House
1962 - 1969  
1969 - 1988 College for Continuing Education
1988 - 2003 International Center and Study Abroad Office
2003 - 2013 American Judicature Society Headquarters
2013 - Present Drake University Alumni House and Office of Alumni Relations


1968's Alumni House

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.

Historical Photos

Alumni House in 1903

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


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