Jul 31, 2020
John Smith, VP of Alumni Development of Drake Univ
Drake University


John Smith was appointed Drake’s Vice President of Alumni and Development in December of 2006.  In 2016 John’s title and responsibilities changed as Vice President for University Advancement overseeing Alumni, Development, University Communications, and Community Relations. Previously, John served Drake as the director of development, gift planning officer, associate director of alumni relations and an admission counselor.  

Beyond Drake, John was the Assistant Vice President / Director of Principal Gifts for Simpson College and; Smith entered the field of fundraising as the Director of Development for the Sigma Chi Foundation, Evanston, Illinois. 

John received his undergraduate degree from Drake in 1992 in Rhetoric/Speech Communications and his master’s degree from Drake University in 2000 in Integrated Marketing Communications.  

John is a member of the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, Drake Neighborhood Association Board, and the State of Iowa Workforce Development Board.  Previously he has served as a member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Board; Chair, Greater Des Moines Partnership Workforce Development/Education Board; Past President of Des Moines AM Rotary Club, Past President of the Des Moines West Side Chamber, six year member of the Prairie Meadows Betterment Grants Committee, and five year member of Des Moines Bravo Board.  He is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and a member of the Des Moines Business Record Forty under 40 (2007).  

John has presented multiple times at CASE VI, Regional AFP and Planned Giving Associations and in February 2014 he participated in a panel discussion for ACE/AIEA Internationalization Collaborative.  

John is married to Drake alumna Mary Kay.  They have two children, Jake and Emi.