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Drake Athletics to Host Celebration of Life for Ron Buel

first_imgA 1962 Drake graduate, Buel passed away Thursday, Jan. 24, in Edmond, Okla. He was 78. DES MOINES, Iowa –The Drake University athletic department will host a Celebration of Life for Drake graduate and longtime Bulldog supporter Ron Buel Saturday, April 13. The Celebration of Life will start with an on-field recognition prior to the Drake softball doubleheader versus Loyola. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. and the recognition will occur 10 minutes before first pitch. In addition to faithfully supporting all Drake student-athletes from the sidelines, Buel’s generosity and philanthropy positively impacted every student-athlete at Drake during the past 30 years. Following the doubleheader, the public is invited to the celebration to be held in the Courtside Club in the Shivers Basketball Practice Facility. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the celebration will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the final softball game. Appetizers, refreshments and dessert will be provided. “My joy is watching the student-athletes come in as freshmen and see them grow and leave as seniors well on their way,” Buel said in a 2016 interview. “Drake Athletics lost a one-of-a-kind,” said Drake head softball coach Rich Calvert. “Ron was an ‘A+’ when it came to his support of Drake Athletics. He wanted to make Drake Athletics the best they can be. Personally, I lost a great friend and a father figure.  He was always there me with a smile on his face win or lose. He will be truly missed.”center_img Buel enjoyed a successful career that spanned more than 30 years with Standard Oil before retiring to Des Moines and his alma mater. Upon his return to Des Moines, Buel began making an immediate impact on Drake athletics and the Drake University community. While his philanthropy enabled many on-court and field successes, it was his personal connection and relationship with Drake student-athletes that made Buel a beloved Bulldog. Affectionately known as the ‘Bueldog’ to many, he was a constant supportive presence at nearly every athletic event and many team practices. Throughout his more than three decades of intense support of Drake, he forged friendships with thousands of student-athletes, coaches and fellow Bulldogs. Buel’s financial contributions enabled the construction of the men’s and women’s basketball office suites, athletic communications and volleyball offices, the women’s volleyball locker room, and the eponymous Ron Buel Field, home to the Drake softball team. He was a major financial force in making the Shivers Basketball Practice Facility a reality and the iconic bronze Bulldog outside the facility bears his name as well. “Drake volleyball was very saddened to learn of Ron Buel’s passing,” said Drake head volleyball coach Darrin McBroom. “Ron has been the biggest fan of our program for more than two decades. His support, friendship and passion for volleyball at Drake was incomparable.  His generosity and devotion has touched the lives of hundreds of people in the Drake community and beyond. He always had a smile on his face and glimmer in his eyes with kind words to share and he was a consistent voice of optimism. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.” Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more