Drake Athletics Mourns the Passing Of Longtime Supporter Ron Buel

first_imgStory Links The Drake University athletic department and countless Bulldogs across the world are mourning the loss of Drake graduate and longtime Bulldog supporter Ron Buel. A 1962 Drake graduate, Buel passed away early Thursday, Jan. 24, in Edmond, Okla. He was 78.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.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. 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. 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. “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.Throughout his more than three decades of intense support of Drake, he forged friendships with thousands of student-athletes, coaches and fellow Bulldogs. “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.””Drake volleyball was very saddened to learn of Ron Buel’s passing today,” 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.”Details regarding funeral and memorial services for Buel will be announced at a later date as they are finalized. Obituary and Funeral Information center_img Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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