The Robert Maynard Hutchins Award is given annually to faculty or staff members who take a courageous stand to defend academic integrity at their institutions in response to institutional pressure related to special treatment of athletes, often risking job security in doing so. Robert Maynard Hutchins was the President of the University of Chicago from 1929 to 1951, where he defended the liberal arts, and opposed the rampant commercialization of college football which, in his view, undermined the core values of higher learning.
The Drake Group members are inspired by Hutchins’ commitment to academic freedom, and know that Hutchins would have shared our concern that critics of commercial college sport have sometimes been targets of direct or indirect pressure for merely upholding basic academic principles.” Part of The Drake Group’s mission is to come to the defense of such people.
Hutchins led the Commission on Freedom of the Press (1946), and vigorously defended academic freedom, opposing faculty loyalty oaths in the 1950s. He was also a strong supporter of the rights of minorities and women. Hutchins died in 1977.
Past Hutchins Awards Recipients
|2004||Jan Kemp||Read Article|
|2005||Tiffany Mayne||Read Article|
|2006||Frank Splitt||Read Press Release|
|2007||Linda Bensel-Meyers||Read Press Release|
|2008||James Gundlach||Read Press Release|
|2009||Jon Ericson||Read Article|
|2010||Sally Dear-Healey||Read Press Release|
|2011||Harry Edwards||Read Press Release|
|2012||William Dowling||Read Press Release|
|2013||Mary Willingham||Read Press Release|
|2014||Jay Smith||Read Speech/Watch Video | Read Press Release|
|2015||Murray Sperber||Read Article | Watch Video|
|2016||Billy Hawkins||Read Announcement|
Drake Service Award
The Drake Service award, which may be annually or biannually awarded, was established in 2015 to honor an affiliated member of The Drake Group who shall be formally recognized at an event or via media release, for having gone above and beyond expectations upholding or advancing the mission of the organization. Following are the criteria for selection:
- The individual must have demonstrated an extraordinary effort to advance the mission of The Drake Group.
- The individual must be a current member of the Drake Group but may not be a current member of the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors.
- Nominees must be at least one year removed from the Executive Committee or Board service to be honored. Exceptions to the one-year rule may be made in extraordinary circumstances.
The past recipients are:
None – Newly established in 2015
The Drake Hero Award
The annual or bi-annual Drake Hero Award was established in 2015 to honor an individual or organization who has helped advance the collegiate sports reform movement through persistent actions over time. The individual, through her (his) hard work and effort, or the organization through its mission-related work has created a recognizable impact within the world of sports reform. The individual or organization must have demonstrated extraordinary effort and a recognizable impact in advancing collegiate sports reform through persistent actions over time. The individual cannot be a current or former member of the Drake Group Executive Committee or Board of Directors.
Past Drake Hero Award Recipients
|2017||Brad Wolverton||Read Article|
|2018||Dan Kane||Read Article|
The Drake Group Presidential Award
The Drake Group Presidential Award was established in 2017 to honor an extraordinary contribution by an individual or organization that has helped advance the integrity of intercollegiate athletics through an articulate and well-reasoned response to a current event or important issue. The individual, through his or her voice, writings, or other public action or organization through a specific action has demonstrated informed thought leadership in intercollegiate athletics, toward the end of advancing the integrity of athletics, emphasizing the primacy of educational objectives and/or insisting on the responsible fiscal and ethical conduct of intercollegiate athletics as an extracurricular enterprise. The individual cannot be a current or former member of the Drake Group Executive Committee or Board of Directors.