Hutchins Award

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 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.

The past awardees are:

2004 – Jan Kemp
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2005 – Tiffany Mayne
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2006 – Frank Splitt
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2007 – Linda Bensel-Meyers
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2008 – James Gundlach
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2009 – Jon Ericson
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2010 – Sally Dear-Healey
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2011 – Harry Edwards
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2012 – William Dowling
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2013 – Mary Willingham
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2014 – Jay Smith
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2015 – Murray Sperber
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2016 – Billy Hawkins
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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 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

Drake Hero Award – “Transcending Collegiate Sports Award”

The annual or bi-annual Drake Hero Award, “Transcending Collegiate Sports Award,” was established in 2015 to honor an individual who has advance the collegiate sports reform movement. The individual, through her (his) hard work and effort, has created a recognizable impact within the world of sports reform.  Following are the criteria for selection:

  • The individual must have demonstrated extraordinary effort and a recognizable impact in advancing collegiate sports reform.
  • The individual cannot be a current or former member of the Drake Group Executive Committee or Board of Directors

The past recipients are:
2017 – Brad Wolverton
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2018 – Dan Kane
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