In 2017, Ann M. Drake ’84 gave the Kellogg School of Management a $4 million gift to create the Drake Scholars Fund. This fund provides significant scholarships to female students enrolled in the Kellogg Executive MBA Program or the Evening & Weekend MBA Program.
Drake says she learned to dream big and think boldly in part because of her time at Kellogg. “My experience at Kellogg was transformational and took me to a whole new place,” she says. “I was an entrepreneur and I didn’t know about large-scale business at all, but that’s what the Executive MBA program is all about — it’s a sort of level-setting for people with potential coming from a wide variety of places. It gave me the tools and the mindset and network to call upon and be called upon to make things happen. With the Drake Scholars Fund, I am excited to open the door to EMBA and the Evening & Weekend Program’s curriculum and leadership development for other women pursuing careers of impact.”
Like Drake, Drake Scholars possess the analytic skills and passion for inspiring growth in the 21st century marketplace.
"Ann Drake’s generous gift is helping the Kellogg Executive MBA and Evening & Weekend programs strengthen our efforts to build and sustain a community that supports talented women leaders from a range of backgrounds,” said Greg Hanifee, Associate Dean of the Executive MBA Global Network.
Over the course of the next few years, the Drake Scholars Fund will support many talented women. The inaugural Drake Scholars began their Kellogg journey in fall 2018. Here are a few of their stories.
Dawn Cornelius attends the EMBA program in Miami and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She currently serves as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Dawn has long viewed her own career as flowing in two rivers: corporate marketing and communications alongside nonprofit change-making. Her desire to gain the leadership development skills and experience to join these two vocational streams led her to Kellogg.
She knew she had reached a point in her life where her own skills, expertise and network were not sufficient to allow her to advance and fulfill her dreams, but that Kellogg would give her the momentum to accelerate her growth and impact. A surreal call from Associate Dean Greg Hanifee about the Drake Scholarship changed her life.
Ann Drake’s investment in the Drake Scholars Fund made it possible for Dawn to invest in herself. Now at Kellogg, she is strengthening her skills, knowledge and networks to continue her quest as a change-maker, working every day to make a difference in the lives of real people.
Beyond the value of the Drake Scholarship Fund in Dawn’s own life, she also sees in the fund a broader significance for others — ensuring that talented women, at different stages of life, can have access to the best opportunities for leadership development and career acceleration and meaningful support on their own journeys to creating local and global impact.
C. Nichole Rush attends the EMBA program in Evanston and lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is currently principal consultant at Social Catalytix, a firm that supports nonprofits and government entities, helping them to transform their organizations and best execute their missions.
Nichole has always had a passion for justice and people, which led her to China after college for development work among rural populations. After returning to the U.S., she pursued an MA in theology and began working part-time at Catholic Charities Fort Worth, supporting refugees who were creating new lives for themselves and their families.
Working her way up at Catholic Charities, Nichole learned about the impact strong leaders can have on organizations. Seeing what gifted leaders could accomplish with a 400-person nonprofit taught her what she wanted to do, and what she need to learn. Kellogg offered her a place to strengthen her management skills and sharpen her abilities as a leader — to become someone who can inspire and persuade, driving decisions and bringing people along to places they have never been.
Like Dawn, Nichole will always remember the day she was offered the Drake Scholarship, which allows her to focus every day on impact and legacy, rather than on finances.
In 2018-19, Ann Drake’s scholarship fund is also supporting these Kellogg women:
For all of the Drake Scholars, Ann Drake’s gift has had a transformative impact, making it possible for them to join the Kellogg community and gain the skills and experience to propel their careers forward.