Kellogg alumna Ann M. Drake ’84 has made a transformative gift to establish the Drake Scholar Network, according to the Kellogg website. This formal, global network will emphasize Kellogg’s long-term dedication to educating future female business leaders by fostering powerful, intergenerational connections between women students, faculty, and alumnae.
In the words of Dean Francesca Cornelli, “Kellogg has a long legacy of breaking new ground in the education and professional advancement of women, but there is still much work to be done to address gender-based disparities in the business world. Ann’s gift will help reinforce Kellogg’s standing as the premier global business school that equips high-potential women to become impactful, inclusive leaders.”
The Drake Scholar Network will concentrate on
- augmented educational programming and developing intergenerational connections
- employing faculty thought leaders
- continuing to provide scholarships through the Drake Scholars program, which has provided considerable financial support to students since 2017.
It is expected that Drake’s gift, the largest ever from a Kellogg alumna, will fund a network that impacts more than 5,000 women, a bi-annual women’s summit, the recruitment of five to seven new faculty and two full-time staff, and 30–35 partial scholarships, over a five-year period, across all Kellogg degree programs.
Kellogg has a robust history of educating and advancing women business leaders. The Kellogg Center for Executive Women was established in 2001, and was the first of its kind at a major business school. Kellogg became the first top-ranked global business school to have a female dean, with the appointment of Sally Blount ’92 in 2010, and Francesca Cornelli was appointed as Kellogg’s second permanent female dean in 2019. The school inaugurated the Global Women’s Summit in 2018.
Drake has always had a passion for advancing the careers of the women surrounding her. She founded the charitable organization AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education) in 2013 to assist women in networking and excelling in the supply chain industry. Initiated in 2019, Drake’s Lincoln Road Enterprises looks for new avenues to develop the influence and contributions of women in business, supply chain, engineering and technology, infrastructure, and design.
Drake began her relationship with Kellogg when she got her MBA through Kellogg’s Executive MBA program, and has maintained her involvement with the school, establishing the Drake Scholars Fund, supporting the Global Women’s Summit, and serving on Kellogg’s Global Advisory Board. She received Kellogg’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2018. “My experience at Kellogg gave me not only a foundational education to transform my company, but a tight network of women who were crucial sounding boards and partners as I advanced in the logistics industry,” said Drake. “With this gift I hope to make that possible for more women, equipping them to pursue, navigate and sustain careers that drive organizational and societal impact and create lives of personal meaning.”
Dawn Cornelius, Drake Scholar alumna ’20, is grateful for the impact being a Drake Scholar has had on her education and professional life. “Joining the Kellogg alumni community is a monumental and significant moment in my life and career. It has meant access to a network of incredibly talented individuals who have helped me navigate issues in my current work or solutions for launching my next venture. Being a Drake Scholar gave me the opportunity to complete my Kellogg journey. I continue to be grateful for this support and distinction.”
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