The Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Founders’ Award recognizes an individual in the midst of their career who has exemplified the values and mission of their institution and ACUI. This award intends to inspire recipients by providing financial support for an educational activity that will develop them as a leader.

2024 Recipient: Alison Doehring, University of Akron

Alison Doehring goes above and beyond at the University of Akron, seeking out opportunities for collaboration, finding innovative and creative solutions, and ensuring e ciency and effectiveness. Her recent efforts enhanced work life for both students and staff alike with the addition of a mental health oasis in the Student Union. Doehring’s commitment to student success goes beyond her campus; she has been an avid volunteer for ACUI throughout her career.

Submission deadline is November 15, 2024. Check back soon for submission form link.

The nomination period for this award is no longer open. Check back in 2024 for details on the next nomination period.

Submission materials must include the following:

  1. Name, institution, and contact information of the applicant.
  2. A personal essay, written by the applicant, addressing (in 2,500 words or less):
    • Evidence that the applicant meets the criteria identified for this specific scholarship.
    • A summary of experiences related to advancing campus community, including positions or involvement the applicant has held on campus, in ACUI, and/or with other relevant organizations.
    • What activity is requested to be supported by the scholarship, including how the applicant would benefit from participation in the activity.
  3. Two to three letters in support of the applicant to receive the scholarship written by individuals such as direct supervisors/advisors, peers/colleagues, students, faculty members, etc.
  4. And an acknowledgement by the applicant that, if selected:
    • They are available to participate in the dates of the proposed activity.
    • They may receive a full or partial scholarship, and it is the obligation of the recipient or recipient’s institution to support additional expenses, including travel and lodging, required to participate in the activity.

The review process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the criteria listed below. The applicant must:

  • Be involved on their campus beyond their direct area or department.
  • Enhance the quality of work life in ways that make a significant difference for colleagues or customers.
  • Provide outstanding and ongoing excellence in service to advancing campus community.
  • Develop creative solutions to problems that result in significantly more effective and efficient operations.
  • Consistently understand and demonstrate the values of their institution and ACUI.
  • Contribute significantly to further their institutional mission, and be held in high esteem by colleagues and peers at their institution and within ACUI.
  • Demonstrate commitment to ACUI through volunteer service.

Professionals with five to 15 years of experience in the profession at an ACUI member institution are eligible for this award.

Electronic notification will be sent to confirm award submissions have been received. A confidential Individuals Awards and Scholarships Committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review materials to make the selection. One recipient will be chosen, unless otherwise noted for the specific award. One physical award will be given to the recipient, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference and in subsequent publications.

  • 2023: Adriane Reilly, West Chester University
  • 2022: Kimberly Reed, University of Houston
  • 2021: Dr. Katie Beaulieu – Wayne State University
  • 2020: Victoria Culver Rice – Missouri State University
  • 2019: Eve Esch – University of Houston
  • 2018: Vincent Jackson – University of Delaware
  • 2017: Kerry Spicer – University at Buffalo
  • 2016: Eric Margiotta – Virginia Tech
  • 2015: Laura Ballou – University of Rochester
  • 2014: Mike Makoski – Fitchburg State University

About Edward S. “Beanie” Drake

Edward S. “Beanie” Drake was one of the founders of ACUI, and was instrumental in the early growth of the organization. Drake served as director of the Ohio Union from 1913 to 1946, and was the host and moving force behind the first organizational meeting of the “National Association of Student Unions,” the original name of ACUI, on the Ohio State campus in December 1914. He was the only professional staff member in attendance with students from the nine Midwestern colleges and universities.

His commitment to the Association continued throughout his career. Drake was secretary from 1919 to 1932 and served as editor of the ACUI’s Bulletin for a number of years. In 1933, Drake was elected president of the Association. In his nomination speech, Foster Coffin said, “We all know that there has been one man more than any other who from time immemorial has been carrying the load for this organization. We refer, of course, to Mr. Edward S. Drake.” In accepting the nomination, Drake replied, “I have never wanted to be president of anything. I have a feeling you are spoiling a fair secretary to make a poor president. However, if it is your will, I shall do the best I can.”

Drake’s vision and guidance during the organization’s infancy was vital in building the foundation for today’s ACUI. The endowing of this award, through the fundraising leadership of The Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University, was fitting as it recognized Drake’s visionary commitment to college unions and to the many students that we serve.