Edward S. "Beanie" Drake Founders' Award

This award honors an individual employed by a member institution who has exemplified the mission, vision, and values of their home institution and ACUI. Any individual employed part-time or full-time by an ACUI member institution with a minimum of five years of continuous service (but no more than 15 years) in support of the college union ideal is eligible for the award. 


Nominees should also meet the following requirements and criteria:

  • 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.
  • Providing outstanding and ongoing excellence in service to faculty, staff, students, community, and/or other customers.
  • Developing creative solutions to problems that result in significantly more effective and efficient department or university operations.
  • Consistently demonstrate of one or more of their institution’s values.
  • Are dedicated to the ideals of ACUI.
  • Contributes significantly to further their institutional mission, and are held in high esteem by colleagues and peers at their institution and within ACUI. 

Additional consideration will be given for those who are involved at the college, regional or international levels of ACUI.

Previous RecipientsEric Margiotta

2016 recipient:
Eric Margiotta, Virginia Tech, for striving to always serve others and advance the condition of Virginia Tech and the union, community, and the entire profession. 

2015 recipient: Laura Ballou, University of Rochester
2014 recipient: Michael Makoski, Fitchburg State University


About Edward S. "Beanie" Drake

Edward S. “Beanie” Drake was one of the founders of the Association of College Unions International, 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 of 1914. He was the only professional staff member in attendance with students from the 9 Midwestern colleges and universities.

Beanie DrakeHis 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 Association of College Union’s International. The endowing of this award, through the fundraising leadership of The Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University, is fitting for the centennial year of ACUI, as it recognizes Drake's visionary commitment to college unions and to the many students that we serve.

Here is an article written by Wendell W. Ellenwood about Beanie Drake.

Here is a memorial to Beanie Drake written upon his passing.

Nomination Information

  • Name, title, institution, and contact information of the nominator (if applicable)
  • Name, title, institution, and contact information of the nominee
  • Letter of application, written by the applicant, to address the following (in 3,000 words or less):
    • The activity to be supported by the scholarship
    • The expected learning outcomes from the experience
    • How these learning outcomes complement the core competencies for the profession
    • How you will develop as a leader through the experience provided
    • Your past and current involvement with ACUI
    • Your past and current campus involvement, highlighting work and/or leadership roles in the field of college union and/or student activities.
  • Three letters of support, providing evidence of how the nominee meets the above criteria, citing specific accomplishments that tell the story of the college union ideal.
    • One letter should be from a student (or group of students) with direct experience working with the nominee.
    • Two additional letters:
      • An endorsement indicating leadership potential from a professional supervisor
      • Community colleagues/alumni/customers with knowledge of the individual’s accomplishments
      • Statement of impact from the individual’s peers
      • Support from a supervisor of a volunteer leadership position (if applicable, not solely ACUI)

This year's nomination deadline has closed for this award, which will be presented at the 2017 annual conference.

Selection and Presentation

Nominations will receive written or electronic notification confirming their receipt. The ACUI awards committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review the applications to determine a winner. One winner will be chosen; one physical award and monetary award will be given to the winner. The winner will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference.


Updated Jan. 7, 2017