Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management has received a transformative gift from Ann M. Drake ’84 MBA to establish the Drake Scholar Network — a powerful intergenerational and global network of women students, faculty and alumnae.
“Kellogg has a 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,” says Francesca Cornelli, dean of the school. “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 focus on three areas: enhanced educational programming and intergenerational network-building; recruitment of faculty thought leaders; and continued scholarship support through the Drake Scholars program, which has provided significant student funding since 2017. Over five years, the gift will fund a network that reaches more than 5,000 women; a biennial women’s summit; the recruitment of five to seven new faculty and two full-time staff; and 30 to 35 student scholarships.
The new program builds on Kellogg’s long-standing commitment to supporting, educating and advancing women business leaders. The school’s many milestones include establishing the Kellogg Center for Executive Women in 2001, a first for a major business school. In 2010 Kellogg became the first top-ranked global business school to appoint a woman dean, Sally Blount ’91 MS, ’92 PhD.
Drake built her reputation in the logistics and supply chain management field after joining her family enterprise, the former Dry Storage Corp., in 1990. She grew DSC Logistics into one of the nation’s leading supply chain management companies, becoming CEO in 1994. Drake expanded her entrepreneurial skill set by completing Kellogg’s Executive MBA program and has remained engaged as an alumna, establishing the Drake Scholars Fund 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,” Drake says. “With this gift, I hope to make that experience possible for more women, equipping them to pursue, navigate and sustain careers that drive organizational and societal impact and create lives of personal meaning.”