4/28/2008 - Drake is first Judson alumna to receive Staff Excellence Award
By Michael J. Brooks
Judson College registrar Eleanor Drake says she was very surprised when she received the "Alumnae Association Past Presidentís Award for Staff Excellence" on April 5 during "J-Day," Judson's annual alumnae weekend.
She is the sixth recipient of the award begun in 2003 to recognize college staff for their contribution, and the first alumna to be so honored.
"I can think of others who deserve this award more than me," Drake said, "but I do appreciate it very much."
Drake grew up Eleanor Compton in Greensboro. She attended Alabama College (now the University of Montevallo) for two years and the University of Alabama for one semester before graduating from Judson in 1986.
Before earning her degree she was a homemaker and worked in various jobs throughout the black belt area.
Drake majored in psychology at Judson and earned certification in social sciences, envisioning a career as a public school teacher. She taught history at Judson during the short term of 1987 and then began a career spanning two decades and several jobs at the college.
Drake first worked in the library and then performed clerical work in admissions, financial aid and development. She also served as director of administrative computer services and set up the first campus-wide computer network. She later served as director of accounting services and became registrar in 2000.
"Working at Judson keeps me going," Drake said. "It exercises my brain cells and keeps me young. I enjoy my work and certainly wouldn't want to stay home and keep house!"
Drake has been active in the Marion chapter of the Judson Alumnae Association, the Perry County Historical and Preservation Society, the Gamma Phi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and in the Alabama division of the Daughters of the Confederacy. She enjoys history and genealogical research.
Drake and her husband, Walton, a Korean conflict veteran, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2005. They have two children, Earl who lives in Greensboro, and Beth Stoudenmier of Marion, who works in the Judson business office. Another son, Walton Jr. or "Buddy," died in 1990. The Drakes have six grandchildren.
In her off-hours, Drake enjoys her work at Uniontown Baptist Church and with the Cahaba Baptist Association.
"Eleanor is deserving of recognition for her hard work and commitment to Judson College," wrote professor of education Dr. Judy Blanton in her letter of nomination. "Her professionalism is one of her strongest assets along with adherence to confidentiality. Her efficiency is exemplified in keeping students' GPA current as well as conferencing individually with students regarding courses needed for graduation. Eleanor's positive attitude is reflected in her genuine concern for Judson students."
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Office.