Established in 2001 by Robert Y.
Drake, Jr., in memory of his parents, the Robert and Lillian Drake Endowed
Lectureship series at Hendrix College funds an annual lecture. Professor Drake
taught Southern Literature and creative writing at the University of Tennessee
from 1965 until his retirement in 1999.
While on sabbatical during the fall
of 1982, Drake was a visiting professor at Hendrix. During his stay at
the College, which was funded by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation, he gave
public readings and lectures for the Bertie Wilson Murphy Symposium in
Literature and Language. The affinity he developed for the College inspired him
to establish the lectureship in the English Department. In February 2004,
Miller Williams, then Professor of English and Foreign Languages at the
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, gave the inaugural lecture.