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. His short stories about growing up in West Tennessee are
familiar to a generation of Southern readers.
While on sabbatical
during the fall of 1982, Drake was a visiting professor at Hendrix and
taught a popular course in “Recent Southern Fiction” to 43 students.
During his stay at the College, which was funded by the Hendrix-Murphy
Foundation, he also gave public readings and lectures for the Bertie
Wilson Murphy Symposium in Literature and Language. The affinity he
developed for the College as a visiting professor inspired him to
establish the lectureship in the English Department. In February 2004,
Miller Williams, Professor of English and Foreign Languages
at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, gave the inaugural