George Drake '56
George Drake '56 paved the way for what has today become an area of dominance at Grinnell, long distance running. Although not eligible at the time, Drake participated in varsity cross country competition as a freshman and proved to the conference that he was one to be reckoned with for years to come. During this freshman campaign Drake competed in an exhibition against Carleton, and not only did he win the race but he broke the course record and defeated Hal Higdon, who would later run fourth for the U.S. in the Olympic Marathon. Drake also succeeded in the middle- and long-distance races in track. In his first year of eligibility Drake was the conference mile champion. Drake was able to repeat this achievement the following year, but he was saving his best for his final season. During this year Drake led the cross country team to it first-ever conference championship while finishing second individually and qualifying for the national championships, where he placed 49th. He led yet another track team to a conference championship as a winner of the 440-yard dash. Drake's prowess in track was exceeded only by his achievements in academics. As a Grinnell student he won the Archibald Prize for highest scholarship, along with Fulbright and Rhodes Scholarships and other honors. In graduate pursuit he studied at the University of Paris , France, and earned five degrees in all from Oxford University in England, and the University of Chicago. Drake served Colorado College as professor of history and dean of the college before returning to Grinnell as its president and a professor of history from 1979-1990. To this day Dr. Drake continues to mold the minds of Grinnell students.