Michael Drake, former chancellor of the University of California-Irvine, and his wife, Brenda Drake, will receive the UCI Medal at the Lauds & Laurels celebration on March 30.
Lauds & Laurels is UCI’s oldest awards ceremony and has recognized more than 800 people for contributions to the university, the community or their professions; the UCI Medal is its most prestigious award, the university said.
Michael Drake’s higher education career spans four decades, which includes serving as UCI chancellor from 2005 to 2014, before becoming president of The Ohio State University.
UCI nearly doubled the number of undergraduate applicants and increased the four-year graduation rate by more than 18% under Drake’s leadership, and added schools of law and education, as well as programs in public health, pharmaceutical sciences and nursing science.
The school during this time rose from a mid-teens slot to a top-10 national public university in rankings by U.S. News & World Report, UCI said.
Brenda Drake has been an attorney, foundation executive, community activist and university ambassador in California and Ohio, working with her husband to promote access, affordability and excellence to higher education.
UCI said she was active in events and initiatives on behalf of the school at local, regional and national levels during her husband’s tenure as chancellor, and was routinely on campus, engaging with students, faculty, staff and donors, and in hosting a variety of constituents at the university residence.