About Us


The John Deaver Drinko Academy at Marshall University was founded in April of 1994.  In establishing the Academy, John and Elizabeth Drinko set forth two principal objectives.

The first was to foster better public understanding of the writing and ratification of the U.S. Constitutional in order to encourage greater levels of citizen participation in our democratic system of self-government.

The second was to create a body of Distinguished Drinko Fellows composed of highly accomplished members of the Marshall University faculty.

Because John Drinko repeatedly attributed his success in life to the excellent education he had received at Marshall, he conceptualized the Academy’s Distinguished Drinko Fellows program as a way of repaying a debt to the institution.

In 2019, the Drinko Academy celebrated its 25th Anniversary.  To view the Drinko@25 public service announcement, click here.

In its nearly thirty years of service to the university and the community, the Drinko Academy has achieved an impressive record in fulfilling its objectives.  It has championed the idea that democratic societies depend upon citizens’ collective commitment to the rule of law, to thoughtful and reasoned debate, and to active and informed participation in self-government.

Over the years, the Drinko Academy has established an impressive record of program support and development, special event organization, sponsorship of scholarship, creative work, and community projects. Moving forward, we are focusing on civic literacy and civil discourse initiatives, especially those that engage Marshall’s students in activities and practices that advance the culture of democracy.

Our Mission:  The Drinko Academy supports Marshall University’s curricular and co-curricular programming.  It encourages initiatives that engender public commitment to civic engagement and democracy.  The Academy’s programs and activities exemplify how free speech, civil discourse, intellectual integrity, peer-reviewed scholarly research, and creative expression enrich our country and our culture.

Our Vision:  The Drinko Academy fosters an informed, vibrant, participatory, diverse, and inclusive civic culture.

The Drinko Academy has received the following awards and recognitions:

  • Named a Center of Excellence at Marshall University by former President J. Wade Gilley in 1994
  • Recipient of the Secretary of Labor’s Exemplary Voluntary Efforts (EVE) Award. Presented by the Honorable Robert B. Reich, September 27, 1995
  • Recipient of a John Templeton Foundation Character Development Award, 1998
  • Selected as a National Free Institution Model Program by the Association for the Study of Free Institutions and Free Societies, 2004
  • Designated an Oasis of Excellence program by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 2018
  • Designated a Free to Teach, Free to Learn program by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 2019

John Drinko

Dr. John Deaver Drinko (1921-2008)
B.A., Marshall College, 1942
J.D., The Ohio State University, 1944


Elizabeth Drinko

Dr. Elizabeth Gibson Drinko (1922-2010)
B.A., Westminster College, 1944

John and Libby

John and Elizabeth Drinko, founders of the John Deaver Drinko Academy for American Political Institutions and Civic Culture at Marshall University


Dr. Alan B. Gould (1938-2019), founding Executive Director
of the Drinko Academy
Tribute Video
Memorial Service
Marshall Magazine tribute 

Contact Us

Dr. Montserrat Miller
Executive Director

Cora Westmoreland
Executive Assistant

Dr. Wendell Dobbs
Musical Director

Dr. Clayton Brooks
Quoits Pitmaster