As a means of recognizing engaged citizenship and distinguished service, the Drinko Academy regularly confers awards upon individuals from the campus and the community. Recipients have come from government, business, philanthropy, religion, education and the arts. The academy also organizes a range of special events and programs throughout the academic year.
Since 2004, the Drinko Academy has spearheaded the university’s annual U.S. Constitution Celebration, which is designed to advance civic literacy, model civil discourse, and reinforce respect for the rule of law. The Constitution Celebration also helps build and maintain Marshall’s positive and lively campus culture.
As part of the Constitution Celebration, the academy organizes Marshall University’s Quoits Tournaments. A ring toss game popular in the era of Chief Justice John Marshall, quoits games on Buskirk Field bring faculty, staff, students, alumni, representatives of the media, community members, and civic leaders together in an activity specifically designed to promote civility and friendship across political divides.
Working with the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, the Office of the President, and other community partners, the Drinko Academy presents Marshall University’s Court on Campus program, in which state and federal courts hold oral argument sessions before student audiences in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse.
In 2020, the Drinko Academy sponsored a yearlong celebration of the 100th Anniversary of women’s right to vote. The special programming featured guest speakers, musical performances, and the highly successful Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration: Driving for Democracy motorcade parade. The Suffrage Centennial exemplified the spirit of collaboration that defines the Drinko Academy’s culture. Campus partners included the Simon Perry Center, the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum, the School of Music, the School of Theatre and Dance, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Women’s and Gender Center, the Department of History, Marshall University Libraries, and the Office of External Engagement at the Marshall University Research Corporation. Community partners included the City of Huntington, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the League of Women Voters of the Huntington Area, and the Office of the Secretary of State of West Virginia.
2021 Media Quoits Challenge winners, Bruce Felder and Mark Robinson, with referee Dr. Cicero M. Fain, III
Former Vice President for Student and Intercultural Affairs Maurice R. Cooley warms up for Quoits on Buskirk Field.
Political commentator George F. Will was among the national figures who spoke at the Jean Edward Smith Memorial Symposium on September 1, 2021. The program was sponsored by the Drinko Academy, the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, and the Office of the President of Marshall University.
Casey Murphy, Soprano/BFA in Music and Music Education, was among the performers featured in the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration.
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia heard oral arguments in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on September 11, 2019 before an audience of high school students from West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.
The Drinko Academy’s 2018 Constitution Celebration Honorees were Mr. William Michael Hall and The Honorable Stephanie D. Thacker.