Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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William Earle Drake, retired assistant professor of cultural foundations of education, died on October 25, 1989. He was 86.

Professor Drake was born on September 25, 1903, in Asheville, North Carolina. He earned bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees at the University of North Carolina in 1924, 1928, and 1930, respectively.

Dr. Drake served as an administrator of public schools in North Carolina and taught at the University of Missouri and Pennsylvania State University. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1957, where he served as department chair from 1959 until his retirement in 1969.

Professor Drake was a specialist in the history and philosophy of education. His publications included The American School in Transition, Higher Education in North Carolina Before 1860, Intellectual Foundations of Modern Education, Sources for Intellectual Foundations of Modern Education, When Darkness Came, and Betrayal on Mount Parnassus.

During World War II Professor Drake served on the National War Labor Board. In 1945-46 he taught at Shrivenham American University in England under the auspices of the War Department.

Dr. Drake was a very popular teacher, and he is remembered fondly by his many students. "I began work on my PhD under Dr. Drake in the fall of 1962," recalls Dr. Terry Todd, who now teaches in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at The University of Texas in Austin. "What I remember most about him is his infectious enthusiasm for intellectual give and take. He loved nothing better than a rousing discussion about the ideas underlying the problems facing society in general, and public schools in particular. I also admired him for the strength of his character. He never let political winds diminish his voice as he spoke out for what he believed. At the same time, however, he was an unusually tolerant man. Dr. Drake was always willing to allow his students to follow their hearts in matters of research topics, and this freedom was a heady thing for a budding scholar. Such a man had many friends, of course, but one person to whom he was especially close was his longtime departmental associate, Dr. George Sanchez. They were quite a pair, and to watch them work together was a lesson in cooperation and mutual respect. I owe an unpayable debt to Dr. Drake for his staunch support of my research and for the light he lit in my mind regarding generosity. He believed in giving back to education, and I have tried to follow his example in my own life. What's more, I know that other students who came under his influence have done the same."

One of those other students, Walter Meyer, remembers that, "as a graduate student, I took a number of courses under Dr. Drake and we became friends. He taught me to ask 'why' and 'how' and to search for my own answers. My life changed because of him. Dr. Drake served as my graduate advisor and headed my PhD program. He and his good friend and colleague, Dr. George Sanchez, had a more profound effect on my thinking than anyone did in my already full life, an effect that continues almost 40 years later. Dr. Drake was a gentleman, a master teacher, a patient listener, and a superb discussant. I am honored to have had him as a teacher and as a friend."


Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Dr. Terence C. Todd (chair) and Professor Emeritus John M. Rich with assistance from Teresa Palomo Acosta.

Distributed to the Dean of the College of Education, the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the President on April 4, 2001. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500. This resolution is posted under "Memorials" at:

Biographical Sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta can be found on D 1133.