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Professor receives Drake Group's highest honor

Kinesiology professor Billy Hawkins is the recipient of the Robert Maynard Hutchins Award, the highest honor given each year by the Drake Group.

The award will be presented during a ceremony on April 21 at the Downtown Marriott Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina. It is given each year to faculty and staff members who take a courageous stand to defend academic integrity at their institutions, often risking job security in doing so. Hutchins, vice president of the University of Chicago from 1921-1951, vigorously defended academic freedom, opposed faculty loyalty oaths in the 1950s, and was a strong supporter of the rights of minorities and women.

Hawkins, who has worked in education for more than two decades, focuses his research on racial issues in the context of collegiate and professional sports. His award-winning book, "The New Plantation," draws parallels between colonialism, the American slave system, and the structure of the athletic industrial complex. In the book, Hawkins makes a powerful case that the predominantly white universities give far greater priority to exploiting the bodies of black male athletes than to developing their minds.

The awards luncheon is free to attend, but seating is limited. To attend, email Allen Sack to reserve a seat.

The Drake Group is a national organization of faculty and others whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.

Related links: Department of Kinesiology