The 2019 Grove City College Omicron Delta Kappa Professor of the Year is Joshua F. Drake, professor of Music and Humanities.
Drake accepted the award Thursday at Harbison Chapel on campus.
“I’m deeply honored by this award,” Drake said. “But remember, my subject matter includes Bach and Brahms and Vermeer and Cezanne. I can’t help but think that the subject matter itself should be receiving the award. All I do is point to it, and to the God who caused it to come into being,” he said.
Grove City College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 presented the award and cited student testimonials to Drake’s excellence as a teacher: “His lectures, a student said, are ‘focused and succinct, but packed with meaning and enthusiasm.’ Another said his’ passion is contagious.’ ”
Drake is a native of Tennessee who earned his undergraduate degree in Sacred Music at Union University, Jackson, Tenn., and masters and doctorate degrees in Musicology from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He joined the Grove City College faculty in 2005.
Drake teaches the College’s art and music appreciation class, which he says allows him to help students have “more pleasant lives by filling them with more meaningful leisure,” art history, church music and music literature.
He focuses his research on aesthetics, music criticism and appreciation, art history, late medieval literature and congregational singing – a subject about which he and his fellow professor of Music, Dr. Paul Munson, developed a website that encourages Christians to retain and improve hymn singing as part of worship.
Drake said he advises students to train their affections. “Those who succeed at it learn to love their discipline quite apart from anything that it offers them in terms of supposed future careers. The reason why this is so is because God makes himself known generally through the materials we study here. Those who would enjoy him better would learn to enjoy the ways by which he makes himself known,” he said.
As well as his classroom duties, Drake serves as advisor to music majors and the College’s fencing club. He and his wife Vicki have four children: John, George, Leonidas and Isobel.
Omicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honorary that has recognized collegiate scholarship, leadership and citizenship for more than a century.