Board of Trustee Member and Alumna Jessica Drake Graduates from Virginia Rural Leadership Institute
Jessica Drake, a Board of Trustee Member and alumna of Chowan University was among the 28 graduates from the second cohort of the Virginia Rural Leadership Institute (VRLI). VRLI is a prestigious leadership program that aims to develop and support highly skilled leaders dedicated to revitalizing rural communities across Virginia.
The graduation ceremony, held on November 4th in Staunton, was attended by dignitaries from all corners of the Commonwealth. Notable speakers at the event included Secretary Matthew Lohr, a Board Member of the Center for Rural Virginia; Senator Emmett Hanger, former chair of the Center for Rural Virginia; Steve Landes, former Delegate and Founding Member of the Center for Rural Virginia; and Bryan David, current Chair of the Council for Rural Virginia and VRLI Advisory Committee Member.
Drake, who graduated from Chowan in 1995 with a degree in English. She holds a master’s degree in political science from Virginia Tech.
With nearly two decades of experience in journalism, including time in the Pentagon Press Corps, Drake went on to establish Filanthropie Consultancy, a boutique philanthropic consulting company. She currently serves as a Board Member for the Community Action Coalition of Virginia Foundation. Additionally, she is an active member of St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, VA.
Drake and her husband, Chad ’92, a military veteran, are dedicated alumni of Chowan University. In 2016, they established the Ann Drake Teaching Scholarship at Chowan in memory of Chad’s mother. The couple resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, and is proud parents to six children.
Drake’s achievements at Chowan and beyond, combined with her dedication to furthering her education, make her an invaluable asset to Chowan’s Board of Trustees – congratulations, Jessica!