Interview of Brenda Jackson Drake by Tamar Chute

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Brenda Jackson Drake describes her role as First Lady of The Ohio State University and the noteworthy experiences she and her husband had while he served as the University's 15th president from 2014 to 2020. Included in her discussion are her first memories of Ohio State, including the challenges she and her husband faced after he fired the Ohio State University Marching Band's then-director shortly after arriving on campus. She also discusses the various ways she connected with both the University community and the wider community, including the boards on which she served. She talks about her role as a steward of the President's Residence, and she describes the various ways she and her husband showed their support for the University community, particularly students. Finally, she describes how the Covid-19 pandemic affected her and her husband's work and personal lives and how she wants to be remembered as First Lady.


Interview conducted at The Ohio State University Archives, Columbus, Ohio.