Edwards Bringing the Blue to BIG EAST SAAC Meeting
Sept. 26, 2012
CHICAGO - DePaul could not have made a better choice than selecting Drew Edwards to represent the athletic department Friday and Saturday at the BIG EAST Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting in Providence, R.I.
The track and field team captain and senior majoring in International Studies is also a co-founder of Pangea Educational Development (PED), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering students and unifying communities in underprivileged areas.
PED makes yearly service trips to Uganda where its volunteers rebuild schools and class rooms. Through its "Soles for Schools" initiative, PED gathers thousands of shoes from high schools and colleges to donate overseas.
"Quite honestly I was shocked when (Associate Athletic Director) Kathryn Statz presented the opportunity to represent DePaul at the BIG EAST SAAC meeting," Edwards said. "Track athletes are not usually the face of any athletic program, let alone a walk-on athlete.
"But accompanying that shock, I felt affirmed in the ideals that I have strived to represent in my life and the passions that I have pursued. It reaffirmed the confidence that I have in our athletic department and why I have stayed invested in it.
"Athletics has made it clear that it is not good enough to just be a great athlete. At DePaul you need to be a great student and the best overall person that you can be. I think it's rare that any athletic department holds so true to that. It gives me a reinvigorated sense of hope."
At the SAAC meeting, Edwards will learn what other student leaders and schools are doing that contribute to their success athletically and in the community. He will hear about the methods designed to reach out to the community and promote athletic events on campus.
"Drew is a leader within our athletic program and will do a great job representing our Captains' Council with his peers in the BIG EAST," Statz said. "We are more than pleased that he is able to attend this meeting and bring ideas and initiatives back to his fellow DePaul student-athlete leaders.
"Drew will get a chance to talk about proposed legislation that will impact student-athletes nationally. You don't often get to interact with student-athletes from other schools in a setting like this. He didn't hesitate to take on this responsibility and was honored to do it."
Edwards has a game plan for the two-day event at the Providence Biltmore Hotel.
"The most important thing that I hope to accomplish at the SAAC is to represent DePaul University and its values in a way that can benefit the BIG EAST as it goes through its own period of growth and refinement," Edwards said.
"I get the timely opportunity to be a part of this just as new institutions are entering the conference, and it will certainly be the job of committed schools like DePaul to constantly improve the level of excellence that makes the BIG EAST one of the premier conferences in the country."
Statz said Edwards follows a long line of distinguished student-athletes who have represented DePaul at the SAAC including Ray De Leon, Sam Quigley, Amber Patton and Khara Smith.