Barry McNamara  |   Published September 09, 2020

Edmonds ’08 to Receive Distinguished Young Alumnus

As part of Alumni Impact Awards, Edmonds to receive honor for his volunteer work in community and with his alma mater.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The recipient of this year’s Distinguished Young Alumnus honor has an extensive family history with Monmouth College, and his connection with his alma mater figures to remain strong for many years.

Zak Edmonds followed his father, Jay Edmonds ’71, uncle Chris Edmonds ’74 and brother Adam Edmonds ’99 to Monmouth, a school he said he knew he was destined to attend “since about second grade.”

ZAK EDMONDS '08: Distinguished Young Alumnus is pictured wearing his Monmouth gear, which is ... ZAK EDMONDS '08: Distinguished Young Alumnus is pictured wearing his Monmouth gear, which is a common occurrence.“Monmouth is a special place, for sure,” said Edmonds, who graduated in 2008 with a degree in communication. “I think one of the special things about it is the teacher-to-student ratio. It allows students to really get to know their professors, and it allows them to get to know us. I think it’s an underappreciated element – that ability to have an open communication with the leaders on campus. It’s one of the most important things I learned at Monmouth, and it didn’t come in a textbook.”

People who know Edmonds are well aware of the college he attended, mostly because he is always wearing something from his large collection of Monmouth apparel. His devotion to his alma mater has included taking a position on the Alumni Board. While serving as a member of its Alumni Engagement Committee, Edmonds helped establish the “Tartan Talks” webinar series.

Following his graduation from Monmouth, Edmonds worked for the national office of his Monmouth fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega; at CEFCU in Peoria, Ill.; and in the insurance field before his current position as a business development specialist for OSF HealthCare in Peoria.

At OSF, Edmonds helped transform the employer relations team, expanding it from two workers to a team of 10. Among his professional accomplishments, he has helped OSF Holy Family and Monmouth College become more aligned by formalizing an internship program that benefits Monmouth students.

While in high school, Edmonds volunteered at OSF St. Francis, and that volunteering spirit has stayed with him for the past two decades. Most notably, he is a key figure in the signature fundraiser event for the Hult Center for Healthy Living in Peoria, its annual lobster boil. He served as co-chair for the successful 2019 event, increasing the funding he’s helped raise for the organization to $1.5 million.

Edmonds has also been a volunteer at a variety of organizations, accumulating an extraordinary record of involvement and willingness to help others. When he agrees to becoming involved in a cause, he regularly takes on leadership roles and helps the organization thrive.

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