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.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition at Monmouth College. No need to try to plan for an additional expense, and our students start each semester fully prepared for classes. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/tuition-fees/" target="_blank">Tuition & Fees</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>