Princeton chose Edwards for a reason
Lauren Edwards is a basketball player at Princeton and a candidate for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior Class Award. If you are on this list of 30 finalists, you project the 4 Cs that are by definition, the criteria. Given Lauren’s exemplary background and service over her four years at Princeton, it’s difficult to choose just one of the 4 Cs – character, class, community or competition – because she excels in each category.
Princeton chose Lauren and she chose them right back.
If the purpose of college is get your education and then land a job, Lauren has that covered. If you can accomplish those two primary goals while serving and adding to your community, you are exceptional. Lauren is exceptional. Many student athletes ask what’s in it for me, sometimes forgetting where they came from and who helped them achieve. She knows the path in her rear view mirror helps chart a course through the front windshield. She views the world through a wider lens that’s in focus 24/7. She is taking full advantage of her college experience on and off the court. She represents what’s good in the term “student-athlete” and has defined her college experience with trailblazing honor and pride. She could be bulletin-board material and the face of the NCAA’s propaganda on student-athletes because of what she has accomplished and her willingness to take on the next challenge.
You can read Lauren’s bio page regarding her academic achievement and athletic honors or read about her trips to different and often desolate regions of the world during the past three summers like Cambodia, Senegal and Italy. You might learn that Lauren already has a job on Wall Street with Barclay Capital upon graduation. Underneath an impressive pedigree is an inner drive and desire to excel with an awareness of her community. Lauren Edwards knows the definition of commitment and dedication. She exhibits these leadership traits as captain of the Princeton women’s basketball team, which is picked to win the Ivy League.
Lauren understands choices and circumstance. She is a by-product of carefully plotting her journey. I asked her what she gained from her “summer world tour” and Princeton’s academic environment. She remarked that each summer’s project was different but the cornerstone of each experience was hard work, dedication, commitment and the willingness to work as a team. Some of those projects she worked on included building houses, teaching school or leading a basketball clinic. She continues to use each experience in college and every resource available to her to grow the inner spirit.
Lauren goes about her day like most college students. Her days are full of economics classes, lectures, small discussion groups and practice. At Princeton, there are no classes from 4:45 -7pm each day so students can engage in extra-curricular activities, including playing varsity sports. While enjoying the competition on the court, Lauren competes in the classroom as well. The past two seasons, she has been named to the prestigious Princeton Honor roll. Only five student-athletes are selected each semester. She has received an award that her peers at Princeton desire.
Lauren’s nomination demonstrates the fundamental roots of this award’s legacy. This award is about recognizing the best, those that are committed and excel at a high level. Lauren has demonstrated her ability to pay forward and be a teammate who wants to sincerely impact the world. According to her head coach, Courtney Banghart, Lauren is a special blend of talent and selflessness. “It’s a special team when your best player is your hardest worker, and Lauren is just that. Lauren is the epitome of a student-athlete in every sense of the word. She is one of the premier players in our league as a two-time first-team All Ivy League player and an exceptional student and teammate. It is a sincere honor to coach Lauren. She makes us better both on and off the court.”