|UST Alumnus Drew Wilson Wins Jefferson Award|
From the first day of freshman orientation, Drew Wilson, a University of St. Thomas 2002 alumnus, experienced the University’s emphasis on social justice and service learning.
“Even before we started our first day of classes, we were volunteering at the Houston Food Bank,” Wilson said. “St. Thomas truly shepherds students into giving back to the community.”
Seven years later, Wilson has upheld the spirit of volunteerism which was instilled by his family and reinforced by his UST experience. He continues to balances his commitment to the community with his full-time job as an international corporate law consultant for Thomson Reuters. His numerous volunteer efforts were recently recognized with the prestigious Jefferson Award.
The Jefferson Awards are a national recognition system honoring community and public service in America. The Jefferson Awards began in 1972 to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for public service. Presented on the national and local levels, their primary purpose is to serve as a “call to action for volunteers” in local communities.
Wilson was nominated for the award by Houston philanthropist Carolyn Farb. Wilson and Farb met when they both volunteered for an event for the Children at Risk organization.
“I have seen how Drew commands the respect of his contemporaries and shares his vision of how we all should help one another to make our community a better place,” Farb said. “He always finds the time to give back to the community as a volunteer and is always helping to recruit other young professionals, helping them realize what he was taught as a child: it is better to give than to receive.”
The Clear Lake resident is the son of Charles and Infa Wilson. In 2002, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from UST in liberal arts with concentrations in communication and business. Traveling to London a year before his UST graduation, he concurrently worked on a Master of Science in international business and economics at the London School of Economics, which he completed in 2003. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from American University in 2004.
“It’s a privilege to be nominated among so many dedicated Houstonians, and it is an even greater honor to be named among the award recipients,” Wilson said.
As one of the University’s most active young alumni, Wilson serves on the University of St. Thomas Alumni Board of Directors, he is chair of the UST Class Agents Program and is a member of the UST Champions Club. While at UST, he was Program Council president, a Student Government Association senator and active in Campus Ministry and Young Republicans. Wilson has served on the Children at Risk Board of Directors and the Association of Advancement of Mexican-Americans Board of Directors. He is involved in the Houston Health Museum Professionals Circle, Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo, Houston Emerging Leaders, Houston Young Professionals Supporting Irish Studies Organization, Houston Young Professionals Engaged for Kids and Camp for All Young Professionals Group.
Where does he find the time? He makes the time – every week.
“To me, volunteer work is just as important as any other meeting, appointment or commitment in your week,” Wilson said. “You don’t just squeeze it in when you have the time, you make it part of your regular schedule.”
Wilson’s dedication to the University is driven by a desire to show his gratitude for the scholarships which funded his education. He encourages others to get involved in the University and the community at large, especially young professionals and college students.
“There is a misconception among young professionals that you have to be wealthy in order to make a difference,” Wilson said. “Even the most modest contributions count, and the gift of your time is priceless.”
Shown above from left to right: Drew Wilson, Carolyn Farb and UST President Dr. Robert Ivany