University of the Cumberlands is pleased to announce Super Bowl champion and MVP Drew Brees as the keynote speaker for the University’s annual Excellence in Leadership Series event, sponsored by Forcht Group of Kentucky. The event will be held on Cumberlands’ campus on Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. Community members are welcome to attend. Tickets are free and will be required upon entry. Community tickets may be reserved at ucumberlands.edu/drewbrees beginning March 8.
“Drew Brees has proven himself as a leader both on and off the field,” said Dr. Larry Cockrum, President of the University. “His accomplishments as an athlete and the character he has shown through his commitment to community service are inspirational. We are pleased to offer our students, and the community, the opportunity to hear what Brees has learned through his experiences. It is my hope that we may implement those lessons in leadership in our own daily lives.”
Brees is the 2009 Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. He retired from the NFL after completing the 2020 season. In Brees’ five years with the San Diego Chargers and 15 years with the New Orleans Saints, he made 13 Pro Bowls while being named 2004 Comeback Player of the Year, 2006 All-Pro Team, 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, 2008 and 2011 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP.
As much pride as Brees took in his on-field performance, he takes even more pride in his community service endeavors. Brees and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 and since then have contributed over $33,000,000 to help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and provide care, education, and opportunities for children and families in need. In July 2020, the couple donated $5 million through the foundation in a partnership with Ochsner Health System to help build healthcare centers in Louisiana. Brees has also proudly participated in five USO trips visiting Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Turkey, Djibouti, Dubai, Okinawa, and Guantanamo Bay.
Cumberlands’ annual lecture series is made possible by an endowment from local business owners Dr. Terry and Dr. Marion Forcht. Previous speakers at the Excellence in Leadership Series include Laila Ali, Terry Bradshaw, Shaquille O’Neal, and others.
As planning for this event continues, the University will closely monitor and follow COVID-19 recommendations from federal, state, and local authorities. Any guidelines in place for the event will be clearly communicated to attendees. Any guidelines in place for this event will be posted at ucumberlands.edu/drewbrees.