TV analyst and commentator Julie Foudy, one of the most accomplished female soccer players in the world and former captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team, will address Upper School students and faculty on Dec. 15 as the next speaker in Darlington’s Honor Speaker Series. Her talk, “Choose to Matter,” bears the same title as her forthcoming book, which will be published by Disney and espnW in May.
“Our students benefit greatly from members of our community – and the wider world – sharing their stories,” said Head of School Brent Bell. “Every interaction is a chance to learn, and our Honor Speakers Series has creates amazing learning opportunities. The chance to spend time with Julie Foudy, one of the preeminent female athletes of her generation, is sure to inspire. We are thrilled she is coming to Rome.”
Foudy, an analyst and reporter for ESPN and ABC, was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team for 17 years, serving as captain for 13. She participated in four Women’s World Cups, helping her team win two, and three Olympics, coming home with gold in 1996, silver in 2000, and gold in 2004. Foudy finished her National Team career with 45 goals, 59 assists and 272 international appearances (caps) for the U.S.A. Her 272 caps rank fourth in the world all-time, male or female.
Named one of the “100 Most Influential NCAA Student-Athletes,” Foudy was inducted in the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007 alongside longtime teammate and friend Mia Hamm. Foudy and Hamm were the sixth and seventh women ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and members of the first and only all-female induction class.
Off the field, Foudy served on the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Directors for seven years and as president from 2000 to 2002. For two years, she was a WSF advocacy consultant, focusing on Title IX, childhood obesity, and athletes’ rights issues. Additionally, she was appointed by President George Bush and Secretary Rod Paige to the Commission on Title IX. She has been honored numerous times for her work on behalf of Title IX. She also served on the Board of Directors for the WUSA as the Player Representative.
Foudy currently sits on the board of Athletes for Hope and the advisory board of espnW. She has served as a global spokeswoman for Global Girl Media, a nonprofit that helps young women around the world find their voice through journalism, and been instrumental in a number of women’s rights and child labor issues around the world. FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, awarded Foudy the FIFA Fair Play Award for her work against child labor in the stitching of soccer balls – making her the first woman and American to receive the award.
“Julie is a tremendous role model for young women, and I look forward to seeing Darlington continue to build a relationship with her and her programs,” said Chad Liddle, director of Darlington School Soccer Academy. “I think there are endless possibilities that could have a very meaningful impact on the future of all of our girls here at Darlington.”
This summer, Darlington will be one of three host locations for The Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy June 18-22. Girls ages 12-18 are invited to participate in an overnight experience focused on Foudy’s passion: the concept of not just being a leader on the field but a leader in life. New this year, girls ages 9-12 are invited to participate as day students. For more information and to register, click here.
“We are very excited about having Julie Foudy here at Darlington again,” said Liddle. “Julie is incredibly passionate about her Leadership Academy and empowering young women around the world to ‘Choose to Matter.’ Her work not only with U.S. Women’s Soccer, but with ESPN and the NCAA through Title IX has helped create countless opportunities for girls to lead while furthering their passion in sports and other extracurricular endeavors."
Darlington’s Honor Speaker Series was founded to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the school’s Honor Code by students in 1915. The series aims to engage speakers who have demonstrated “Honor Above Everything” in both their personal and professional lives. This year’s speakers have included Dr. Bud Peterson, president of Georgia Tech; Garland Tucker (’65), noted author and businessman; William Ball, former U.S. Secretary of the Navy; and Erik Weihenmayer, author, motivational speaker, and the only blind many in history to have reached the summit of Mt. Everest.