Giving Back - A Focus on the Community


Northwestern has been active in a number of community activities over the years, most notably at the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.

Many past and present Wildcat athletes and coaches along with their families have been affected by the disease, so the team joined the fight for a cure by participating in Evanston's Relay in 2001 and 2002.

Following those successes, former walk-on Suzi Sutton was instrumental in bringing the event to the Northwestern women's basketball team, where Wildcat student-athletes helped turn it into the most successful all-college Relay For Life in the nation.

In addition, the women's basketball team joined the men's squad in 2005 to battle the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team in the Wheels of Change charity game in Evanston.

The student-athletes traded sneakers for wheels to compete against the talented wheelchair squad in an effort to promote awareness of disability-related issues on campus.

"We were excited and honored to participate in an event that means so much more than just playing a game of basketball," head coach Beth Combs said. "Not only was it a way to give back to the students across campus that continue to support our program, but it was also an opportunity for us to help bring accessibility and disability issues to the forefront so that a more inclusive community may be created." 

Wheels of Change is a student organization dedicated to increasing awareness regarding disability-related issues and increasing accessibility at Northwestern University. Wheels of Change works closely with administrators to make Northwestern's campus more accessible to students with learning, visual, mental, or physical impairments. The group sponsors various events throughout the school year, including a one-week program known as Accessibility Week.