April 28, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. - As the Big Ten continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, senior student-athletes Matt Friede and Casey Matthews were named the 2013-14 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients for Purdue University, which were announced on Sunday evening at the second annual Golden Pete Awards in Loeb Playhouse. Friede is a member of the men’s swimming team and Matthews was a standout on the Boilermakers’ women’s diving squad.
The conference's most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work."
Big Ten schools currently feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 24 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
Friede is a three-time NCAA Championships qualifier with Purdue's freestyle relay teams. He will graduate next month as part of the school record-holding teams in the 200 and 400 free relays. He also established a new Purdue freshman record in the 50 free in 2011 and ranks among the program's all-time Top 10 in the 50, 100 and 200 free. The three-time Academic All-Big Ten student-athlete has compiled a 3.57 GPA while majoring in computer engineering.
Matthews is an NCAA and Big Ten champion diver. The four-time NCAA Championships qualifier is a five-time All-American, highlighted by a 2013 national title in 3-meter diving that was the first title in the history of Purdue women's swimming and diving. As a senior this year, she won the Big Ten title in 1-meter diving, the Boilers' first conference crown since 2009. She was named the Big Ten Diver of the Championships after taking home Purdue Female Athlete of the Year honors in 2012-13. Matthews has overcome multiple shoulder and ankle injuries during her career. She is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree with a 3.64 grade-point average who will graduate in May with a degree in public relations and rhetorical advocacy.