Drew Guay Builds a Community Where All Belong

Director of Campus Recreation Drew Guay has been named to the New Hampshire Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty. Since 2002, this annual award has honored Granite Staters for making a difference in their communities and professions.

Guay was born and raised in Concord, New Hampshire, and has been a force for good and for change at PSU. He has expanded campus recreation offerings and mentoring to include students who might otherwise feel marginalized.

“This award is special to me because it has the support of so many students and it’s moments like these that show you just how much of an impact our program can have,” said Guay. “The support of current and former students has been incredibly touching and we can all take pride in this award.”

Guay enjoys making an impact on students’ lives at such a transformational time and truly values the relationships he forms. His department’s theme is ‘You Matter Here’ and Guay emphasizes helping students find their fit on campus. For Guay, campus recreation is about more than just managing a gym, it is about building a community where people belong. Guay finds his motivation in the ripple effect created by helping others at PSU, and he also models the inclusive attitude as a father to two young sons, Braden and Austin. 

“My experience at PSU would not have been the same without Drew,” said Allyson Schwab, PSU class of 2020. “He always set a precedent for kindness, inclusion and caring, and that rubbed-off on everyone around him. He genuinely wants to see every single student succeed at PSU.”

When Guay began his tenure at PSU in 2012, the campus recreation program had roughly 13,000 check-ins per semester, but in the months before COVID-19 the program was seeing 35,000 to 40,000 check-ins. Guay believes that gyms are places for everyone, regardless of their prior experiences, and offers dedicated time slots for beginners and women so everyone feels comfortable in the space.

As a professional, Guay has served as a member of the National Intramural & Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) since 2004, is the former NIRSA state director for NH, ME and VT, a member of the NIRSA professional mentor program and serves as the NIRSA Region 1 Student Development Committee Chair, and he has facilitated numerous workshops for small colleges and universities in the region. He is currently working with a team of researchers on creating a NIRSA Toolkit on Transgender Allyship in Collegiate Recreation.  

“Drew is a bright young leader not just at Plymouth State University, but in the community and the state,” said Marlin Collingwood, Interim Vice President for Communications, Enrollment & Student Life at PSU. “He is a role model for emerging leaders and a bright light of what you can make of your life by focusing on others.”

Guay also serves on the Board of Directors for Lakes Region Flag Football, and his latest achievement was organizing a safe and healthy fall season in 2020 for more than 250 kids, ages 4 to 15 years in his community. His region developed strong COVID-19 guidelines to keep players and families safe and became a model for other youth sports programs.