Volunteer Award

Recognizes alumni who have demonstrated outstanding character, loyalty to Drew, and have made significant contributions to their community, state or nation as a volunteer.

Jim De Angelis C ‘76

Jim De Angelis’ dad took him to his first baseball game at Yankee Stadium in 1962. Today he says he wakes up each morning pinching himself—the game that he came to love decades ago has become his career, and he can’t believe how lucky he is.

As the Director of Community Relations for the Philadelphia Phillies Single-A farm team, the Lakewood Blue Claws, De Angelis is in charge of connecting the team with the people and businesses in the surrounding areas, as well as managing the team’s charitable giving. He’s been named minor league baseball’s community relations director of the year three times.

In their relatively young life (their ballpark opened in April 2001), the Blue Claws, who’ve won their league’s championship three of the last 5 years, have become a key community player on the Jersey Shore—and De Angelis is largely responsible for building that reputation. Their Community Partners Program, which gives local non-profits like the Girl Scouts and the Salvation Army chapter an opportunity to raise funds through ticket and concession sales, is growing by leaps and bounds.

“We had 28 charities last season, and we’re already at 42 at the start of this season,” says De Angelis, who manages the program.

Blue Claws staff members are represented on the boards of each participating non-profit with De Angelis sitting on 12 of them himself. “And I’m active on all of them,” he says. “I don’t want to just be a name on their letterhead. I want to help them make a difference.” He’s found many cases where his connections in minor and major league baseball have helped him do just that.

De Angelis studied chemistry at Drew, and he taught high school biology and math after graduation. But he eventually realized that wasn’t his calling. So, he networked his way to a job with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997. “I took an internship at the age of 42,” he says, laughing.

It paid off. The following year, he landed a paying position with the Phillies, working with their scouting department. When the Blue Claws team was formed, it was an opportunity for him to move back to the Jersey Shore where he spent summers as a child and teenager. “I’m really where I want to be now,” he says.

De Angelis credits his parents and his education—both at the Peddie School and Drew University—with making him the man he is today. Despite the many awards he’s earned for community service, the single personal item hanging on his office wall is a black and white photo of his Jersey Shore lifeguarding team from the summer of 1976. “It brings back some really good memories,” he says.