Record Maker

5 Students Who are Record Makers

5 Students Who
Patrick Byrne

Patrick Byrne

  • David Boudia
  • Silai Mirzoy
  • David Boudia
  • Brittany Rayburn
  • John Christopher Russo

Name: Patrick Byrne
Major: Civil Engineering
Year: May 2012 graduate
Hometown: Austin, Texas

Fighting cancer is personal for Patrick Byrne and the Drumline team he leads at Purdue’s Relay for Life. Their pulsing rhythms open the event and infuse energy to the student walkers throughout the 15-hour trek. A string of records recognize donations exceeding $18,000 — including the top team for three years running, top individual and top on-site fundraiser.

All in

“I saw Relay for Life as an opportunity for us to do something good. Every single one of us had close friends or relatives who had lost their lives to cancer. That made it a lot easier. Being persistent helps. I try to lead by example. To set the standard—and most importantly, I always make sure that everyone is having fun.”

Bringin’ it

“We really liked how it felt to win Best Fundraising Team. We wear it with pride. Drumline members come from all across campus so we know all the other teams. There is friendly ribbing. ‘Are you going to bring it this year? We can beat you.’ We try not to be too brutal, but we also won the burrito eating contest, the hula-hoop contest and the tug of war.”

Drumming up dollars

“In 2011, we unveiled a Relay for Life drumhead for Purdue’s Big Bass Drum. It’s just for the event. We allow people to hit the drum if they make a donation. This is extremely rare. We also allow survivors to hit the drum for free and ask them to sign the drumhead.”

Everybody wins

“We learned the importance of giving back. Obviously the event is set up to raise money, but it’s also about giving back our time and our talent by performing during the event. It is really important to set an example for the younger Drumline members. It’s a win-win situation. It’s good for you and good for the community.”

The beat goes on

“The best thing about being in Purdue Bands is the friends I’ve met. We call each other a family. I don’t plan on ever losing contact with them. Second, are the skills I’ve learned: Time management, hard work and dedication, finding a passion and sticking to it. Third, is the actual drumming. It gets addicting and is a great stress reliever.”

By Susan Ferringer
Photos by Andrew Hancock
Published June 2012