Hartwick Athletic Hall of Fame Welcomes Eight

June 14, 2010

Surrounded by family, friends, teammates, and coaches, eight of the finest competitors in the history of Hartwick College joined the Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 12.

Sponsored by the Wick Athletic Association, the induction ceremony in Stack Lounge, Dewar Union marked the inclusion of women's water polo player Kate Chambers '05, women's swimmer Gayle Gregory '04, football wide receiver Ryan Soule '03, men's lacrosse attackman Ross Pino '02, men's cross country and track and field standout Shawn Martin '91, athletics administrator Betty Powell '82, men's soccer goalkeeper Keith Van Eron '77, and men's soccer, basketball, and baseball player Jack McCormack '61. Their induction raised the total population of the Hall of Fame to 120, and was greeted with raucous celebration by all those in attendance. More information about the 2010 inductees is available here.

To view photos from the induction cermony click here.

The Hartwick College Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1995 to honor those who made outstanding contributions to the Hartwick Intercollegiate Athletic Department. Its purpose is to perpetuate the memory of those who have brought distinction, honor, and excellence to Hartwick through their athletic achievements.

"Thank you for coming," said master of ceremonies Neal Miller '72. "Your presence shows our affection for these eight inductees. I'm so glad you could join them, as families, friends, and classmates."

Jim Elting, Chair of the Hartwick Board of Trustees took the podium, calling it a "really pleasant privilege" to welcome the inductees and attendees on behalf of the Board and Hartwick President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich. "Our duty is to act as guardians of the tradition of a strong liberal arts education, which includes athletics here at Hartwick."

Welcoming remarks were given by Vice President for Student Affairs Meg Nowak and outgoing Athletic Director Debbie Warren, who noted the annual event is her favorite of the year. Following dinner, the induction began with Miller introducing former assistant men's soccer coach Alden Shattuck.

"Keith Van Eron was the kind of physical athlete football coaches drool over when they look for a tight end," he said of his former goalkeeper. "The thing that Hartwick should be most proud of is the manner in which he always conducted himself as an athlete."

In a theme that would run throughout the night, Van Eron warmly thanked his family, friends, teammates, and the Hall of Fame Committee.

"I have many happy memories at Hartwick," he reflected. "We're a family here. Thank you very much for this fantastic honor."

Ryan Soule was inducted by his father, Jeff.

"His outstanding character has made him a fantastic father, son, teammate, and friend," Jeff said. "We are proud of your athletic achievements, but we are most proud of you as a man."

"You never quit, you don't make excuses, and you do your best," Ryan reflected. "If your best isn't good enough, at least you know you tried. For me, going to Hartwick College was the best decision of my life."

Former Hartwick Athletic Director Ken Kutler had the task of summing up the four decades of Betty Powell's legendary contributions.

"Character is a priceless quality that says 'you can count on me now, and you can count on me always,'" he said, "and that is Betty Powell."

After a standing ovation, a moved Powell said "I still can't believe I'm here. How do I show my appreciation to people who have become part of my extended family?"

But express she did, accepting induction "on behalf of all those who work behind the scenes to make the Athletic Department happen," as well as the coaches, parents, alumni, and friends of the College who support Hartwick's student-athletes.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be at Hartwick College and in Binder Physical Education Center for 40 years," she said. "I've stayed because of the people and the relationships. One of the greatest pleasures of the past 40 years of my life has been watching these amazing student-athletes compete. There are no words to express what this has meant to me."

Men's lacrosse head coach Bill Bjorness took the podium next to induct Pino.

"I've been looking for a Ross Pino since he left," Bjorness reflected. "The reason I can't find one is because there isn't one out there. He's one of a kind."

"Lacrosse is a team sport in every sense of the word," Pino said, "so I accept this on behalf of my teammates, who were like brothers. Hartwick College will always be a special place to me. Everyone I met wanted me to succeed."

Kristina McCormack inducted her father, Jack, telling of his dedication to the values of athletics, his work as a coach, and his excellence in the local over-65 softball league.

McCormack then regaled the audience with tales of soccer, baseball, and basketball at Hartwick in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and took at least as much time reminiscing about the social scene in Oneonta at the time.

"I am honored to be inducted into this Hall of Fame," he said. "I have to thank the committee, my teammates, coaches, and professors--all of who helped me to get through and have a great college experience."

Former Hartwick running coach Craig McVey inducted Martin, who he called "arguably the finest distance runner to have come through Hartwick College."

"Anything Shawn ran he excelled at," McVey recalled, "but that wasn't because he was at the top of the talent pool, it was because of how hard he worked."

"Running at Hartwick gave me the opportunity to become the person I am today, and to do the things I do today," Martin said. "Thanks for this very great honor. It was a pleasure to wear that blue and white uniform."

Swimming and Diving Coach Dale Rothenberger took the podium to induct Gregory.

"She is one of the most decorated female swimmers in the history of our program," he said. "She holds the most records by any swimmer, male or female, in the history of our program."

"College swimming is a very unique and team-based experience," Gregory said. "Thank you for this honor--I will cherish and remember it always."

The evening's final inductee, Chambers, was welcomed to the Hall of Fame by water polo head coach Alan Huckins.

"Kate was never the biggest, never the strongest, never the fastest in any game we played," he recalled. "but she was always a great team player who lead her teammates by example."

"I feel extremely lucky that I was given an opportunity to come to an institution like Hartwick, said the New Zealand-born Chambers. "I was very lucky I ended up at Hartwick, where there is a real emphasis on the student part of being a student-athlete."

The evening, long on memories and heartfelt appreciation, came to an appropriate conclusion with Warren's trademark yelp: "Go Hawks!"

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030