The Athletics department and Alumni Relations office will host the 2016 Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony this evening at 6 p.m. in the Warren Ballrooms as part of Alumni Weekend.
This year’s inductees are Jennifer Clarke ‘06(women’s hockey), Matt Deshane ‘06(men’s cross country, track and field), Jennifer Hesseltine ‘95 (women’s track and field, women’s soccer), Matt Kahan ‘06(baseball), Wayne Lashway ‘62 (men’s basketball, baseball), Lenny Pereira ‘94 (men’s hockey)
“This is my first time going through something like this here,” Director of Athletics Mike Howard said. “It’s been a little bit of a learning process for me.”
Plattsburgh State has been inducting individuals into the Athletic Hall of Fame since 1984, so there is a lot of pride of that goes into selecting a class.
“There’s a lot of thought that goes into it,” Howard said. “We have a hall of fame committee that examines each candidate closely.”
Howard said that nominations come within the school and from the public.
“As you can imagine with the amount of sports we have, we do get a fair amount of nominations coming in,” Howard said. “Its meant to be a selective process.”
Howard said the plan for this weekend is make sure it’s memorable to returning alumni.
“Some of them are fairly local and they’re probably on campus yearly,” Howard said. “Some are not local and are further away. This is their first time back in some time so you want to make it special for them.”
Howard said this afternoon they will be a reception for the inductees at the Field House where the inductees will get a chance to meet some current student athletes and coaches.
That evening is the recognition ceremony itself,” Howard said. “The inductees get a chance to speak and say some words and most importantly we get a chance to highlight their careers.”
Each inductee will be presented with their framed jersey along with other items.
“There are few events on our athletic calendar that give us the opportunity to really showcase some of our best alumni athletes,” Howard said. “It’s an evolving process we are always trying to fine tune it. We want to have a nomination system that ensures we are recognizing people that deserve it.”
Cardinal pride is something important to Howard.
“One of my primary goals, something i’ve worked on since day one here is to try and engage more with our alumni,” Howard said. “There’s alot of pride in our athletics with students on campus. We want to make sure that pride extends many years after they graduate.”
Howard said that they are going to try new and creative ways to reach out to alumni.
“It’s important that they know that they’re the ones that pave the way,” Howard said. “A lot of them may have children down the line and hopefully those legacies will continue with future Cardinals. We want those relationships to continue.”
In the future Howard wants to incorporate an online nomination form to the athletic department’s website and possible move the hall of the fame plaques somewhere else.
“Right now we have the plaques in memorial but that might sustainable for much longer,” Howard said.
Associate Director of Alumni Relations Kerry Chapin-Lavingne knows the importance of the ceremony as she is a former student athlete and alum of the college.
“I played women’s basketball here, it’s a delight for me to be involved in organizing such an event,” Chapin-Lavingne said. “I’ve been doing this for about eight years.”
Chapin-Lavingne said Its a always a touching and remarkable event because of the stories the inductees share about their time here at PSUC.
“A lot of our student athletes will be present to watch the six alumni get inducted, Chapin-Lavingne said. “To me this weekend represents Cardinal pride.”
Chapin-Lavingne said it’s nice to see the students and alumni interact.
“I want to make sure that events like these continue. It’s important to bring our alumni back to a place they once called home,” she said.
Email David Luces at firstname.lastname@example.org