Eight alumni were elected into the sixth induction class of the University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame Friday.
The University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame was instituted in October 2000, spurred by the Physical Education and Athletics department’s determination to celebrate the rich history of athletics at the University of Chicago. Even now, with Chicago focused more on academics, over 800 students are involved in intramural sports and 400 play on varsity teams, making athletics an integral part of Chicago life.
Anyone can submit a nomination for an athlete through the athletics website. Then, each year, a committee of six athletics alumni, two current Hall of Famers, the athletic director, the sports information director, the NCAA faculty representative, and two additional University of Chicago faculty members conduct extensive research into each player’s achievements during their athletic careers. Approximately eight candidates are chosen to be members of the Hall of Fame in the spring.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2008 spans across numerous sports and eras, covering the achievements of athletes from the years 1933 to 1997.
John Brooks (Ph.B. ‘33) was a NCAA long jump champion in 1933, finished seventh in the 1936 Olympics, and has held the school’s long jump record for 75 years.
Neal Cawi (A.B. ‘92) was a five-time All-American in track and field and football. Cawi finished 4th and 7th in shot put and discus, respectively, in NCAA Division III indoor and outdoor championships while also being an All-American defensive lineman.
Shay Patterson (A.B. ‘97), a Chicago women’s soccer player, was Chicago’s first female All-American soccer player in 1996 while leading Chicago to the Final Four. She currently is among the top six in goals, assists, and points in Chicago women’s soccer history.
Bill Gray (Ph.B. ‘48, M.B.A. ‘50) was an Amos Alonzo Stagg Medal recipient and was honored as part of Sports Illustrated’s Silver Anniversary All-America Basketball Team in 1975.
William Pearson (A.B. ‘68) was an Amos Alonzo Stagg Medal winner who led the 1967 baseball team to its best record in nearly 20 years and led the basketball team to a 35–17 record over three seasons.
Derek Reich (A.B. ‘03) was the 2003 NCAA Division III Player of the Year, a three-time All-American, and a recipient of the Amos Alonzo Stagg Medal. He currently holds the scoring and rebounding records in Chicago men’s basketball.
Robert Smartt (A.B. ‘76) was a top Maroons swimmer during the 1970s. Excelling in numerous events including four freestyles and two individual medleys, he was the top point-scorer on the swim team throughout his career.
Louise Speth (A.B. ‘90) finished in the top three in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events in the 1989 NCAA Division III Championship en route to becoming an All-American and Gertude Dudley Medal winner.