June 3, 2008

U of C Hall of Fame announces new inductees

Jay Berwanger and Amos Alonzo Stagg's company at the University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame just got bigger.

The University announced its sixth induction class on Friday, introducing eight new members to the Hall of Fame, honoring both national champions of the past and recent standouts.

John Brooks (Ph.B. '33) won the NCAA long jump competition in 1933 and captured the Big Ten title in 1932 and 1933. He would go on to finish seventh in the long jump in 1936 and still holds the track program's outdoor long jump record.

The first All-American for women's soccer, Shay (Feith) Patterson (A.B. '97) earned national recognition in 1996 when she led the Maroons to the D-III Final Four. She is currently ranked among the top six in goals, assists, and points; Feith was also a three-time All-Central Region and All-UAA midfielder.

Derek Reich (A.B. '03) earned entrance to the hall as the only four-time UAA Most Valuable Player. A three-time All-American, Reich was named the 2003 NCAA D-III Player of the Year and was selected to the D-III All-Decade First Team earlier this year. The 2003 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award recipient is also the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Chicago's history.

Bill Gray (Ph.B. '48, M.B.A. '50) served as captain for both the baseball and basketball teams, leading the basketball squad to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 29 years and the baseball team to three consecutive winnings campaigns for the first time in 36 seasons. Named to the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-American Basketball Team in 1975, Gray won the Stagg Award in 1950.

Following in Gray's footsteps, William Pearson (A.B. '68) captained for baseball three times and for basketball twice. Pearson led the baseball team in RBI in 1967 en route to the squad's best record in almost 20 years. He also led hoops to a 35-17 record in his final three seasons at Chicago and was named the Stagg Award winner in 1968.

Neal Cawi (A.B. '92) starred for the Maroons in both football and track and field. He garnered track and field All-America honors twice, finishing fifth in the shot put at the 1992 indoor NCAAs and improving to fourth in the same event the next year. A key member of the defensive line for the South Siders, Cawi was also a two-time All-UAA selection and 1991 All-American.

Louise (Wilkerson) Speth (A.B. '90) turned in classic performances at back-to-back DIII Championships in 1989 and 1990, placing in the top six in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke in 1989 and moving up to the top three in those events the next year. A six-time All-UAA athlete, Wilkerson won the Gertrude Dudley Medal in 1990 for her outstanding leadership and skill as a fourth-year.

Rounding out the 2008 honorees, two-time swimming captain Robert Smartt (AB '76) led the Maroons in points scored during his career. He set records in several events, including four freestyles and two individual medleys.

To be eligible, the inductees must have attended the University of Chicago, competed in an intercollegiate sport, and completed their participation in intercollegiate sports at least five years prior to induction. Faculty, staff, alumni, and current Hall members select eight athletes each year for induction. The latest Maroons honored will be officially inducted at homecoming October 10.