WASHINGTON, D.C. – Five former student-athletes, one coach and one writer will be enshrined into the Gallaudet University Hall of Fame on Sunday, October 28, as part of Homecoming 2012. The GU Hall of Fame Class of 2012 includes Kathryn A. Baldridge, Brian A. Bippus, Stephanie L. Danner, Michael C. Kent, Barry M. Strassler, William T. Sugiyama and Albert A. Walla. A brunch will be held in their honor on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the Ole Jim on the campus of Gallaudet University. Ticket details will be announced at a later date.
The Gallaudet University Hall of Fame Induction is one of the premier events of the year for the GU Athletic Department. The special event recognizes the men and women, past and present, whose contributions to Gallaudet University Athletics have been deemed worthy of induction into the GU Hall of Fame.
A brief description of this year's inductees:
Kathryn A. Baldridge (Women’s Basketball Coach) is the all-time coaching wins leader for women’s basketball in Gallaudet history. Baldridge won 334 games in 29 seasons as the head coach of the women’s basketball program at Gallaudet from 1977-2006. During her tenure leading the Bison she compiled 15 winning seasons and led Gallaudet to the NCAA tournament twice (1996-97, 1998-99). The 1998-99 team advanced to the ‘Sweet 16’ round of the NCAA tournament, the farthest any Bison team has ever made it in the NCAAs. She joins two of her former student-athletes Ronda Jo Miller and Touria Ouahid Boren, who are currently in the GU Hall of Fame. She is an associate professor of physical education at Gallaudet and has served recently as the Faculty Athletic Representative for the athletic department. She has also served on the NCAA Division III Management Council and Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
Brian A. Bippus, '93 (Men’s Basketball) graduated as the all-time leading scorer for men’s basketball in Gallaudet history with 1,882 points. He played four years (1987-91) for the buff and blue as the Bison began their 20-year membership in the Capital Athletic Conference. Bippus became the first Bison to earn All-CAC honors as he was picked for the first team during the 1990-91 season. The three-time team captain also excelled in the classroom and became Gallaudet’s first-ever Academic All-American when he was named to the 1990-91 second team. He also earned All-District II first team honors. He still holds the CAC single-game record for free throws made with 21 against Catholic University of America on January 26, 1991.
Stephanie L. Danner, '05 (Women’s Swimming) is Gallaudet’s most decorated women’s swimmer when the Bison were members of the highly competitive Capital Athletic Conference. The three-time team captain was an eight-time all-conference honoree, which included four first team honors. She dominated the 1,650 freestyle event as she earned all-conference honors in that event all four years (2002-05) at the CAC championships. Her senior year she won the event to earn first team honors. She was back-to-back CAC champion in the 500-yard freestyle (2003, ’04). She was named the 2004 CAC Women’s Swimmer of the Year after she had two first-place and one second-place performance at the conference championships. Danner was twice named the Gallaudet Student-Athlete of the Year (2004, ’05). She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005.
Michael C. Kent, E-'97 (Men’s Basketball) was a four-year letterwinner for the Gallaudet men’s basketball team from 1991-95. He averaged 20 points per game during his career and finished in the Top 10 for scoring in school history with 1,286 points in four years at Kendall Green. His 1993-94 season was his finest as he earned All-American honorable mention status from Division III News and Don Hansen’s Gazette. He was also a National Association of Basketball Coaches Atlantic Region second team honoree. He earned All-CAC first team honors and was named the Most Outstanding Player for Gallaudet’s men’s basketball team. At the time he posted second highest field goal percentage (205-for-310, .662 percent) for a single-season in CAC history.
Barry M. Strassler, '66 (Writer) is a walking encyclopedia of Gallaudet University athletics knowledge and a huge supporter and advocate for deaf news and deaf sports. Strassler was active as a student at Gallaudet from 1961-63, 64-66, as he served as the sports editor of the Buff and Blue and Tower Clock. The accounting major played men’s soccer in '62, club baseball in '65 and was the head football team manager in '65. He has made many contributions to Gallaudet athletics over the years as he once served, as the editor of the Bison Club newsletter, was chairperson for the Gallaudet Hall of Fame for 1995, '98, and edit and wrote the Gallaudet football centennial history book on the Bison program.
William T. Sugiyama, '59 (Wrestling) was part of the one-two punch the Gallaudet wrestling program featured in the late 1950s as he competed in the 123-pound division while GU Hall of Fame teammate Pierre Sevigny '61 competed at the 157-pound division. The Bison posted an impressive 9-1 team record in 1957 and followed that with a 7-3 record in 1958 as Gallaudet finished second at the Mason-Dixon tournament for the second straight year. Sugiyama had the fortune to wrestle under GU legendary coaches Thompson Clayton and Frank Turk.
Albert A. Walla, '75 (Men’s Swimming) swam three years at Gallaudet and in the process helped to re-write the school record book. Walla swam for the Bison from 1971-74 as Gallaudet won 12 of 27 meets. In his career he set seven individual school records and was apart of three team relay records. None of his records stand now as the Bison swimming program has improved but Walla’s name remained on the record board in four different events up until 2003. He was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer during the 1973-74 season and he served as a team captain from 1971-72.
Two years ago, the GU Athletics Department inducted seven into the Hall of Fame including; Darin S. Clauson, Karen A. Gilbert, David S. Hamilton, Martin G. Minter, James A. Segala, Pierre Sevigny, Robert H. Westermann.
To be considered for the GU Athletic Hall of Fame one must be a former Bison student-athlete, coach and/or contributor that is five years removed from the University. One must be nominated in writing and submitted to the Gallaudet University Alumni Association. Inductees can be deaf, hard of hearing or hearing. The GU Athletic Department would like to thank the GUAA for collecting this year's nominations. All nominations are then screened and reviewed by the Hall of Fame committee.
For more information about this year's Hall of Fame event please contact Anna Hall in the GU Athletic Department at [email protected].
GU Hall of Fame Class of 2012
Kathryn A. Baldridge (Women’s Basketball)
Brian A. Bippus, '93 (Men’s Basketball)
Stephanie L. Danner, '05 (Women’s Swimming)
Michael C. Kent. E-'97 (Men’s Basketball)
Barry M. Strassler, '66 (Writer)
William T. Sugiyama, '59 (Wrestling)
Albert A. Walla, '75 (Men’s Swimming)