Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame To Enshrine 13 New Members
Hall of Fame Weekend set for Nov. 9
June 25, 2007
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Thirteen new members, including six All-Americans, have been selected for induction into the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame at the 30th annual ceremonies to be held Friday night, Nov. 9, on the Cornell campus. After this year's class is inducted, the membership in the Hall will stand at 487.
The All-Americans who will be inducted are Rebecca Dennison (Lupes) '97, cross country and track and field; Bill Ellis '72, lacrosse and football; Carl Keske '97, wrestling; Chad Levitt '97, football; Hal Seidenberg '52, football; and Ken Torino '75, fencing.
Also selected to be enshrined in November were Jennifer (Jen) Daly '97, women's soccer; Letitia Ann Hays '51, rifle; Peter Pakeman '84, soccer; Seth Payne '97, football; Lori Penny (Keeler) '96, soccer; James Vaughan '77, ice hockey; Amanda (Amy) Wright '94, field hockey and lacrosse.
In addition to the formal induction ceremonies Friday evening, the honorees will be recognized at halftime of the Cornell-Columbia football game on Saturday afternoon.
The Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame was initiated in 1978. It became a reality through the thoughtfulness and generosity of the late Ellis H. Robison '18, whose devotion, advice and financial support to his alma mater started as soon as he graduated from the university.
A brief biography of each of the 13 inductees follows.
Jennifer (Jen) Daly '97, Women's Soccer
A three-time All-Ivy selection, Daly was a first-team pick in 1994 and 1995 and a second-team selection in 1996. She closed her career ranked third in school history for season assists (7) and fifth in career assists (14). She played on the squad that holds the record for the most goals scored in a season (34 in 1994). A four-year letter winner, Daly was the seventh Cornell women's soccer player to earn All-Ivy first team honors twice in their career.
Rebecca Dennison (Lupes) '97, Cross Country and Track and Field
Dennison was a two-time All-American, once in the 800 meters and again as a part of a distance medley relay squad. She twice represented Cornell at the NCAA championships. In 1996, she qualified for the NCAA finals in the 800 with a time of 2:09.17, which earned her an All-America honor. In 1997, she earned her second All-America honor as part of the indoor distance medley relay team that took fourth in the NCAA championship meet with a time of 11:14.76, setting a school record which still exists. The indoor middle distance relay squad was the only representative of the Cornell women's team at the NCAA championships that year. She took first place at the 1997 indoor Heps championships in the 800 meters with a time of 2:10.10, which also earned her first-team All-Ivy honors. She holds the fifth-fastest time in school history in the indoor 800 meters with a time of 2:08.77, and was part of the outdoor distance medley relay that currently holds the third-fastest time in school history at 11:23:41. A four-year letter winner, Dennison was the recipient of the Theodota Ladas Award as the best middle distance runner at Cornell as a senior.
Bill Ellis '72, Lacrosse and Football
Ellis captained both the football and lacrosse teams as a senior for Ivy championship teams. In football as a defensive end in 1971, Cornell tied with Dartmouth for the Ivy title. He was an All-Ivy honorable mention selection in 1970. As a defenseman in lacrosse, he was a two-time All-America selection, earning third-team honors in 1972 and honorable mention accolades in 1971 when Cornell won its first-ever NCAA lacrosse championship. Ellis was also a two-time All-Ivy selection in lacrosse, garnering first-team honors in 1972 and honorable mention in 1971. He was tri-captain of the 1972 lacrosse team.
Letitia Ann Hays '51, Rifle
Hays was ranked No. 1 by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in women's intercollegiate competition. She won the NRA championships in 1952 with a perfect 500 score in competition with women from more than 70 colleges. In an intercollegiate match with the men at King's Point, she shot a higher score than any member of the ROTC rifle team, which finished fifth. She was also captain and assistant coach of Cornell's women's rifle team. (She received her AB degree in '52).
Carl Keske '97, Wrestling (deceased 6/21/01)
Awarded All-America honors as a senior when he captured seventh place in the 134-pound class at NCAA championships, Keske was a three-time first-team All-Ivy honoree and a two-time EIWA champion. He was named the EIWA's outstanding wrestler in 1996, one of only five Cornellians to earn that honor. Keske compiled a career-best 38-4 record his senior season, which included a 15-1 mark in dual matches. He graduated from Cornell with a career record of 87-22, which ranks ninth all-time in career wins and 15th in overall winning percentages. Keske placed first at the Wilkes Open and the New York state championships in 1996. A co-captain in 1997, he received the Peter J. Floros Memorial Award as team MVP as both junior and senior, and was named to National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic first team in 1997.
Chad Levitt '97, Football
Levitt was a second-team Division I-AA All-America selection by the Associated Press as a senior, capping a career that saw him named All-Ivy first-team three times and to the ECAC first-team twice. He set a school and league career record for most rushing attempts (922), and set a school-best mark for 100-yard rushing games in a career (24). Levitt rushed for 4,657 yards, and was prevented from breaking the school record (currently held by Ed Marinaro '72) due to a late-season injury at Columbia. During the 1996 campaign, he rushed for 1,435 yards on 267 carries, the second-best season in Cornell history. In 1996, Levitt was the ECAC Division I-AA Player of the Year, the Asa S. Bushnell Cup recipient as the Ivy League Player of the Year, the Ithaca Journal Male Athlete of the Year (1995 and 1996), and the Cornell Daily Sun Athlete of the Year. Levitt was awarded the Football News Ivy League Player of the Year accolades three years in a row and was selected by Vanity Fair magazine to its 1996 Ivy All-Star Award for offense. He was invited to play in both the East-West Shrine and the Blue-Gray all-star games. The Oakland Raiders chose Levitt in the fourth round (123rd pick overall) in the 1997 NFL draft and he started two games as a rookie. He also appeared on rosters for the St. Louis Rams and the Chicago Bears.
Peter Pakeman '84, Men's Soccer
Pakeman was a three-time All-Ivy first-team performer in soccer, becoming the first player in Ivy League history to earn first-team honors at three different positions: midfield, back and forward. He received an All-Ivy honorable mention nod as a freshman. Pakeman graduated tied for third on the Cornell career assist list (11). He was selected to the All-New York State team all four seasons - first team as a frosh, sophomore and senior and second team as a junior. He was the recipient of the Clive Beckford Memorial Award as Cornell's most outstanding soccer player in 1982 and was the co-recipient as a freshman. Pakeman was selected to play for the East squad in the annual Senior Soccer Bowl game.
Seth Payne '97, Football
A first-team All-Ivy pick in 1996 and a second-team honoree in both 1994 and 1995, Payne remains the school career record-holder in sacks (19). As a senior, he had a career-best nine sacks and ranked among the top five on the team in tackles (84) from his defensive line position. Payne was the recipient of four Big Red individual awards his senior year. A team co-captain his final season, he was later named to Cornell's All-Time Football Team by the Cornell Football Association, and selected by Vanity Fair magazine to its 1996 Ivy All-Star defensive team. Chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL draft, he spent 10 years in the NFL with Jacksonville and the Houston Texans. Payne was voted by his teammates to receive the NFL Player's Association Unsung Hero Award and was selected to the USA Today's 11th annual "All-Joe Team" as one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
Lori Penny (Keeler) '96, Women's Soccer
Penny became the 10th player in Ivy League history to capture first-team all-league honors four times. The 1992 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Penny graduated as Cornell's all-time leading goal scorer (33) and ranked second in career points (79) and tied for first in season goals scored (11). Penny was the 1996 Cornell Daily Sun Senior Athlete of the Year and was invited to play in the Umbro Select College All-Star Classic following her senior campaign.
Hal Seidenberg '52, Football
Seidenberg was named to the Associated Press All-Ivy offensive team and received AP All-East and AP All-America honorable mention in 1951. The three-year letter winner in football (1949-50-51) as a fullback was a backup to Cornell Hall of Famer Jeff Fleischmann as a sophomore and junior. He went on to lead the 1951 team and the Ivy League in scoring (60 points on 10 TDs), and he was second on the team in rushing (406 yards on 120 carries). His 10 touchdowns in 1951 tied a then-school record as that squad went 6-3 with wins over Syracuse and Michigan.
Ken Torino '75, Fencing
An epee competitor in fencing, Torino was the recipient of the Princeton-Cornell Memorial Award as the NCAA Collegiate Epee Fencer of the Year in 1975. That year Torino helped Cornell finish second at the NCAA championships (its highest finish since 1954) and tied for the Ivy title for the second straight year. He was a two-time All-American, placing sixth at the NCAA championships in 1975 to earn second-team honors, while placing third at the 1974 NCAAs to earn first-team honors. Torino was an All-Ivy first-team selection in 1973 and served as team captain as both a junior and senior.
James Vaughan '77, Ice Hockey
Vaughan was named to the All-Ivy second team as a senior and received honorable mention All-Ivy accolades as a junior. He led the team in scoring as a junior with 68 points, which at the time was Cornell's fourth-best season mark, and he topped the team in goals scored in 1975 (23). At the end of his three-year varsity career, he ranked fourth (currently sixth) on Cornell's all-time points list with 154 (71g-83a), ranked second in career goals (currently ninth), and had the third-best season goals mark (31 in 1975-76). Vaughan was the recipient of the Nicky Bawlf Award as the team's most valuable player in 1976, becoming the first junior to win the award. He was tri-captain of the 1976-77 team, which compiled an overall record of 20-8-2, won the Ivy title (9-2-1) and finished third in the ECAC championship tournament. The 1975-76 team (18-10-1) also finished third at the ECACs.
Amanda (Amy) Wright '94, Field Hockey and Lacrosse
A three-time first-team All-Ivy selection as a goalkeeper on the field hockey team, Wright was a two-time second-team regional All-American. She holds the current school records for most saves in a season (247 in 1991), career saves (620 from 1990-1993), and career save percentage (.909). She also set the game record for saves (39 vs. Princeton, 1991) and currently ranks second. Wright allowed just 1.30 goals per game over her career. A recipient of team MVP award in field hockey (1992) and the Jane Lee Award in lacrosse (1991), she was one of two Cornell field hockey selections on the Ivy League Women's Silver Anniversary Team, which was celebrated in 1998-99.
Cornell announced that 13 former student-athletes will join the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.