September 23, 2004
Vol. 24 No. 1

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    Athletics Hall of Fame induction scheduled for Oct. 8

    The six honorees of the University’s second Athletics Hall of Fame class will be formally inducted on Friday, Oct. 8, as part of Chicago’s homecoming celebration.

    Patricia Kirby played a central role in the development of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Chicago. She served the University from 1967 to 1990, coaching badminton, basketball, softball and volleyball. She led the Chicago softball team to state championships in 1977 and 1978, and in 1974, she coached the nation’s first-ever college women’s basketball team to fly to an away game.

    William Lester Jr. emerged as one of the top basketball players of Chicago’s post-Big Ten era from 1953 to 1957. The first player in school history to score 1,000 points, Lester held the Chicago single-game scoring record (42 points vs. Aurora between 1956 and 1957) for 46 years. He is the only player in Chicago history to average more than 25 points per game in a season (1956 to 1957) with a 25.5 average.

    James Lightbody competed in track and field from 1904 to 1907. During his career at Chicago, he won six Olympic medals, including three golds (steeplechase, 800-meter run, 1,500-meter run) and a silver (four-mile relay) at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis. He also posted a world record in the 1,500-meter run at the 1904 Olympic Games. At the 1906 Olympic Games, Lightbody won a gold (1,500-meter run) and a silver (800-meter run).

    John Schommer is considered one of the Big Ten’s first great basketball players. Schommer was a three-time All-American from 1907 to 1909. He led Chicago to three consecutive Big Ten championships and was the first player to lead the Big Ten in scoring three times. Schommer, who also competed in baseball, football, and track and field, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 1959.

    Courtney Shanken was the NCAA individual all-around and rope climb champion in 1941. He led Chicago to a national third-place team finish in 1941, and to a fifth place finish in 1940 and 1942. Shanken, who also competed in baseball at Chicago, was elected to the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1967.

    Helen Straus won 12 major “C” awards in three sports between 1980 and1984. As a track-and-field star, she placed among the top 10 in the heptathlon and javelin at the 1984 NCAA Division III Championship. In field hockey, she was twice selected an all-state athlete (1980-1981), and as a basketball player, Straus was named team MVP for the 1981-1982 season. She was the 1984 Dudley Medal recipient.

    For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit the University Athletic Department Web Site at: http://athletics.uchicago.edu.