The Ithaca College Department of Athletics has officially announced the 51st Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted in the Fall of 2021. Ten exceptional individuals will be enshrined into the illustrious Hall of Fame over a year from now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Ithaca College Hall of Fame selection process proceeded as planned this spring with the election of 10 phenomenal individuals to comprise our 51st Class to be inducted," said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports Susan Bassett '79. "While the circumstances are different due to our national health emergency, our pride, our tradition of excellence and the inspiration these individual representatives create is the same standard that we know and love for the Ithaca College Athletics Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame committee felt strongly that the celebration of the 51st Induction Class had to be in person and therefore scheduled for the Fall of 2021. We are pleased to share this good news with our larger Bomber family now and plan for an in-person event when we can all be together. Congratulations to our newest future members of the Hall of Fame."
LEIGH BONKOWSKI '06 – SOFTBALL
Leigh Bonkowski delivered one of the most decorated careers in Ithaca's storied softball program. Bonkowski was a four-time Empire 8 Conference First-Team selection, a three-time NFCA Northeast All-Region honoree, the 2006 Empire 8 Woman of the Year, 2005 Empire 8 and ECAC Player of the Year and the Empire 8 Rookie of the Year in 2003. She was also named to the NCAA College World Series All-Tournament Team twice, one of which took place during IC's school record season of 40 victories in 2006. Bonkowski ranks second all-time in runs scored (146), second in home runs (25), third in RBI (128), fourth in hits (189), fourth in doubles (40), fourth in stolen bases (40) and fourth in slugging percentage (.585). Bonkowski hit .350 in her career over 174 games played.
JEFF BOSTIC '09 – MEN'S BASKETBALL, FOOTBALL
A two-sport athlete in men's basketball and football at Ithaca, Jeff Bostic was one of the top big men to ever play on the hardwood. Over his four-year career with the basketball program, Bostic tallied 1,099 points, 793 rebounds and 140 blocks, and would average a double-double during his junior and senior campaigns. On the all-time career lists, he's No. 1 in blocks, fourth in rebounds and 25th in points scored. Bostic was named All-Empire 8 in three different seasons and was named D3hoops.com All-East Region twice, and NABC All-East Region his senior year. In his final season in 2008-09, Bostic helped guide IC to a program record 24 victories. Bostic also played three seasons with the football team as a wide receiver and notched 14 receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown.
KAITLYN DULAC '06 – SOFTBALL
Kaitlyn Dulac produced one of the greatest single season in IC softball history during her senior year, as she was named a NFCA All-American, ECAC Upstate New York Player of the Year, Empire 8 Player of the Year and was First-Team All-NFCA for the Northeast Region. During the 2006 season, Dulac batted .496 with 57 hits, 16 doubles and drove in 42 runs. Her .496 average remains a single season school record, while her hits and RBI are within the top eight. Dulac was a four-time Empire 8 All-Star during her career and guided IC to 128 victories, including a school record 40 wins in 2006. The Bombers made a pair of trips to the World Series during that time. Dulac finished her career with 46 doubles, which ranks second all-time in program history, while her .376 average ranks sixth all-time, 110 RBI is seventh and 109 runs scored ranks 10th.
CHELSEY FELDMAN '09 – WOMEN'S SOCCER, SOFTBALL
Chelsey Feldman graduated from Ithaca as one of the top scorers in women's soccer history. Feldman ranks second all-time in points (148) and goals (61), and is tied for third in assists (26). On the single season list, she ranks top five over three different seasons in points, top eight in three separate years in goals and is second in assists during her senior campaign in 2008. Feldman was a two-time NSCAA All-American, as well as a two-time Empire 8 Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year in 2005. She would also be named a three-time all-region honoree. During her junior season in 2007, Feldman paced IC to a school-record-tying 19 victories and scored 19 goals with 42 points despite missing three games. In her final two years on South Hill, the Bombers reached the national quarterfinals. Feldman also played one season with the softball team in 2008 and batted .454 with 49 hits, 29 runs scored, 12 RBI and nine stolen bases in 47 games played.
ROBERT GARONE '87 – FOOTBALL
Robert Garone played on some of the most dominant teams for the IC football program under the guidance of legendary head coach Jim Butterfield. From 1983-86, the Bombers posted an overall record of 39-7, which included three 10-win seasons – Garone started those final three years. The 1985 team went 11-2 on the year and reached the Stagg Bowl, while the '86 squad posted an 11-1 mark and played in the national semifinals. Garone would be named an AP, SID and Football Gazette All-American in 1986 as an offensive lineman. After his collegiate career, Garone spent one season on the coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 1987. He then went on to be a founding member of the Ithaca College Athletic Advisory Council, as well as the NYC Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Most recently, Garone played an integral role in the planning and implementation of the 61st Cortaca Jug Game in 2019, which was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. and set an NCAA Division III attendance record of 45,161 fans.
BRIAN MEE '60 – BASEBALL, MEN'S SOCCER
Brian Mee was a two-sport athlete in baseball and soccer from 1957-60, and a three-year starter for both programs. As a catcher, Mee played summers with the Fulton County Glovers that won the NYS championship three years. The pro scouts voted Mee to the 1957 NYS All-Star team. After graduation, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1960. Mee played in the Northern League (Class C), Northwest (A) and Texas League (AA) during his career, and played with and against numerous Major Leaguers and Hall of Famers. After his playing career, Mee joined the Amsterdam School District where he spent the next 50 years as physical education instructor, athletic director, head football and baseball coach. He led the football team to three Class A titles, and compiled a 413-259 record in baseball with three Class A championships. From 1973-75, his baseball teams won 53 straight games which is still a NYS public high school record. His 413 wins rank him ninth on the all-time Section II record board.
JOE SCALICE '06 – FOOTBALL
One of the top offensive linemen for the IC football program, Joe Scalice appeared in 40 games from 2002-05 and the Bombers won 34 contests during that time. Scalice was a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association and the Football Gazette in 2005. He would also be named Honorable Mention All-American by D3football.com and was invited to the Aztec Bowl. Along with those honors, Scalice was a three-time All-Empire 8 and all-region selection, and the Football Gazette East Region Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2005. Ithaca reached the NCAA playoffs twice, which included a 10-win season in 2003, and a trip to regional final. During Scalice's senior season in 2005, the Bombers averaged 38.4 points and 444.8 yards per game. That team eclipsed 30-plus points in 10 of the 11 games played.
GRETCHEN SCHLABACH '75 – ATHLETIC TRAINING
After graduating from Ithaca College in 1975, and a master's degree from Indiana University, Gretchen Schlabach accepted a position at Western Michigan University. She then spent eight years at the University of Mississippi, where she served as head women's athletic trainer. After completing her doctoral work, Schlabach entered the professoriate and accepted the program directorship at Northern Illinois University, where she retired in 2014. Schlabach's professional scholarship and service has been in the areas of professional ethics, values and responsibility in athletic training. She co-authored the first text dedicated solely to professional ethics, Professional Ethics in Athletic Training. Schlabach served on the inaugural NATA Women in Athletic Training Committee, which advanced women's concerns and life-balance issues in athletic training. Schlabach has been recognized with the professor emerita distinction from Northern Illinois, NATA Athletic Training Service and Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Awards, as well as a Gail Weldon Award of Excellence. She was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in 2019.
JENNIE SWATLING '04 – WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
A four-time All-Empire 8 Conference performer and the 2000-01 Rookie of the Year, Jennie Swatling ranks within the top 10 all-time at Ithaca in points scored (1,333), steals (221) and 3-pointers (114) for the women's basketball program. Swatling appeared in 110 games over her career and helped the IC women's basketball program to 88 victories and four trips to the NCAA Tournament. Upon her graduation, Swatling ranked within the top ten all-time in Division III in free throw percentage, as she converted 237-of-286 attempts at the line for 82.9 percent, which still holds as a school record. Her 86.1-percent clip during the 2002-03 season is also a school record. Swatling netted 381 points during her freshman season, which remains a school-record for a first-year player. She played in New York State's inaugural all-star game (NYSWCAA) in 2004 and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection that same year.
ASHLEY WILLIAMS '07 – WOMEN'S SOCCER
Regarded as one of the most impactful players in Ithaca College women's soccer history, Ashley Williams was a NSCAA Second-Team All-American during her senior season in 2006 and was a two-time Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year. Williams also garnered NSCAA Northeast All-Region honors in three separate seasons, as well as three all-conference nods. She finished her career with 12 goals and 11 assists for 34 points as a holding midfielder for the Bombers. Her impact in a match far exceeded the numbers she produced over her career as she was one of the most dominant players on the field at any given time. During her final three seasons with the program, Williams helped guide IC to an overall record of 30-11-9, which included three trips to the NCAA Tournament. Ithaca allowed just 32 goals during that stretch, and Williams played a major factor in the team's 0.64 goals against average.
HALL OF FAME PROCESS
Each year, the Hall of Fame Committee accepts formal nominations in February and March. The committee (16 members) will then meet in April to collaborate on a preliminary ballot from the compiled nominations of individuals and teams. The voting process of an official Hall of Fame class is finalized in May. The class will be notified of their induction from Susan Bassett in later that month.
Nominations are accepted for individuals in two categories - active and veteran. Active members are recent graduates (after 10 years) that remain in that category for 15 years before moving to the veteran category. Candidates fall under the veteran category if they are nominated after their 25th anniversary of graduation.
Any team can be nominated for induction, but under the Hall of Fame bylaws, the inducted team to the Hall of Fame will alternate between a men's or women's team. It is at the committee's discretion if a team will be inducted each year.
Current members of the committee are listed below:
Susan Bassett '79 - Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports
Will Rothermel - Associate Director of Athletics
Paul Hesler '87 - Director of Principal Gifts (Representative of Alumni Relations/Development)
Erienne Roberts - Senior Woman Administrator
Justin Lutes - Associate Director of Athletics Communications
Kent Scriber '72 - Emeritus Professor, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences
Geoff Wright '72 - Special Appointee
Dave Wohlhueter '60 - Special Appointee
Deb Wuest - Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education (faculty member)
Dan Swanstrom - Current men's sport head coach (football)
Paula Miller – Current women's sport head coach (swimming & diving)
Mike Welch '73 - Current male member of the Hall of Fame
Erin DeMarco '01 - Alumni Board of Directors
Karen Hollands '94 - Former Women's Lacrosse Coach (current female member of Hall of Fame)
Amy Cronin '82 - Special Appointee
Current male member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (Aaron McCartney '20 - Men's Lacrosse)
Current female member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (Payton Cutting '20 - Softball)