PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Fifth Annual Brown Athletics Senior Celebration and Awards Luncheon was held at Andrews Dining Hall on Monday, May 20, 2013. Over 275 student-athletes, coaches, staff and distinguished guests were in attendance at the banquet to celebrate another year of success in competition, in the classroom and in the community. President Christina Paxson and Director of Athletics Jack Hayes each took the opportunity to address the room and acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of the class of 2013.
The Marjorie Brown Smith Award is presented to the most outstanding female varsity athlete of the year. It is named in honor of Marjorie Brown Smith, the Director of Athletics at the Women’s College of Brown University from 1920 to 1926, in recognition of her generous support of athletics at Brown through the years. There are two recipients of this year’s award, Tessa Gobbo (Chesterfield, NH) and Stephanie Thompson (Chino, CA).
Gobbo, a senior captain on the women’s crew team, holds
the all-time record ergometer score for the Bears, and her numbers
place her in the top one percent of rowers in the country, earning
her an invitation to train with the US National Team after
graduation. She won an Ivy League Championship title during her
freshman season, rowing in the third seat of the victorious varsity
four, and, in 2011, she helped the Bears to their seventh NCAA
Division I title, rowing five seat in the third-place varsity eight
that lifted Brown over Stanford in the team standings. This year,
she has led the Bears in pursuit of an NCAA bid, competing on the
varsity eight in every regatta and helping Brown win the Charles G.
Willing Jr. Trophy for the best team performance at the 2013
Eastern Sprints Regatta.
Thompson, a senior captain on the softball team, has been recognized as one of the nation’s top hitters over the course of her career. In 2011, she led the nation with a .504 batting average, earning second team All-Ivy honors and a selection to the 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Region team. Thompson was the 2012 Ivy League co-Player of the Year and a first team All-Ivy selection, compiling a .477 batting average, while ranked second in Division I softball. In addition, she earned first team All-Northeast Region honors and First Team CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District honors, as well as a selection to the Academic All-Ivy team. This season, she led the team with a .412 batting average, earning honorable mention All-Ivy honors, and was selected as a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award. Thompson ranks first in Brown softball history in career batting average (.436), hits (191) and doubles (42). Her career batting average of .436 and .514 on-base percentage are both Ivy League records, while her .728 slugging percentage ranks second all-time.
The Fritz Pollard Trophy is presented to the most outstanding male varsity athlete of the year. The trophy is named in honor of Frederick "Fritz" Pollard ‘19, one of our nation's true African-American pioneers, one of the greatest football players in Brown history and a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. Pollard is recognized as the first African-American to play in the Rose Bowl, to earn All-American honors, to play quarterback at the professional level and to become a head coach in the NFL. The recipient of this year’s award is Dylan Remick (Inverness, IL).
Remick, a senior defender on the men’s soccer team, led
the Bears to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He put
together another standout campaign in 2012, as he earned first team
All-Ivy honors for the third straight season and was a unanimous
selection in each of the past two seasons. Remick started 18 games
in 2012 and was a key part of the defense that tied the school
record for shutouts, notching 11 for the third year in a row. He
has accumulated a lofty list of accolades, including an Academic
All-Ivy selection, NSCAA first team All-Region, CoSIDA third team
Academic All-American, NSCAA second team All-American and College
Soccer News first team All-American. Most recently, Remick was
invited to the Major League Soccer Combine and was drafted by the
Seattle Supersonics with the 35th overall pick in
the 2013 SuperDraft.
The Kate Silver ’86 Award is presented in memory of Kate Silver to the most outstanding first-year female athlete. Kate Silver came to Brown in 1982 as the second-ranked 18 and under women’s squash player in the US. Silver played number one singles for just a few months on College Hill before being diagnosed with leukemia. She died in 1984, and the Kate Silver ’86 Award was established in her honor by her coach and teammates. There are two recipients of this year’s award, Kebbeh Darpolor (Pecos, TX) and Logan Harris (Stenson Beach, CA).
Darpolor, a freshman on the women’s track and field team, has developed into a top Ivy League thrower over the course of her rookie campaign, cracking into the Brown all-time top five list in four different events. She finished the indoor season as the 12th best freshman shot putter in the nation, and ranked third all-time in Brown track and field history in the weight throw. During the outdoor season, she finished second in the shot put at Heps to earn second team All-Ivy honors, and qualified for the NCAA Regional meet.
Harris, a freshman on the women’s crew team, holds the Brown freshman record with the highest port 2K ergometer score, and she also ranks first in her class in all of the team’s measurements of strength and power. On the water, she is currently undefeated in the varsity four, helping the boat to an Ivy League Championship and the top ranking on the East Coast. Additionally, she competed on the varsity eight at the Eastern Sprints Regatta, helping the Bears win the Charles G. Willing Jr. Trophy for the best team performance.
Brown's award for the most outstanding First-Year Male Varsity Athlete of the Year was presented to freshman Cedric Kuakumensah (Worcester, MA), a member of the men’s basketball team. Kuakumensah made his presence known throughout the Ivy League as a dominant threat on the defensive end of the court. He totaled 66 blocked shots, a total of 2.4 per game, to rank first in the league. Kuakumensah also broke Brown’s single-season block record and was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first rookie ever to receive the award.
The Arlene Gorton Cup is presented to the female varsity athlete who most consistently displays the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play. It is named in honor of Arlene Gorton ’52, former Brown Associate Director of Athletics, in recognition of her role in developing women’s intercollegiate athletics at Brown. The recipient of this year’s award is Kelley Harrison (Houston, TX).
Harrison, a senior midfielder on the field hockey team, is a four-time NFHCA Academic Award recipient and was unanimously voted a team captain for the 2012 season. She is a four-year director of the Just Run program, helping to educate elementary school students on the importance of nutrition, exercise and overall acts of kindness, and served as the Community Service Co-Chair for both the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Brown Women in Business Association during her senior year.
The Dave Zucconi Award is presented to the male varsity athlete who most consistently displays the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play. The award is named in honor of Dave Zucconi ‘55, the former Executive Director of the Brown Sports Foundation, who was often called "Mr. Brown." The recipient of this year’s award is Matt Sullivan (Wilmette IL).
Sullivan, a senior captain on the men’s basketball team, led the team in scoring as a senior and surpassed the 1,000-point mark, becoming the 26th player in the program’s history to achieve that milestone. Sullivan was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American team during both his junior and senior year, earning first team honors this past season, and leaves College Hill with a 4.0 GPA. Sullivan, who also serves as a teaching assistant, has volunteered his time with the Rhode Island Special Olympics Basketball Clinic along with various elementary schools in the Providence community.
The Bessie H. Rudd Award is presented to the female varsity athlete who displays enthusiasm, spirit and leadership and is devoted to the quality of life at Brown and the surrounding community throughout the year. The award is named in honor of Bessie H. Rudd, the former Director of Physical Education at Pembroke College from 1930 to 1961, in honor of her leadership in the development of quality athletic programs for all women. The recipient of this year’s award is Caroline King (Valencia, PA).
King, a senior forward on the women’s basketball team, is a two-time recipient of this award. This year, she was one of five Division I women’s basketball players selected to the inaugural Allstate WBCA Good Works Team, recognizing her outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement. King founded and organized Hoops for Hope, an Ivy League basketball fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and was appointed a wish granter and has worked with five different families over the past year to plan and coordinate a child’s wish. Additionally, she volunteers at the Women’s Center of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Free Clinic.
The Cliff Stevenson Award is named in honor of former Brown men's soccer and lacrosse coach, Cliff Stevenson, who retired in 1990 after directing the men's soccer program for 31 years. It is presented to the male varsity athlete who best exemplifies Cliff's boundless enthusiasm, indomitable spirit and devotion to the quality of life at Brown and the community. The recipient of this year’s award is AJ Cruz (Lake Forest, CA).
Cruz, a senior defensive back on the football team, is active in the community, classroom and field. Cruz was the coordinator for Bench Press for Cancer, the annual charity run by the football program for cancer research, and also worked closely with the Relay for Life and Be The Match community service events. Cruz is also a leadership team member for the Athletes in Action group within the Brown campus. On the field, Cruz is a three-time first team All-Ivy selection and earned first team All-American honors of a senior.
The Director’s Award is presented to one
male and one female senior varsity athlete who have best
represented Brown over his or her career by embodying excellence in
scholarship, athletic performance, integrity, leadership and
community outreach. This year’s award recipients are
Ryan McDuff (Pano, TX) and Lindsay
Nickel (Los Altos, CA).
McDuff, a senior defender on the men’s soccer team, helped the Bears to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and a 48-15-15 record during his career. McDuff is the school’s first-ever winner of the Senior CLASS Award, which is given to a student-athlete with notable achievements in the four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition. McDuff is a two-year Co-President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and also volunteers at Project GOAL, Team Impact, the Providence Boys & Girls Club and local elementary schools.
Nickel, a senior guard on the women’s basketball team, showcased her leadership as one of this year’s team captains, starting in all 13 games before suffering a season-ending injury. She still managed to keep her team motivated however, bringing a level of confidence and focus on the sidelines. In the Brown community, Nickel is the Co-President of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), a Royce Scholar, co-organizer for Grassroots Soccer, the Founder and Chapter Past President of Students Taking Action Now (STAND) and a Research Assistant in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction.
The Senior Class Speakers are representatives of the graduating senior class who have been selected to convey a special message about the student-athlete experience. These individuals have competed at the highest level on the playing field and in the classroom, and have demonstrated superior community service. This year marks the first time that this particular distinction has been bestowed upon a male and female student-athlete, and the inaugural recipients are Clay Del Prince (Hamburg, NY) and Kasey Haas (Charlotte, NC).
Del Prince, a senior captain on the men’s lacrosse team was a three-year starter and defensive stalwart. He earned All-New England honors after leading the team in caused turnovers, was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and was selected as a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Del Prince played a leadership role in the team’s major community service effort, its annual 36-hour run through which the Bears raise money for various causes, including the Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence’s Amos House and the Innocence Project.
Haas, a senior co-captain on the gymnastics team, helped the
squad win the Ivy Classic, its first title since 1990, and qualify
as a team to the USAG Collegiate Nationals for the first time in
the program’s history. She runs Lexi’s Voice, is a
member of SAAC’s community service board and volunteers as a
reader for a local kindergarten class each week. Additionally, Haas
has traveled to Africa through the Starr Fellowship, is a Royce
Sport and Society Fellow and received the Ittleson Foundation
Internship in Philanthropy. She was named the 2013 ECAC
Scholar-Athlete of the Year and has earned ECAC All-Academic honors
during each of her four seasons with the Bears.
Brown Athletics Appreciation Awards were also presented to Scott Cordischi, the radio play-by-play announcer for Brown football and men’s basketball, and Kathy Tameo, the Director of Finance and Administration for the Office of Campus Life and Student Services at Brown University.