Eight Enshrined in Varsity "K" Hall of Fame Class
In the midst of its year-long Centennial celebration, the Kent State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics bestowed its highest honor on the eight-member Varsity "K" Athletics Hall of Fame class on Feb. 27.
Comprised of Meagan Class (field hockey, 1997-00), Veronique Drouin (women's golf, 2000-03), John Faulstick (head athletic trainer, 1980-09), Antonio Gates (men's basketball, 2001-03), Charles Hankton (men's track & field, 1991-94), James Harrison (football, 1999-01), Jeff Horvath (men's swimming, 1972-74) and Travis Miller (baseball, 1992-94), the members of the Class of 2010 were formally inducted during the two-hour afternoon ceremony in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
In addition, Dr. Emilio Ferrara (Distinguished Alumnus) and Cara Gilgenbach and Theresa Walton (Honorary Varsity "K") received special recognition for their contributions and accomplishments.
"Our annual Hall of Fame ceremony is always a high point of the year as we recognize the impact of outstanding individual student-athletes and the mark they left on Kent State athletics," Kent State Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy said. "It's a day that never ceases to fill me with tremendous pride."
Having a pair of NFL Pro Bowl players in Gates and Harrison helped shine a bright light on what usually proves to be the highlight of the athletic department's calendar.
"James and Antonio certainly get a lot of attention — and deservedly so — but from top to bottom, this group was immensely successful here and has gone on to do great things in their lives," Kennedy said." Collectively, they represent some of the truly great moments in the history of our department."
The special day concluded with the Class of 2010 being honored at halftime of that evening's men's basketball game against Miami University in the M.A.C. Center. Additionally at halftime, Gates' No. 44 jersey was retired alongside three other members of the 2002 Elite Eight men's basketball team (#10 Demetric Shaw, #12 Andrew Mitchell & #24 Trevor Huffman).
The Varsity "K" Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 1979 with the induction of the original 13-member charter class. The Hall of Fame honors men and women whose exceptional performance on the athletic fields and, in later years on other fields, merits special recognition from their alma mater. With the induction of its 32nd class of honorees, the Hall of Fame ranks now number 261 strong.
Photo 1: President Lester A. Lefton shares a laugh with Kent State Centennial Varsity “K” Hall of Fame inductee Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers.
Photo 2: Pittsburgh Steelers' linebacker James Harrison poses with President Lester A. Lefton during the Kent State Centennial Varsity "K" Hall of Fame luncheon.
Photo 3: The 2010 Kent State Centennial Varsity "K" Hall of Fame class at the conclusion of the induction luncheon in the Student Center Ballroom.
Photo 4: Former Kent State football standout James Harrison poses for a photo with Kent State 2009 Homecoming King Ben Spott and Queen Brittini Cortright.
Photo 5: Athletic Director Laing Kennedy shares a laugh with San Diego Chargers' tight end Antonio Gates during halftime of a basketball game.
Photo 6: Athletic Director Laing Kennedy hugs former Kent State golfer Veronique Drouin as she is inducted into the 2010 Centennial Varsity "K" Hall of Fame.
Photo 7: James Harrison, former Kent State football player and current All-Pro Pittsburgh Steeler's linebacker, takes a close look at his Varsity "K" Hall of Fame induction medallion.