Five exemplary individuals and one team have been named to the 2016 class for the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame and will be inducted on the evening of Friday, Oct. 28, during the College's annual Garnet Homecoming and Family Weekend celebration.
The fifth class to enter the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame consists of Gloria Evans Dillenbeck Dodd '47 (badminton, tennis), Jackie Heineman Gidas '76 (swimming), Jokotade Agunloye Greenberg '01 (cross country, track & field), Alan Valentine '21 (football, lacrosse), Joe Valis '83 (lacrosse), and the 1996 field hockey team.
Established in 2012, the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame honors the student-athletes and administrators who have contributed to the College's success. The 2016 class was chosen from more than 200 nominations by a selection committee of administrators, coaches, and alumni for their significant and distinctive impact on Swarthmore College athletics and the College itself.
Garnet Athletics 2016 Hall of Fame Class
Before becoming a global ambassador for the sport of platform tennis, Gloria Evans Dillenbeck Dodd '47 was a star for the Garnet in tennis and badminton. Dodd was undefeated in both sports at the first singles position and was a three-time Middle States Intercollegiate Champion in tennis. After graduation from Swarthmore, she won three national doubles titles in platform tennis from 1971 to 1973 and became the American Platform Tennis Association's (APTA) first Executive Director, serving from 1975 to 1981. In this capacity, she organized teaching exhibitions in the United Kingdom and Netherlands while also promoting growth of the game within the U.S. In 2007, Dodd was inducted into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame for her extensive contributions to the sport.
Jackie Heineman Gidas '76 holds the distinction of being the first female student-athlete in Swarthmore history to earn All-America status after her 16th-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 1974-75 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national championship. In that era, women's sports did not make a distinction between small college or university championships, pitting Gidas against competitors from much larger institutions. In her freshman year, Gidas helped lead the Garnet to a 7-1 record in dual meets and a third-place finish at the AIAW Eastern Swimming Championships. The records and accolades continued for the Webster, N.Y. native and by the time of her graduation in 1976, she held program records in five individual events and factored into four top relay times.
A standout in cross country and track and field, Jokotade Agunloye Greenberg '01 is one of the most decorated distance runners in program history. In her senior year, she earned All-American honors in both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs at the NCAA outdoor championships, finishing third in the latter event. Greenberg also excelled in cross country with a pair of first-place finishes at the Centennial Conference Championships in 1999 and 2000. She was a member of the 1997-98 track and field team that took first at both the indoor and outdoor conference championship meets before winning the outdoor 5,000-meter run in 2000 and 2001. Currently, Greenberg holds the fastest 10,000-meter time in program history and owns the second-best marks in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter races.
A decorated athlete and accomplished statesman, Alan Valentine '21 is the only known Swarthmore alumnus to win an Olympic gold medal. At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, he was a player-coach for the U.S. rugby team that upset the heavily favored French hosts by a 17-3 final score. At the College, Valentine earned a varsity letter in lacrosse and three in football from 1918 to 1920 as the team compiled a 15-6-1 record. He was also the first student-athlete in Swarthmore's history to receive a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford, where he continued to play rugby and lacrosse. After teaching stints at Swarthmore and Yale, the 34-year-old Valentine became the youngest president in the University of Rochester's history in 1935. He served in this role for 15 years before leading the Marshall Plan, an economic recovery initiative for postwar Western Europe, in the Netherlands.
In a program that boasts 90 All-Americans and over a century of competition, men's lacrosse player Joe Valis '83 stands out as the most prolific goal-scorer Swarthmore has seen. His 132 career goals is matched only by Garnet Athletics Hall of Famer Avery Blake, Jr. and his 221 points rank second in program annals. Valis totaled 27 goals and 14 assists in his rookie campaign and was named to the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) First Team as Swarthmore had its first winning season since 1970. As a junior captain, Valis netted 35 goals in 13 games to help lead the Garnet to a 10-3 record and a MAC Championship. The Baltimore, Md. native earned United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-America Honorable Mention in 1983 after recording 55 points on 34 goals and 21 assists. He remained active in the lacrosse community after studying and playing at Oxford, coaching at Kelly Post and Maryland Lacrosse Club, where he served on the Board of Directors. Valis' lacrosse prowess certainly runs in the family; his daughter, Posey, plays attack at the University of Virginia and his son, Brinton, is a midfielder at Johns Hopkins University.
The 1996 field hockey team made the program's first and only appearance in the NCAA Tournament and finished the year with a 15-4 record. The Garnet went undefeated against Centennial Conference competition for the second consecutive season, outscoring league opponents 21-5 in 1996. Swarthmore boasted five All-Centennial Conference selections, including Conference Player of the Year and National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFCHA) Third Team All-American Danielle Duffy '98, who accumulated 30 points on 12 goals and six assists. Under the direction of first-year head coach Karen Borbee, the Garnet entered the tournament with a nine-game win streak and a No. 14 national ranking. Swarthmore also posted eight shutouts and allowed less than one goal per game.
If you would like to nominate a former student-athlete, coach, or administrator, please send your nominations to the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame.