WESTON, Mass. – In front of over 100 family members, co-workers, and friends, as well as members of the University administration and athletics staff, Regis College welcomed six new inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame Friday evening, Sept. 27, during a ceremony held in the Upper Student Center on campus.
Kelley Tuthill, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, served as the MC for the evening. Dinner was preceded by remarks from Dr. Kara Kolomitz, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, as well as an invocation from Hall of Famer Joanne Crowley '74, a current member of the Regis Board of Trustees.
After dinner, the new members were inducted, starting with the posthumous induction of Sr. Thérèse M. Higgins '47, President of Regis College from 1974 to 1992. Associate Athletic Director Mark Clemente presented Sr. Thérèse for induction by introducing her nephews and niece to accept the award.
"The day the building (Regis Athletics Center) was dedicated (April 20, 1982) was among her proudest moments, and she was quoted as saying 'Thousands of people will have a piece of this rock, and a beautiful rock it is," Clemente said during his speech honoring Sr. Thérèse.
Jan Rutkowski '77 played basketball and softball at Regis before moving into the sport of rugby and enjoying a successful playing career locally, nationally, and internationally. She returned to Regis in May 2008 as a staff member, currently working as a CRM Application Administrator, and was supported by numerous family members, friends, and fellow staff members at the ceremony.
"I loved my time at Regis; I had a great experience academically, socially, and athletically," said Rutkowski. "We were frequently up against teams that were starting to reap the benefits of Title IX, and it was a challenge, but we fought as best we could."
Now a Commander in the United States Navy, Samantha Dutily '97 was a three-sport captain at Regis, but she was originally recruited to play just basketball and softball. When the newly-formed field hockey team needed players, Dutily's friends convinced her to join the program, and eventually she helped her squad to its first winning season in program history.
"What pushed me and motivated me to give 110 percent every practice and game was I wanted Regis to be 'that school', that school that teams dreaded to play because we were that good. That loud field and or gym that they hated to visit because it was packed with our fans," Dutily said.
Caitlin Connolly '05 was an intense competitor both in field hockey and basketball, always working to be available and at her best even through injuries, such as an "exploded pinky" resulting from the finger getting caught between a batted ball and her field hockey stick on a cold night. That competitive nature resulted in Connolly receiving All-CCC honors four times in field hockey.
"Field hockey changed my life, and I believe field hockey also saved my life. It gave me something to hold onto, a purpose, and it was the driving force for me to attend college," said Connolly. "I learned here at Regis that I am a whole person. An athlete yes, but also more than that. A student, a friend, a sister, and a person who can choose their own path and overcome obstacles."
One of the first two male student-athletes to be inducted into the Regis Athletics Hall of Fame, Stephen McGovern '13 played a major role in the improvement of the Regis men's swimming and diving program during the early 2010s. A four-time GNAC champion, McGovern still holds a top-seven time in program history in five different events.
"I took a sabbatical from swimming for about a month at the start of my sophomore year, and the entire community at Regis was so supportive, as it fostered some new skills for me. It is so amazing to be at a place where, by taking that hiatus, I was able to gain a bunch of skills, and it helped me grow as an individual," McGovern said.
Ryan Chambers '14 excelled both athletically and academically for the men's basketball program, still holding the school record for most points in a career with 1,311 career points. Chambers was also a two-time NABC Honors Court honoree for his work in the classroom as he, according to head coach Nate Hager, helped put Regis on the men's basketball map.
"This is a tremendous honor. Coach Hager gave me confidence from day one. There were times when he would play me so much that I would have to beg for a sub, but it was an opportunity that not many people had, and I am always grateful for that," Chambers said.
The Regis athletics department plans to host an induction ceremony every other year, with the next one tentatively scheduled to take around the same time in 2021.