by Robert D. Cornell
Colgate enshrined four former athletes and one former coach in its Athletic Hall of Honor on September 20, the eve of the Holy Cross football game: Sue Aery '81, tennis and softball; George Akerstrom '35, football and ice hockey; Kenny Gamble '88, football; Tom Rogers '82, football; and Terry Slater, ice hockey coach.
Aery posted one of the best individual records in women's tennis. She finished her outstanding collegiate career with a singles record of 29-1. Aery was also a strong doubles player, placing second at the 1979 New York State Tennis Championship and reaching the quarterfinals at the Easterns. In her senior year she placed third in the 1980 New York State Tournament at doubles and sixth in the Easterns. Her junior- and senior-year performances made her a two-time winner of Colgate's Amy Lockwood Award. During her four-year career Colgate was 39-4, with state titles in 1977, 1978 and 1979. Aery was also captain of Colgate's softball team, which won the 1981 New York State AIAW championship, and was named to the all-tournament team after batting .636.
Akerstrom was a center on the Colgate football team, where he earned a varsity letter in 1934. His outstanding play in his senior year earned him a trip to the 1935 East-West Shrine Game. He also was a member of the Colgate hockey team and lettered for the Red Raiders in 1933-34. Later, Akerstrom became a longtime and respected hockey coach at Kimball Union Academy. It was there that he received the John Mariucci Award -- given to the secondary school hockey coach who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and enthusiasm of the `Godfather of U.S. Hockey' -- from the American Hockey Coaches Association.
Gamble not only made a mark on the Colgate record books, but on the national record books as well. The Holyoke, Massachusetts native was one of the most talented football players to ever step onto the field for the Red Raiders. He was a three time All-America selection -- as a member of the second team in his sophomore year and the first team in his junior and senior years. In his senior year, he was recognized as the best player in Division I-AA when he won the Walter Payton Trophy. Gamble shared or held 13 records in Division I-AA upon graduation. He was seventh on the NCAA all-time rushing list and his 7,623 all-purpose yards was an NCAA all-Division record. He was a two-time winner of the Andy Kerr Trophy, presented annually to Colgate's offensive MVP. Gamble finished his career as Colgate's all-time leading rusher, with 5,220 yards, and was the first Colgate running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in more than one season. After graduation, he went on to play professional football with the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League.
Rogers was a Colgate wide receiver out of Palmer, Massachusetts. He used his size and soft hands to become one of the most successful receivers in the school's history. In his senior year, the three-year letter winner was named to the Associated Press third team All-America squad and first team All-East. He was the first Colgate player to earn Division I All-America honors since the 1936 season. He also was given the Andy Kerr Trophy, presented annually to the offensive MVP on the Colgate squad. The leading receiver in 1980 and 1981, Rogers finished his collegiate career with a then-school record 120 receptions for 1,921 yards and eight touchdowns. He also set school records for most receptions in a game (11), season (52), and yards gained receiving in a game (187).
Slater was the head hockey coach at Colgate for 15 seasons. He was the architect of a highly competitive Division I program that achieved remarkable growth and widespead esteem while preserving the university's high academic standards. When Slater, the 1990 National Collegiate Athletic Association and Eastern College Athletic Conference Coach-of-the-Year, took over the Colgate program in the fall of 1977, he launched an energetic recruiting program that quickly established a winning tradition. In his second season with the Red Raiders, based on the strength of his first recruiting class, Slater guided Colgate to its first winning season in nine years. It was just a sampling of things to come. In 15 seasons under Slater, the Red Raiders qualified for the ECAC playoffs in 11 of his last 12 seasons, which included eight straight appearances. In 1990 the Red Raiders captured the ECAC regular season title and playoff championship, advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament and posted a school-record 31 wins. Slater, who produced 251 victories, established himself as the winning-est coach in Colgate history. Twice he received Colgate's Howard Hartman Coach-of-the-Year Award. During his tenure, six players were named to the American Hockey Coaches Association All-America squad.
The Colgate athletic department continues its facelift with the appointment of three new members. Joining the Red Raiders is former football standout Kenny Gamble as assistant athletic director, who replaces Marty Scarano. Scarano was named the athletic director at Colorado College last spring after 13 years at Colgate.
In other appointments, Steve Chouinard was named assistant athletic trainer, coming to Colgate from Lehigh University, where he worked with the football and men's basketball teams. Former Colgate hockey player Ron Fogarty was named an assistant coach on the Red Raider staff, filling the position vacated by Chris Wells, who was promoted to first assistant under head coach Don Vaughan. David Lang was named Wm. Brian Little Fitness Center supervisor and athletic department strength coach, coming to Colgate from the University of Illinois. Kerrin Perniciaro was promoted to assistant sports information director after serving the past year as an intern in the Red Raider office, replacing Jeff Fanter, who departed for Indiana University.
The 1996 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates report was recently released, and the Patriot League led all Division I conferences in the reporting of graduation rates for the fourth straight year. Colgate was ranked fifth in the report, graduating 89 percent of its student-athletes. Overall, the Patriot League had four schools in the top five. The rates reflect a four-year average of students entering institutions in 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90 and graduating within the NCAA-allow- able period of six years.
The NCAA also released admissions data as part of its annual report, and league institutions fared extremely well in these comparisons as well. Patriot League institutions claimed the highest average Standard Aptitude Tests (SAT) scores in the nation
in the sports of men's (1020) and women's basketball (1066) and football (1034). No other NCAA Division I league averaged better than 1,000 points in these three sports.