PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Sixth Annual Brown Athletics Senior Celebration and Awards Luncheon was held at the Providence Biltmore on Monday, May 19, 2014. 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 2014.
The Marjorie Brown Smith Award is presented to the outstanding female varsity athlete of the year. It is named in honor of the former Director of Athletics at the Women's College of Brown University, Marjorie Brown Smith, in recognition of her generous support of athletics. The recipient of this year’s award is Louise Breen (North Hampton, N.H.).
A senior co-captain for the nation’s top-ranked women’s crew, Breen is the stroke seat of the varsity eight boat that has gone 10-1 overall and undefeated at 4-0 in the Ivy League. Breen has been the driving force behind the team’s climb to the top of the national rankings after a 14th-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Rowing Championships and seventh-place showing in 2013. No stranger to the national stage, Breen helped the Bears raise the National Championship trophy as a freshman in 2011. As a junior, Breen landed on the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Division I All-Region First Team for her distinguished performance on the water, consistently strong 2,000-meter erg scores and a cumulative grade point average exceeding 3.50.
The Fritz Pollard Trophy is presented to the outstanding male varsity athlete of the year. The trophy is named in honor of Frederick "Fritz" Pollard, Brown Class of 1919, 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 become a head coach in the NFL. There are two recipients of this year’s award, Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) and John Spooney (Northfield, Ohio).
Bernstein, a junior on the wrestling team, assembled one of the finest seasons in Brown wrestling history when he became the program’s fourth All-American and its first in 16 years. As the 12th seed, he placed eighth in the 184-pound weight class at the NCAA Championships to earn a spot on the podium and complete the 2014 season with a 36-11 record, just one win shy of tying Brown’s single-season record for wins.
After taking a year off to concentrate on track, Spooney returned to the football field in stellar fashion as a senior. A unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection, he was named one of two finalists for the Asa S. Bushnell Cup, the Ivy League Football Offensive Player of the Year award. Spooney led the Ivy League in rushing with 130.0 yards per game, fifth best in the nation, and became the seventh player in Brown history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a single season.
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. The recipient of this year’s award is Dayna Lord (Bloomfield, Conn.).
Lord, a rookie on the women’s tennis team, has proven to be one of Brown’s top athletes, posting an impressive 29-7 record at No. 1 singles and a 25-9 mark at No. 1 doubles. Lord was selected as the 2014 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, earned First Team All-Ivy singles and Second Team All-Ivy doubles, and was named ITA Northeast Rookie of the Year.
Brown's award for the most outstanding First-Year Male Varsity Athlete of the Year was presented to Dylan Molloy (Setauket, N.Y.). Molloy, a freshman on the men’s lacrosse team, was a four-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week selection. Molloy recorded 29 goals to rank third all-time for a Brown freshman, as he earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy honors. Opposing teams were keen on Molloy’s talent after only three games, as the freshman drew the opponent’s best defenseman and often required a double team to limit his output. Despite the opposition, he led the Bears in scoring with 39 points.
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 Alison Mullin (Boulder, Colo.).
Mullin, a senior on the women’s soccer team, proved to be a mainstay in the Bears’ backfield, while showing a willingness to play multiple positions for the good of the team in over 67 career games. Mullin’s tenacious defense during her tenure paid dividends for the Bears, as the team recorded 26 shutouts during that four-year span. A two-time Academic All-Ivy selection and a two-time CoSIDA/Capital One First Team Academic All-District honoree, Mullin became only the third member of the women’s soccer program to earn that distinction multiple times.
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 Sean McGonagill (Brookfield, Ill.).
McGonagill, a senior on the men’s basketball team, will go down as one of the top basketball players to wear the Brown uniform, playing a significant role both on and off the court throughout his four-year tenure. He is a two-time First Team All-Ivy selection, a former Ivy League Rookie of the Year and Brown’s third all-time scorer with 1,618 career points. McGonagill’s 257 career treys are a Brown record and rank sixth in the Ivy League record book, and he started more games (114) than any player in Brown basketball history.
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 Carly Wellington (Lake Oswego, Ore.).
Wellington, a senior on the women’s basketball team, started 22 games this past season. Wellington’s charismatic personality, intelligence, and poise make her a strong role model for children and adults alike. Most notably, she has been heavily involved with three Providence elementary schools, serving as the team’s coordinator and teacher liaison for the Vartan Gregorian, Paul Cuffee, and Martin Luther King schools. Wellington also serves as Co-Chair of Athletic and Community Services Committee of Brown’s SAAC, a position she uses to build unity amongst her peers.
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 Corbin Booker (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Booker, a junior on the men’s lacrosse team, has been a model ambassador for the men’s lacrosse program and the Brown community over the past three years, demonstrating an enthusiastic approach to improve the quality of life among those around him, both on and off the field. A versatile player, Booker has the rare combination of experience at a pair of positions, spending time at goalie and at midfield during his career. An active member of the surrounding community, Booker is the Co-President of Brown University’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), where he relishes several leadership roles and responsibilities within the student body.
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 Michelle Shnayder (Lincolnshire, Ill.) and Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, British Columbia).
A highly-decorated all-around gymnast, Shnayder led the Bears to the most successful season in Brown gymnastics history, highlighted by a second-straight Ivy Classic title and the team’s first-ever ECAC Championship. Shnayder earned USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals First Team All-American status, placing third in the all-around standings while representing the Bears in event finals, as the squad hosted the national event as a team qualifier. She represented Brown at the NCAA University Park Regional Championships and placed 12th in the all-around. Outside the gym, Shnayder serves on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), is a peer advisor and an EMT volunteer.
Robertson, a senior on the men’s hockey team, put together another standout campaign this past winter. He started 29 games and logged substantial minutes as one-half of the team’s top defensive pairing, finishing with 17 points on six goals and 11 assists. After the season, he was named the ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman, as he was just the fifth Brown player to take home the award. Robertson was tabbed First Team All-Ivy for the second straight year and was also named to the All-ECAC Third Team. Robertson was selected as a Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-American and was named to the Academic All-Ivy team for the second time in as many years.
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’s senior speakers are Bre Hudgins (Syracuse, New York) and Adewole Oyalowo (Bowie, Maryland).
Bre Hudgins, a senior co-captain on the women’s lacrosse team, has proven to be one of Brown’s most prolific scorers of all-time, ranking second with 136 goals and third overall with 167 points. A four-year starter, Hudgins helped pace the team to its most productive scoring season in program history, as the Bears netted 179 goals in 2014. Her 40 goals were the highest single-season output for Brown since Suzanne Bailey ‘90 scored 41 goals in 1990.
Oyalowo, a senior on the football team, ranked second on the squad in tackles with 63 total hits, including 45 solo tackles. His 12 tackles for a loss ranked third in the Ivy League. A First Team All-Ivy selection this year, Oyalowo had a season-high 12 tackles and three tackles for a loss against Columbia and 10 tackles in Brown’s shutout win over Penn. He also landed on the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District and Academic All-Ivy teams for his excellence in the classroom and on the field.
Brown Athletics Appreciation Awards were also presented to Toni Tinberg, the Director of Human Resources Services at Brown University, and Thomas Mezzanotte, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.