Feb. 14, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern is inducting four former student-athletes and one honorary member into its Athletic Hall of Fame this Friday, Feb. 15. The Hall of Fame's 24th class also will be honored at halftime of Saturday's Northwestern-Purdue men's basketball game. The induction ceremony and dinner, which is sold out, takes place at 6 p.m. at the Allen Center on Northwestern's Evanston campus.
Northwestern also will recognize 2006-07 inductee Kim Paton Fromberg, a swimmer from 1992-95, who could not travel to last year's ceremonies due to pregnancy.
The Athletic Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1984 to honor former athletes, coaches and administrators who have helped establish a proud tradition in intercollegiate competition at Northwestern. Individuals are eligible for Hall of Fame recognition beginning five years after their final competition at NU.
This year's five inductees increase Northwestern's Hall of Fame membership to 131.
Following are brief summaries of the inductees' careers with their years of athletic participation (in parentheses):
Darnell Autry, Football (1994-96) -- One of the names synonymous with Northwestern's magical football run in the mid-1990s was running back Darnell Autry. A Heisman Trophy finalist in 1995 and a Doak Walker Award finalist in 1996, Autry ran for 3,000-plus yards in 1995 and '96, while leading the Wildcats to back-to-back Big Ten championships, the school's first titles since 1931.
Prior to beginning a professional career in 1997, Autry left Northwestern as the school's all-time leading rusher 3,793 yards and its all-time leading scorer (222 points). He rushed for a career-best 240 yards vs. Iowa in 1996. Autry is also one of several players in NU history to rush for four touchdowns in a game. His 1,785 rushing yards in 1995 (a Big Ten-best that year) and his 1,452 yards in 1996 are the second and third best rushing seasons in school history.
In 1996, Autry was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. He earned second-team All-American honors from Football News. Autry was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection in both 1995 and '96.
Autry was named the Wildcats' MVP in 1995 when Northwestern went 10-1 and won the outright Big Ten title with a perfect 8-0 record. He helped Northwestern make its first Rose Bowl appearance since the 1948 season.
Amy Kekeisen Fedorchak, Field Hockey (1982-85) -- The only four-time, first-team All-Big Ten honoree in Northwestern history, Amy Kekeisen Fedorchak remains the Wildcats' second-leading goal scorer and third-leading point-scorer in school history. During her time with the team, Northwestern won three Big Ten championships, qualified for two NCAA semifinals and finished third in the nation in 1985.
Most impressive about Kekeisen's career is that NU's second-leading goal scorer twice was named the Big Ten Conference's Defensive Player of the Year. In 1985, she also earned Big Ten Player of the Year and NCAA Championship All-Tournament team honors. Kekeisen was tabbed an honorable mention All-American as a junior in 1984 and a first-team All-America selection as a senior in 1985.
As a member of the Wildcats, Kekeisan helped the Wildcats compile a four-year record of 74-14-1, which included a Big Ten mark of 31-3-1. Her sophomore and senior seasons, Northwestern won 20 games, which still stands as NU's single-season record for most team victories.
Internationally, Kekeisen was a member of the United State Under-21 National Team in 1985.
Dave Pemberton, Swimming (1955-58) -- A two-time All-American, Pemberton was Northwestern's last NCAA swimming champion prior to All-American Matt Grevers, who won NCAA titles in 2005, '06 and '07. Pemberton won the national championship in the 200 backstroke in 1958. He also placed second at the NCAA Championships in the 100 backstroke.
He is one of just five Northwestern swimmers to earn multiple medals at the same NCAA Championships with a gold medal in the 200 back and a silver medal in the 100 back in 1958. Two years earlier in 1956, Pemberton placed fourth in the 100 backstroke.
Pemberton qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Detroit in 1956, making the championship heat in the 100 back (which was the only distance the backstroke was competed in during the Olympics at the time).
Pemberton also earned an individual Big Ten title, winning the 200 back in 1957.
Amy Prichard, Women's Basketball (1979-83) -- One of Northwestern's first great women's basketball players, Prichard was a two-time American Women's Sports Federation honorable mention All-American in 1982 and 1983. Playing guard/forward for the Wildcats, she still ranks in the top 10 for numerous career categories: eighth in scoring (1,533), eighth in rebounds (653), 10th in assists (353), second in steals (227) and sixth in games played (118).
At the end of her senior year, she ranked first in career field goals made, steals and assists. She is only one of two players in Northwestern history to appear in the top-10 of all four major career categories.
Prichard's name is also widespread throughout many of Northwestern's single-season top-10 lists. Her 562 points in 1980-81 still ranks as the sixth-most in a season. The following year (1981-82), she led the team in scoring average, pumping in 16.3 points per game.
As a four-year member of the Wildcats, she helped Northwestern compile a four-year record of 84-35. Northwestern won 20 or more games her first three seasons. In 1992, the Big Ten Conference named Prichard to the league's All-Decade (1980s) team as an honorable mention selection.
In 1984, Prichard was named the head women's basketball coach at Ohio University, a position she held for six seasons. In 1986, she was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Bobcats to the MAC title.
Dr. Howard Sweeney, Team Physician (1964-2002) -- Although his "official" tenure working with Wildcat athletics ran for 38 years, Sweeney has been affiliated with Northwestern for more than 60 years, beginning with his enrollment in the University's pre-medicine program in 1943. He officially retired from his post as head team physician, an appointment that began in 1984, on June 7, 2002.
When mentioning Sweeney and his contributions to Northwestern's athletics program, it is difficult to know where to begin. But there are some words that sum up Sweeney and his career at Northwestern: passionate, dedicated, full of integrity, caring, intelligent, wise and ethical.
"`Doc' has infinite wisdom," said Tory Aggeler, former Northwestern head athletic trainer, at the time of Sweeney's retirement. "The greatest effect he's had at Northwestern, in my opinion, has been mastering a
sound ethical base. He is a father figure and a confidant, and someone you could always look to for direction."
Besides helping thousands of Northwestern student-athletes return to the playing fields and courts following injury, Sweeney has spent his entire life helping others. One of his most significant contributions to the medical field and society was the starting of the Global Arthroscopy Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation which brings fellows from other countries to Chicago, where Sweeney and others have helped provide instruction on arthroscopic surgery.
In addition to the caring of student-athletes, the instruction and guidance that Sweeney has provided for members of Northwestern's sports medicine staff and its many interns and student athletic trainers has been tremendous. In 2004, Northwestern's sports medicine department began recognizing two undergraduate students with the Howard Sweeney Award of Excellence, which goes to two aides who demonstrate excellence in skill proficiency, professionalism and dedication during their undergraduate days.
Sweeney and his wife of 58 years, Kathleen, have 10 children.
Kim Paton Fromberg, Women's Swimming & Diving (1992-95) -- Paton enjoyed unparalleled success as a freestyle specialist before injuries forced her into early retirement. She held the Northwestern record in the 200 freestyle (1:47.60), her best event, for 10-plus years. (Andrea Hupman broke the mark in 2005.)
Paton also had success in the 100 free (49.96) and 500 free (4:46.63), still holding NU's second-best time in the 500 and third-best in the 100. She became the first Big Ten swimmer to break the 50-second barrier in the 100 free. It was versatility that made Paton a star in the relays. She holds four separate team records in relay events. In 1994, Paton surfaced as the most dominant swimmer in the Big Ten. At the Conference Championships, Paton won three individual events (100, 200, 500 freestyle) and two relay events (400, 800 free relays). She was named the 1994 Co-Big Ten Swimmer of the Year and was a finalist for Big Ten Athlete of the Year.
Hailing from the Toronto, Ontario area in Canada, Paton was a member of the Canadian National Swim Team, prior to her arrival at Northwestern in 1992. As a member of Canada's Pan American Games team in 1991, she won three bronze medals.
In just three years of collegiate swimming, Paton recorded three All-America cuts and nine Big Ten championships.
Following her graduation in 1996, Paton helped coach amateur swim teams in Toronto as well as New Jersey, her current residence.
For reservations to the 2007-08 Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, please contact Jean Yale at 847-491-3694 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 1.