Jan. 9, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern University will induct four former student-athletes and one honorary member into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, Feb. 1. The Hall of Fame's 29th class also will be honored during halftime of the Northwestern-Purdue men's basketball game at 11 a.m. the following day, Saturday, Feb. 2.
Earning induction in NU's prestigious Hall this year: Garland Cooper (softball, 2004-07), Matt Grevers (men's swimming, 2003-07), Eric Hutchinson (football, 1968-71) and Kristen Kjellman (women's lacrosse, 2004-07). In addition, NU also is inducting former chairman of the Northwestern Board of Trustees, Patrick G. Ryan, in an honorary capacity.
The induction ceremony and dinner will take place at 6 p.m. at the Hotel Orrington in Evanston. The induction is open to the public. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by contacting Jean Yale in Northwestern's Athletic Development office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-491-3694.
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. As 2007 graduates, Cooper, Grevers and Kjellman all are first-ballot Hall of Famers.
This year's five inductees increase Northwestern's Hall of Fame membership to 155. Following are brief summaries of the inductees' careers and credentials:
Garland Cooper, Softball (2004-07) -- A four-time All-Big Ten first-team choice and three-time All-American (two-time first team), Garland Cooper became the Big Ten Conference's home run queen while leading the Wildcats to two-straight Women's College World Series semifinal appearances and a Big Ten championship.
As a senior, Cooper broke the Big Ten's single-season home run record with 23, giving her the conference's all-time record with 55 career homers. That season she won Big Ten Player of the Year honors for the third time, becoming the first person in conference history to win it in three consecutive seasons. Cooper also was a 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist, a USA Softball Player of the Year finalist, a USA National Team selection camp invitee and an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America first-team award winner. NU finished the season in the national semifinals at the Women's College World Series.
In 2006, Cooper led NU to its first Big Ten Championship since 1987 and its first World Series berth since 1986. In Oklahoma City, Cooper earned All-Tournament team honors by launching a pair of home runs and helping the Wildcats reach the final series, eventually finishing as national runners-up.
Cooper graduated with NU's all-time records for batting (.387), home runs (55), games played (244), runs scored (146), hits (265), RBIs (207), doubles (59), walks (158), on-base percentage (.513), total bases (499) and slugging percentage (.728). She ranked in the top-10 all-time in NCAA history in intentional walks.
Academically, Cooper was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District V and Academic All-Big Ten honoree and the second two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in program history. She went on to play professionally in National Professional Fastpitch and overseas in the Japan Softball League. She now provides commentary during ESPN broadcasts of the NCAA softball postseason.
Matt Grevers, Men's Swimming (2004-07) -- A four-time NCAA champion, 19-time Big Ten champion and 27-time All-American, Matt Grevers is the most decorated swimmer in the storied history of Northwestern men's swimming. His career in Evanston helped launch him to his current status as the world's best backstroke swimmer.
In 2005, Grevers became the first Wildcat since 1958 to win a national championship when he beat Ryan Lochte of Florida in the 100 backstroke at the NCAA meet. Grevers went on to win three individual NCAA titles during his career (becoming the first NU men's swimmer to do so since Al Schwartz in 1930) and a fourth national championship with Northwestern's NCAA-record-breaking 400 medley relay in 2007.
Grevers successfully defended his 100 backstroke NCAA title in 2006, then won the 200 backstroke in 2007 by becoming just the third swimmer in NCAA history to swim a sub-1:40 time in the event. His backstroke leg on the 400 medley relay that same year gave NU its first NCAA relay championship since 1932 and helped NU to a sixth-place national finish, the program's best in the modern era.
Winner of the 2006 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year award, Grevers graduated with three Big Ten Conference records, 11 Northwestern school records and 10 Norris Aquatics Center pool records.
Following graduation, Grevers went on to become the most decorated Olympian in school history. He won an individual silver medal in the 100 backstroke and two relay golds with Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Games. In preparation for the 2012 London Olympics, Grevers swam the second-fastest 100 backstroke time in history to win the U.S. Olympic Trials, then won gold in the event in London. He added relay gold and silver in 2012 to bring his career medal haul to four gold and two silver. In December of 2012, Grevers added an individual World Short Course Championships gold medal to his collection with a win in the 100 backstroke.
Eric Hutchinson, Football (1968-71) -- Widely recognized as one of the top defensive backs in school history, Eric Hutchinson earned first team All-America honors at free safety in 1971. He is the only safety in NU history to garner first-team All-America kudos. In addition, Hutchinson was tabbed a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection in 1970 and 1971, when the Wildcats recorded back-to-back six-win seasons in conference play.
Hutchinson was the leader of a defensive backfield that was often referred to as the nation's "best secondary." He helped Northwestern lead the Big Ten in total defense in 1970 by recording a then-school-record six interceptions. Hutchinson closed his three-year career with 10 interceptions, which still ranks as the fifth highest figure in Wildcat history.
A crafty pass defender, Hutchinson was equally adept at stopping the run, which put him in the elite category for safeties. As a junior in 1970, Hutchinson and his defensive teammates forced a group of opposing quarterbacks (that included Notre Dame's Joe Theismann, Ohio State's Rex Kern, Purdue's Gary Danielson, UCLA's Dennis Dummit and SMU's Chuck Hixon) into a combined pass completion percentage of .324.
One of two team captains his senior season, Hutchinson's teams went a combined 15-8 in Big Ten play from 1969 through 1971. Hutchinson and the Wildcats closed his final year in Evanston with back-to-back wins over No. 16 Ohio State and No. 19 Michigan State in 1971.
Hutchinson, an Academic All-Big Ten selection, was a seventh-round draft pick of the Houston Oilers. He is one of four defensive backs name to NU's all-century team (1882-1981) by the Chicago Tribune.
Kristen Kjellman, Women's Lacrosse (2004-07) -- Kristen Kjellman was the first four-time All-American in Northwestern women's lacrosse history (including three first-team selections) while also winning the Tewaaraton Trophy -- the Heisman Trophy of Lacrosse - in back-to-back years from 2006-07. Kjellman was the first player in college lacrosse, male or female, to win the Tewaaraton in consecutive seasons.
Kjellman earned three Honda Sports Awards for lacrosse, three American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) Player of the Year awards and three Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) National Midfielder of the Year awards.
Most importantly, Kjellman led NU to three-straight national titles from 2005-07, kick-starting a dynasty that saw the Wildcats win seven-of-eight NCAA crowns as of the 2012 season.
At the time of her graduation, Kjellman owned the NU all-time records for goals (250) and points (349), and was second in school history in assists (99). She established an NCAA record for career goals in NCAA Championship play with 39 and graduated with the NCAA all-time marks for career draw controls (268) and draw controls per game (3.29).
Patrick G. Ryan (Honorary) -- Patrick G. Ryan is a 1959 Northwestern graduate. He received his undergraduate degree from what was then called the School of Business and now is named the Kellogg School of Management.
Along with his wife, Shirley Welsh Ryan, who is a 1961 Northwestern graduate, Pat Ryan has been an extraordinary donor to Northwestern for many years, providing leadership and support for academic programs, scholarships, the construction of Northwestern's Nanotechnology Center, support for Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine and renovation of Northwestern's football and basketball stadiums. They recently made the lead gift for a new multi-use athletics and recreational facility that will be located next to the shore of Lake Michigan at the north end of Northwestern's Evanston campus. In honor of their gift, the facility will be named the Ryan Fieldhouse.
An earlier major gift from the Ryans created scholarships for low-income students to attend Northwestern without taking out any student loans, which has enabled Northwestern to attract high-achieving low-income students with exceptional leadership potential. That gift also supported graduate fellowships and facilities on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses, as well as providing athletic scholarships for undergraduate students.
Pat Ryan is distinguished as one of Chicago's most successful entrepreneurs and prominent civic leaders. He founded and served for 41 years as CEO of Aon Corporation, the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage. At the time of his retirement, Aon had $8 billion in annual revenue with more than 500 offices in 120 countries. He also founded Ryan Specialty Group where he currently serves as CEO.
A member and immediate past chairman of Northwestern University's Board of Trustees, Pat Ryan is a member of the International Insurance Hall of Fame. In 2008, Mr. Ryan was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society, reflecting his many contributions to higher education. Mr. Ryan led Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics.
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