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Hall of Fame Weekend Celebrates Standout Eagles

By Dan Beardslee, '07

For AU’s Stafford H. “Pop” Cassell Hall of Fame, alumni and students need not schedule a separate trip to relive the glory years. Just a brief glance up from their stroll into Bender Arena can bring back memories of the days when Kermit Washington, CAS/BA ’73, patrolled the AU court, Mike Brady, SOC/BA ’92, passed, shot, and scored his way to National Player of the Year honors, or Vendula Kurcova, KSB/BSBA ’99, was still racking up kills on Cassell Court.

This February, AU will memorialize two more careers on the hall, women’s soccer player Elizabeth Pike, SOC/BA ’94, and diver Ray “West” Crowe, CAS/BA ’66. Pike will be inducted on the strength of her school records for career points (149) and goals (66). Pike could have been elected on the strength of her freshman campaign alone, a season in which she found the back of the net 21 times and totaled 49 points. Both remain as single-season bests.

For Pike, the decision to come to AU was an easy one. A native of the D.C. area AU’s first women’s soccer Hall of Famer, remembers her experience warmly. “Best decision I ever made,” said Pike of her college choice, surprised that her records still stand.

While Crowe joins fellow swimming and diving All-Americans Sergio Lopez, CAS/BS ’92, and Gabriella Csepe, KSB/BSBA ’96, in the Cassell Hall of Fame, he stands alone as AU’s first national champion, an honor he earned with his victory in the 1966 one meter diving NCAA College Division National Championship.

For Crowe, a national championship was special, but not something entirely unique to AU during his years. Classmate Peter Chen twice won the national title in the pole vault, taking the honors in 1966 and 1968, while Andrew “Butch” Bell ran away with the 400-meter hurdle title at the 1967 championships.

These experiences touched Crowe throughout his life, from his days as an English teacher and coach to his position as project leader for Apple Computer’s first educational software. “I almost feel at home when I’m on a team,” said Crowe. “It’s how I learned how much hard work it takes to be the best.”

Join with the AU community to celebrate Crowe, Pike, and all Eagle victories with an induction brunch in the School of International Service building on Saturday, February 12 at 11 a.m. Make it an all-Eagle afternoon with the annual auction at 1:30 p.m. on the mezzanine of Bender Arena, followed by men’s basketball vs. Colgate at 3 p.m.