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1998 Inductees

Individuals

James H. Dow, '67

A two-time MIAA cross country MVP in 1964 and 1965, Jim was one of the best distance runners of his era. He helped lead the Britons to three consecutive MIAA championships from 1964 to 1966 and was named to the All-MIAA team all three of those years. Jim was also an instrumental member of the 1964 and 1965 MIAA champion track and field teams, winning the 2-mile event in both of those years. He passed away Oct. 1, 1992.

Diane E. Dunn, '68

A great athlete for Albion College, Diane was a standout in field hockey, basketball and volleyball. She was three times a member of the All-Star basketball and volleyball teams in 1966, 1967 and 1968 and was also a four-year member of both the field hockey and tennis teams. Her exceptional play in field hockey earned her a spot on both the Michigan College Field Hockey Association team and the Great Lakes Sectional field hockey team in 1965, 1966 and 1967. Off the field, Diane served as Women's Athletic Association vice president in 1967 and then president in 1968.

Upon leaving Albion, Diane began teaching physical education and science in the Livonia Public Schools, where she stayed from 1969 until 1982. After moving to California, where she received a master's degree from the National University in San Diego, Diane worked as a lecturer/consultant and as the director of marketing for Data Trek, Inc. While in California, Diane was active in the California Women's Commission on Alcoholism. In 1987 she moved back into teaching, and in 1989, Diane received the District Teacher of the Year Award in the Palm Springs Unified School District.

Today, Diane lives in Livonia, where she enjoys golf, gardening, dog training and computers.

Judith E. Gass, '63

One of the best female athletes of the 1960s, Judy was an outstanding member of the field hockey, volleyball and archery teams while at Albion. She was a member of the All-Star volleyball team in 1960 and named both Outstanding and Most Improved Player of the Year in field hockey for 1959. She also captured the coveted Jo Dunn Archery Award in 1963. Judy was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award in 1963 by the Women's Athletic Association.

Upon leaving Albion, Judy worked as a high school teacher, first in Ferndale and then in Traverse City. In 1968, she left high school teaching to assume her current post as professor in the Science Division at Lewis and Clark Community College. Judy is active in the YMCA as a member of the Board of Directors in Alton, Ill., as well as the American Red Cross. She has received the National Honor Award Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service.

Judy lives in Alton, Ill., and enjoys fitness walking, cycling, swimming, golf and bird watching.

Marvin F. Grostic, '50

A team leader both on and off the field, Marvin was co-captain and MVP of the 1950 baseball team which won the MIAA championship. He was a member of the “A” Club in 1948, 1949 and 1950, and a member of the indoor track team in 1948.

Marvin is now the vice president of quality assurance at AvTech Laboratories, a position he has held since 1990. Before that, he served as a pharmaceutical consultant for four years and a research scientist and associate director at The Upjohn Company from 1952 until 1986. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho.

Marvin served as a member of the Albion College Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1980 through 1984 and as the president of that organization in 1983 and 1984.

Marvin lives with his wife Catherine in Kalamazoo. They have three children, John, '74, Janyce, '77, and Pamela, '81.

Karen L. Hale, '83

One of the all-time best Albion College softball players, Karen set six MIAA records in softball, including most pitching wins and best batting average. She was named to the All-State softball team in 1981, 1982 and 1983, and to the Academic All-American softball team in 1983. Additionally, she was a standout basketball player for the Britons, twice named to the All-State team. A four-year veteran of the basketball and softball teams, Karen was captain of both teams in 1982 and 1983. She was also a two-year varsity member of the volleyball team.

Karen has worked for General Motors since 1983, and currently serves as a quality engineer in Ypsilanti. She has remained active in sports since her graduation from Albion, playing on many basketball and softball teams. Along with basketball and softball, she enjoys playing golf. She also coaches high school girls' basketball at Belleville High School. Karen currently lives in Ann Arbor.

Ruth E. Hamilton

During her 30 years as Athletic Department secretary Ruth made tremendous contributions to Albion College athletics. She was never too busy to remember a birthday with a big plate of cookies and always had the patience to put up with the coaches and professors in the department. As many of the members of the Athletic Department can attest, Ruth always had a sympathetic ear and gave motherly advice to many.

Ruth served as the secretary to the Athletic Department from 1960 until her retirement in 1991. She lives in Litchfield with her husband Wayne. They have two children, Kenneth and Sharon. Ruth enjoys square dancing, walking, biking and crafts. She is a member of the Litchfield Historical Society.

James M. Horner, '69

As Albion's first NCAA Postgraduate Scholar, Jim was not only a great athlete but also an outstanding student. He earned a spot on the All-MIAA team in baseball in 1968 and 1969, and was named an Outstanding College Athlete of America in 1968. Jim served as the captain of the baseball team in 1969 and was a four-year letter winner in basketball, named Most Improved Player in 1967. Jim did not end his athletic career with Albion; after graduation he played for the San Francisco Giants in 1969.

Jim earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan, and turned his talents to pediatrics. Since 1979 he has been professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. Jim is a member of numerous professional organizations.

Jim and his wife Deborah live in Sylvania, Ohio, with their five children, Elizabeth, David, Jennifer, Stephen and Joel. He enjoys golf, tennis and baseball.

Ronald B. Lessard, '82

One of the most outstanding distance runners in recent Albion history, Ron was a two-time qualifier for the national championship meet in both cross country and track. He was a three-time All-MIAA cross country athlete and two-time All-MIAA track athlete. Albion College's cross country MVP in 1979, 1980 and 1981, he twice served as that team's captain. Ron was equally impressive in track and field, setting five Albion records and the MIAA record for the 10K run in 1982.

After leaving Albion, Ron earned a doctoral degree in inorganic chemistry from Wayne State University and did postdoctoral work at Michigan State University. He then joined Nalco Chemical Company, where he worked until 1995. Now a group leader of refinery new product development at Nalco/Exxon Energy Chemicals, L.P., Ron holds four U.S. patents and has 16 scientific publications. Outside of his professional pursuits Ron has remained active in running, and has improved on his record-setting 10K time since graduation.

Ron currently lives with his wife Ruth in Sugar Land, Texas, where they enjoy golf, gardening, hiking, scuba diving, camping, and other outdoor activities.

J. Fred “Pop” McKale, '10

“Pop” McKale had a lifetime commitment to athletics which started at Albion College in 1906. Pop was named a two-time All-State athlete in both football and baseball at Albion. He helped the football team win an MIAA championship in 1908 and served as the team's captain in 1908 and 1909. A four-year varsity letter winner in both baseball and football, Pop served as the student president of the MIAA in 1909-10.

After Pop left Albion College he moved on to the University of Arizona, where he distinguished himself as a coach and athletic director. He served as director of athletics at the University of Arizona from 1914 until 1957. During that time he served as a baseball, football, basketball and track coach. Pop was inducted into the Arizona Sportsmen Hall of Fame in 1959 and was a charter member of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 1976. He passed away June 1, 1967. His legacy at the University of Arizona will live on forever in the baseball stadium that bears his name.

Stephen L. Robb, '78

A member of the MIAA championship football team in 1976, Steve was named as both the Albion College and MIAA football MVP that year, along with being named to the All-MIAA team. He was a member of the MIAA championship baseball team in 1977 and a four-year letter winner in both football and baseball. Steve has continued in athletics since he left Albion and now is high school football coach for the Milan Area Schools. In 1997, Steve was named State High School Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.

Steve began his teaching and coaching career with South Redford Schools. He went on to teach and coach at Divine Child High School in Dearborn where he stayed for six years before moving to Milan. As football and baseball coach, Steve has been named coach of the year by several sources including The Monroe Evening News, The Ann Arbor News and the Michigan High School Coaches Association.

Steve lives in New Boston with his wife Ann and their daughter Kylie.

George A. Vivlamore, '57

One of the top basketball players of the 1950s, George was named MIAA MVP in 1957. In that same year George was also co-captain of the Albion team which won the MIAA championship. He was named to the All-MIAA squad and earned Honorable Mention Associated Press Small College All-American. George was a three-year starter at Albion, in 1955 setting the sophomore scoring record and the Albion free throw record against Tri-State.

After graduation George continued with basketball, playing industrial basketball for 20 years. In fact, his teams were regular Orange County champions, and he was a perennial scoring leader.

George is going strong after 41 years with State Farm Insurance, currently working as a divisional claim superintendent. He lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with his wife Linda. They have two children, Jody and Susan, and two grandchildren, Bobby and Savannah. George is anticipating retirement soon and enjoys tennis, gardening and travel.

Teams

1952 Football Team

The 1952 Britons were the first football team to win an MIAA championship for Albion College in 12 years. Led by the likes of Robert Wikstrom, MIAA MVP; Ray Loeschner, Little All-American; and captain William Armstrong, the Brits racked up an impressive 7-1 overall record with a perfect 6-0 record in the MIAA. One of the MIAA victories came against Kalamazoo, in which the Britons set a new scoring record with a 59-7 win. Six members of the football team were selected to the All-MIAA team. The coach of the 1952 football team was Del Anderson.

Other team members included: Ralph Boe, Roy Braginton, Larry Byle, Peter Christ, Floyd Conklin, Jon Dean, Cedric Dempsey, Richard Fabian, Robert Friberg, James Grant, Jack Hanford, Walter Hierholzer, Jr., John Hummon, Allen Jackson, James Kareck, Richard Kelly, Robert Kouts, Melvin Larimer, Robert MacDonald, Lynn Marvin, Donald McIntyre, Robert Meeth, James Murray, Robert Mutch, John Nash, Lee Parkison, James Reutter, Elvin Ritt, Edward Schied, Fritz Shurmur, Doug Steward, Alan Swan, John Taylor and Jack Thompson.

1965 Golf Team

The 1965 golf team, coached by Tom Taylor, was one of the best in the history of Albion College. The first golf team in a decade to win an MIAA championship, they did it with a perfect 5-0 record in the MIAA and a spotless 9-0 overall record. The Briton linksters had one golfer selected to the All-MIAA team.

Team members included: Frederick Adams, Jr., Cash Beechler, Mark Lindsay, Bruce Miller, William Rivers, Terry Shade and Barry Siler.

The Albion Chain Gang

The Albion Chain Gang has amassed 91 years of combined service within this eclectic group of five which includes: a Circuit Court judge, a retired produce manager, a purchasing supervisor, a petroleum salesman and the owner of a print shop. Just like mailmen, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will keep these five from doing their job. They have been seen on the sidelines of every home football game that the Britons have played for almost as long as anyone can remember. In fact, the elder statesman of the group, Harry D. Worden has been working the chain for 33 years!

Other Chain Gang members include: Jon O. Sprandel, 21 years on the Chain; John E. Rumler, 16 years on the Chain; James C. Kingsley, '63, 14 years on the Chain; Richard J. Rutkoskie, 7 years on the Chain.

 

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