WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia Department of Athletics honored the Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Class on Friday, February 17th at Maggiano's Little Italy.
The event included a reception, dinner, and induction ceremony. Close to 200 people filled the room and enjoyed the inaugural event. The Master of Ceremony was James "Butch" McAdams, University of the District of Columbia, Class of 1981. The evening featured speeches from several members of the senior staff of the Athletic Department as well as the President of the University, Allen L. Sessoms. Each inductee, or a representative of the inductee for those who were inducted posthumously, were given an opportunity to speak, and each inductee was represented in a slide show.
University of the District of Columbia Director of Athletics Patricia Thomas had this to say about the inaugural class of inductees: "The inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame class reflects the rich history of excellence in athletics at the University of the District of Columbia and its predecessor institutions. The induction ceremony was a fantastic event and it was great to be able to reconnect with some of the university's esteemed alumni. I am grateful for the hard work of the Hall of Fame committee, and we look forward to recognizing a long list of individuals in the years to come. Most importantly, however, we congratulate the inaugural class of inductees into the University of the District of Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame!"
University of the District of Columbia Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Class
Reslyn W. Henley –Student-athlete and Coach
Leonard "Tony" Upson – Basketball Student-athlete
Dr. Philip Sheridan Fox – Administrator, Coach and Official
Elizabeth Young McNair – Track and Field Student-athlete
William S. Jones – Basketball Coach
1982 University of the District of Columbia Men's Basketball NCAA National Championship Team
William S. Jones – Wil Jones was a basketball student-athlete at American University and men's basketball coach for the University of the District of Columbia. Coach Jones is the winningest men's basketball coach in University of the District of Columbia history, amassing a 234-145 record from 1979 to 1999. Jones took the Firebirds to two NCAA Division II Basketball Final Fours in 1982 and 1983, with the 1982 team winning the NCAA Championship.
Leonard "Tony" Upson – Leonard "Tony" Upson played basketball at the District of Columbia Teachers College from 1962 to 1966 and left as the school's all-time leading scorer. He was selected team MVP four years in a row and was named the Maryland Collegiate Conference MVP three times. Upson then coached at DCTC from 1968 through 1974 and won three MIC titles and was named Coach of the Year three times.
Elizabeth Young McNair – Elizabeth Young McNair was the University of the District of Columbia's first women's track and field All-American. She recorded school records in four different events in 1978 (300 meters indoors - 100, 200, and 400 meters outdoors). McNair was named to the USA Track and Field Team in 1978 and placed third in the 200 meters versus the Soviet Union.
Dr. Philip Sheridan Fox – Dr. Fox is a graduate of Wilson Teachers College and was an Administrator at the District of Columbia Teachers College. Dr. Fox was also a renown basketball official in the region and nationally. Fox was instrumental in his capacity as supervisor of officials in helping many African-American officials advance in the NCAA ranks and into the Atlantic Coast and the Southern Conferences. Fox officiated Wilt Chamberlain's final collegiate game, the famous triple overtime 1957 NCAA Division I title game between Kansas and North Carolina.
Reslyn Woodruff Henley – Reslyn Henley was a superior athlete in basketball and football at Miner Teachers College, as well as an outstanding student. Henley went on to coach basketball at Miner from 1946 to 1951, accruing a 75% winning percentage. Miner was conference champions in 1949-50. Henley served his country in World War II in the South Pacific. The Reslyn Woodruff Henley Award has been awarded to student-athletes from Miner Teachers College, District of Columbia Teachers College, and University of the District of Columbia since 1953. The Reslyn Woodruff Henley Award recipient must demonstrate integrity, scholarship, and athletic ability.
The 1982 University of the District of Columbia NCAA Division II Basketball National Championship Team – The University of the District of Columbia Men's Basketball Team was the first basketball team to bring a national collegiate championship to Washington, DC. They finished the season with a 25-5 record and an unblemished 16-0 record at home. The 1982 season marked the first year that UDC played their home games in an on campus facility. The 1982 Team featured two All-Americans (Michael Britt and Earl Jones) and went 5-0 in the NCAA tournament beating Florida Southern, 73-63, on March 20, 1982 for the NCAA Title.
The University of the District of Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame was established to pay tribute and give recognition to former student-athletes, coaches, and administrators who have significantly contributed to the athletic success and history of the institution. Established during the celebration of the University's 160th Anniversary, the Athletics Hall of Fame honors outstanding individuals and celebrates the university's rich history of intercollegiate athletic competition which began in the early 1900's when students attending Miner Teacher's College competed in basketball and tennis. The Hall of Fame inductees have significantly contributed to the athletic success and history of the Myrtilla Miner School for Colored Girls, Washington Normal School, Wilson Normal School, Miner Normal School, Wilson Teachers College, Miner Teachers College, District of Columbia Teachers College, Federal City College, Washington Technical Institute, and the University of the District of Columbia over the last 160 years.
For more information on the Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, please visit us on the web at http://www.udcfirebirds.com/Athletic_Hall_of_Fame.