The Tufts Athletics Department hosted its first-ever Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, in front of over 300 current and former athletes, coaches and administrators packed into Cousens Gymnasium. The night was emceed by radio host and two-time Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year Tony Massarotti (A ’89).
University President Anthony Monaco delivered the opening remarks, in which he discussed the importance of athletics to the greater community at Tufts. He was followed by Athletics Director John Morris, who welcomed the crowd of historic Jumbos and gave an introduction to the ceremony, as well as the Hall of Fame selection process.
“[It’s important] to understand the value of the education our student athletes receive from some of the best professors on campus, who just happen to be our coaches,” Morris said in his remarks.
Morris also discussed significant moments in the history of Tufts athletics, highlighting the passage of Title IX in 1972. He noted that none of the female Hall of Fame inductees graduated prior to the law’s passage, before explaining that there was still work to be done to ensure equality in the treatment of men’s and women’s sports.
The inductions took place chronologically by graduation year, starting with Clarence Houston (A ’14), Fred Ellis (E ’29), William Grinnell (A ’35), Eddie Dugger (E ’41), Rudy Fobert (A ’50) and Clarence ‘Ding’ Dussault. Following the first round of inductions, there was a break to honor Ben Sands (E ’54) with the inaugural Brown and Blue award. Sands was honored for his work bringing varsity ice hockey back to Tufts in 1986 and ensuring its survival through the 1990s.
Following the intermission, members of Tufts’ 1950 baseball team — which recorded the school’s only appearance in the College World Series — took the stage to be inducted into the Hall. After being introduced by Associate Athletic Director and Tufts baseball coach John Casey, the former players shared anecdotes about their historic season.
“Anyone who’s a fan of college baseball knows that Omaha, Neb. is the Mecca for the sport,” Casey said. “What many people do not know is that the Jumbos were there for the start of it all.”
Also inducted in the inaugural class were Jumbo legends Rocco ‘Rocky’ Carzo, Tim Whelan (A ’77), Lisa Raffin (E ’85), Maureen Bobbin (J ’91), Vera Stenhouse (J ’91) and the 2010 men’s lacrosse team, which won Tufts’ first-ever national championship in the sport.