NEW PALTZ — The Department of Athletics at the State University of New York at New Paltz hosted the spring 2002 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, May 4th, in Elting Gymnasium. Eight new members joined the ranks of 42 New Paltz Alumni, Staff and Faculty, who have been previously inducted.
The evening began with a roll call of those newly inducted into the Hall of Fame from Director of Athletics and Master of Ceremonies, Stuart Robinson. Among those introduced: Dr. Roland Hess (Coach 1974-1994), James Borden (Class of 1970), Paul Strothenke (Class of 1986), Octavio Cabrera (Class of 1986), Antonio Bonilla (Class of 1987 / Coach 1987-2000), John Schwarz (Class of 1991), Karen Adams (Class of 1997) and Edward D. Bell (Professor of Physical Education / Coach 1967-1973).
Doug Sheppard (Hall of Fame Class of 1996) presented Roland Hess. Dr. Hess started his career at New Paltz in 1974. Prior to his involvement with the college, he received his undergraduate degree from East Stroudsburg State, his master’s from Springfield College and his doctorate from the University of Rhode Island. He also coached at Johnson State in Vermont and Hanover College in Indiana. Hess coached many sports at New Paltz, starting with baseball his first two years, then men’s soccer from 1976 – 1985. Hess was instrumental in founding the women’s soccer program in 1985 and served as the head coach until 1994, earning SUNYAC Coach of the Year honors in 1988. Hess was also extremely involved in the Physical Education Department, actively teaching classes until his retirement in 1996. Joe Owens (Hall of Fame Class of 1998) presented James Borden. Borden graduated from New Paltz in 1970. He was a four-year member and two-year captain of the cross-country team, as well as a participant on the wresting team for one year, and a baseball player for two. Borden was a charter member of the track and field team as a middle distance runner and competed in the one-mile event. He also held the school record in the two-mile track event. These accomplishments are even more amazing due to the fact that he was born with ichthyosis, a skin disease that causes the sweat glands to malfunction leaving the body no natural way to cool itself. In 1970, Borden received the Heinz Ahlmeyer Award which is presented annually an athlete whose dedication, perseverance and service beyond self has been an inspiration to his/her teammates and students.
Art Stockin (Hall of Fame Class of 1997) presented Paul Strothenke. Strothenke graduated in 1986 after four successful seasons on the swimming and diving team. In 1983, his freshman year, he was the Metropolitan (Met) Collegiate Conference champion in the 800-yard freestyle. In 1984, he was the Met Conference champion in the 500-, 200- and 1650-yard freestyle events, and was a member of the winning 800- and 400-yard freestyle relays. Amazingly, all five of those victories had NCAA Division III qualifying times, and he earned All-American status in the 500-, the 1650- and the 400-free relay He also won the Floyd Patterson award for the top male athlete at New Paltz that same year. In 1985 he was the Met Conference and SUNYAC champion in the 200-, 500- and 1650-yard freestyle, and set meet records in all three events at the SUNYAC championship. Strothenke finished his career in 1986 as captain of the undefeated SUNYAC championship winning team, SUNYAC champion in the 500-yard freestyle and winner of the James Fulton Award at the SUNYAC meet, which is presented annually to the swimmer/diver who has contributed the most to the SUNYAC in his/her four-year career. Strothenke qualified for the NCAA Division III National championship meet all four years of his career as a Hawk. He continues to swim in the Master’s program, which holds practices at the Elting Natatorium. Alan Dunefsky (Recreation Director / Softball Coach) presented Octavio Cabrera. Cabrera graduated from New Paltz in 1986. He was captain and star volleyball player for the 1984 and 1985 Eastern Collegiate Volleyball League championship teams, which lost only one game in two years. He was also a member of the men’s soccer team, and was named team MVP in both sports. He was on the Dean’s list his junior and senior academic years, and in 1985 was awarded the Floyd Patterson award. Currently he is Regional Vice President in Retirement Sales for an investment firm based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Barbara Geider (Vice President of Student Affairs) presented Antonio Bonilla. Bonilla was a star volleyball player from 1982 – 1986, and graduated from New Paltz in 1987. During his tenure, the team compiled an amazing record of 99-3, winning the Eastern Collegiate Volleyball Championships in 1984 and 1985, and the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association title in 1986. His senior year, Bonilla was the recipient of the Floyd Patterson award. After completing his four years of eligibility as an athlete, Bonilla stayed on and coached the volleyball teams at New Paltz. He coached the men’s team for twelve years, and in that time compiled a 189-153 record. For the eight years he coached the women’s team, his record was 201-114, and they appeared in eight consecutive New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Conference championships and competed in seven SUNYAC Women’s Tournaments. Bonilla was named SUNYAC Co-Coach of the Year in 1998 after guiding the New Paltz women to a school record 31 wins. Currently, he is an academic advisor in the Educational Opportunity Program at New Paltz. Tom Albright (Teacher, Marlboro HS) presented John Schwarz. Schwarz graduated from New Paltz in 1991 as a successful member of the swimming and diving team. Schwarz was the SUNYAC runner-up in the 1- and 3-meter diving events in 1988 and 1990, earning scores to qualify him for the NCAA Division III Championship. He finished 11th in the country on 1-meter and 8th on 3-meter in 1988, 12th on 1-meter in 1989, and 13th on 1-meter and 9th on 3-meter in 1990. All five appearances earned him All-American status. His career culminated with the Floyd Patterson award in 1990. Art Stockin (Hall of Fame Class of 1997) presented Karen Adams. Adams was the first female student-athlete at New Paltz to earn All-American status. She was the SUNYAC runner-up on the 1- and 3-meter boards in 1993, and SUNYAC champion on both boards in 1994. She qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship meet in 1992 and 1993, placing 15th in the nation and earning All-American status in 1992. Adams received the Carol Eckman award in 1993 as the best female athlete at New Paltz. She graduated from the college in 1997.
Barbara Geider (Vice President of Student Affairs) presented Edward D. Bell. Coach Bell joined the New Paltz faculty in 1967 as an Assistant Professor of Physical Education. Prior to his tenure at New Paltz, Bell attended Tennessee A&I State University in Nashville, TN on a track scholarship, and was a successful coach in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and at Howard University in Washington D.C. At New Paltz he served as founding head coach for the first indoor and outdoor track and field programs, including designing the track and field venues and recruiting for the teams. During his tenure as head coach, New Paltz teams won the NAIA Championships twice and fielded SUNYAC champions in the high hurdles and 440 relays. He continued to coach the track and field teams through 1973 while working in Admissions as Director of the Minority Recruitment Program (MRP). Bell was an integral member of the New Paltz Admissions office before and after coaching the track and field program. He served as founding Director of EOP during 1968-69 and served as Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of MRP from 1980-87, when he accepted an appointment as Director for the SUNY New York City Office of Student Recruitment. In 1989 Bell was promoted to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in the NYC Recruitment Office before retiring in 1994.