UC Hosts 11th Annual Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductions

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Source: ucpioneers.com

John Franchi, Contributing Writer

Four more plaques were added to the wall as the 11th annual Pioneer Hall of Fame induction ceremony and senior student-athlete recognition was held on May 3 in the Harold T. Clark Gymnasium.

The Pioneer Hall of Fame Class of 2018 included Shelby Barbay, Mick Krajacic, former Utica College President Todd Hutton and the 2005-2006 men’s basketball team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

All were recognized for their outstanding performance while playing and studying at Utica College. The Hall of Fame was established in 2008 to celebrate student athletes, coaches and administrators whose extraordinary achievements express the values of Utica College, according the UC Pioneers website.

Barbay was overwhelmed with joy when she walked up on stage to receive her plaque.

“I couldn’t have done what I have done nor became the person I am today if it weren’t for my father,” she said. “No matter how far or close, rain or shine, he never once missed a game and I am forever thankful for that.”

Barbay, who graduated in 2012 with a criminal justice degree, is a two-time Empire 8 Conference Goalie of the Year, a three-time Empire 8 All-Conference selection and a two-time IWLCA All-Region selection. She was a four-year starter on the field and excelled in her studies as she received the Criminal Justice Student of the Year honor in 2012.

Krajacic delivered an emotional speech that reminded all the seniors to enjoy every moment they have left with their fellow teammates.

“Once you graduate, and go your separate ways, you won’t be talking to your teammates like you do now on a regular basis,” he said. “Enjoy your teammates presence and the comradery as it won’t last forever.”

Krajacic was a four-year starter and was the first player in program history to be named a USILA All-American as well as the first three-time Empire 8 All-Conference First Team selection. He was the third player in program history to earn a spot in the North/South Senior Game where he played alongside teammate, and all-time leading scorer, Matt Donaldson.

Hutton spent 18 years as president of Utica College. Under Hutton’s watch, Utica College saw a rapid growth in education and ultimately offered 22 graduate programs and two professional doctorate programs. Also, UC’s varsity athletic programs grew from 12 to the current total of 26 and a number of new facilities and buildings were built under his vision.

He received a rousing ovation and thanked his wife, Jennifer, and many of his former colleagues during his remarks including former Director of Physical Education and Athletics Jim Spartano.

The former president also congratulated and thanked the student athletes in the room for their successes on and off the field.

“You embody the spirit of Utica College,” Hutton said. “One of the reasons why we created athletics was to build that college spirit  … you are making that possible because you embody leadership, you embody team work, you are the future leaders.”

Once the inductions were completed, Dave Fontaine, athletic director at Utica College, honored the rest of the senior student athletes as each senior’s name was called and then they were greeted by their coach on stage and recognized for their contributions as a Pioneer.

Jake Ryan, senior construction management major at Utica College and starting four-year center fielder, shared his feelings after the ceremony.

“I am so honored to be standing up on this stage with the rest of my senior baseball class,” Ryan said. “These guys have made these past four years the greatest years of my life.”

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