SIUE spotlight to shine on athletes, teams, academics
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will induct seven athletes and three teams into its hall of fame during a ceremony on Oct. 14, according to an SIUE announcement.
This is the 13th class of inductees since SIUE started its hall in 2005 to honor former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and teams for their achievements and highlight the history of the sports program.
The inductees will be recognized at a ceremony in the Meridian Ballroom at the Morris University Center. The three teams to be inducted are the 1984 and 1985 women’s tennis teams and the 2007 softball team.
This year's honorees include Ryan Cox (baseball), Alicia DeShasier McConnell (softball/track and field), Laurie Foederer Rinderer (tennis), John Meisel (Jean McDonald Service Award), Patty Tiddy McWhite Albert (tennis), Vaughn Vandergrift (chancellor emeritus) and Katie (Waldo) McKown (softball).
Cox was a minor league baseball player from 1999 to 2003 who got his start at SIUE. In 1997, he helped the Cougars finish fifth at the Division II College World Series and later win an NCAA regional baseball championship. He’s tied with fellow hall of famers Pete Delkus and Doug Fox with 26 career victories.
McConnell compiled an impressive list of statistics on the softball field, including a top-five ranking in home runs (19), RBIs (132) and plate appearances (639). Her javelin record of 50.23 meters was the longest toss in the 2007 NCAA Division II Championships.
Rinderer helped elevate SIUE’s status in the NCAA Division II women’s tennis category with her All-American status in 1983 and 1984. The university chose her as its highest-achieving female athlete in 1983 and bestowed on her the Sportsmanship Award in 1985.
For more than three decades and under five chancellors, Meisel was SIUE’s faculty academic representative. A treasurer of the Great Lakes Valley Conference between 2000 and 2005, Meisel is credited with helping elevate SIUE to the NCAA Division I ranks.
Albert, an All-American in women’s doubles along with Foederer, was a defining player in SIUE’s women’s tennis success between 1983 and 1985. Her efforts propelled the team to the quarterfinals in 1983, the semifinals in 1984 and a No. 3 ranking in 1985.
Vandergrift’s eight-year tenure as SIUE’s chancellor was marked by two key achievements: gaining NCAA Division I status in 2009 and becoming part of the Ohio Valley Conference, a 12-member association of Midwestern institutions.
McKown’s record of 141 stolen bases, along with her All-American freshman year (batting .407), placed her in the category of elite SIUE athletes. Add to those accolades her service on the 2000 team that first brought the school to the NCAA tournament, and you have a hall inductee. She completed her time at SIUE with a .361 batting average with 223 hits and 16 triples.
To reserve a spot at the ceremony, call the SIUE Athletic Department at 618-650-3155. The $40 price includes a 5:30 p.m. social hour and the 6:30 p.m. official ceremony.