While the method may have been different, the celebration was the same as the Princeton Athletics community gathered on Thursday night for the virtual Gary Walters ’67 PVC Awards Banquet.
Co-hosted by seniors Chris Davis and Katie Reilly alongside Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan ’91, the Awards Banquet was an opportunity for the Tigers to rally together and commemorate the championships, successes, relationships and memories that will live on as the Class of 2020’s legacy.
Check out a recap of the banquet below.
As part of the ceremony, Princeton’s major yearly awards were presented to deserving recipients:
C. Otto von Kienbusch Award
Awarded annually to a Princeton senior woman of high scholastic rank who has demonstrated general proficiency in athletics and the qualities of a true sportswoman. Presented in memory of C. Otto v. Kienbusch ’06, friend and benefactor of women’s athletics at Princeton.
Bella Alarie, the all-time leading scorer in Princeton women’s basketball history, is a three-time Ivy League Player of the Year and a four-time first-team All-Ivy League selection. She led Princeton to three Ivy League championships, became the first Ivy League player to ever earn consecutive Associated Press All-America accolades and became the highest-ever WNBA Draft Pick for the Ivy League when she was selected fifth by the Dallas Wings.
As a senior captain, she led the Ivy League in scoring and was second in rebounding and blocks, fourth in field goal percentage and eighth in free throw percentage. The Tigers went 26-1 and ended the year on a 22-game winning streak with an RPI of No. 9, the best mark in Ivy history.
Alarie is first in program history in Ivy Player of the Week awards (20), blocks (249), double-doubles (40) and points (1,703). She is in the top 10 in rebounds, field goal attempts, rebounding average, field goals, scoring averaging, free throws, free-throw attempts and free throw percentage.
A history major, Alarie is a Bethesda, Md. native.
William Winston Roper Trophy (Co-Recipients)
Awarded annually to a Princeton senior man of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics. Presented by Mrs. William W. Roper and the Class of 1902.
Matthew Kolodzik was already the first three-time All-American in program history, and even though the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Championships cost him a final chance to compete for an NCAA individual title, he is now the first four-time All-American in program history.
Kolodzik finished in the top seven at the NCAA Championships in all three trips, placing third as a sophomore in 2018 in his first year wrestling at 149. Having won his third EIWA title in 2020 and second at 149, he became just the fourth wrestler in program history to win three EIWA titles and first since 1941. He was the sixth wrestler in program history to finish in the top eight at the EIWAs four times.
Kolodzik was a four-time first-team All-Ivy honoree, becoming the first Princeton wrestler to do that since 1986, and in 2020 he helped Princeton to its first Ivy League title since 1986. Kolodzik was a big part in the continued resurgence of the program, with 10 of Princeton’s 23 all-time All-American honors coming in the last five seasons and Kolodzik accounting for four of those.
Kolodzik is a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Bellbrook, Ohio.
Michael Sowers has established himself as one of the greatest players in the history of NCAA lacrosse while destroying the Princeton record book along the way. Sowers is Princeton’s career leader in points with 302, a figure that is 57 more than the next-highest total in school history. He also has the top three single-season scoring totals in Princeton history and was well on his way to his best season through five games in 2020.
Sowers averaged 6.43 points per game, which is second in NCAA Division I history and the best in the last 39 years. He also holds the Princeton record for career assists with 181, a figure that ranks eighth in NCAA history.
His list of individual honors includes being the National Player of the Year in 2020 by Inside Lacrosse, a 2019 first-team All-American honor, being named a Tewaaraton Award finalist in 2019 and three All-American honors and first-team All-Ivy League selections (neither was awarded in 2020).
He is a history major from Dresher, Pa.
Art Lane ’34 Award (Co-Recipients)
Awarded to an undergraduate athlete in recognition of his or her selfless contribution to sport and society. Given in memory of Art Lane ’34 by friends and family.
Grace Baylis, a two-year captain and four-year starter in goal for Princeton field hockey, helped lead the Tigers to two Ivy League titles and three NCAA Final Four berths. Her 53 wins are second all-time in program history, yet her accomplishments and community impact extend well beyond the field.
Baylis, the 2019 NJAIAW Princeton Woman of the Year, served on the Student-Athlete Wellness Leader (SAWL) executive team, Student Health Advisory Board, and as a SCORRE leader and Athlete Ally during her time at Princeton. Baylis helped implement the new “Pause Wall,” which proudly hangs in Caldwell Fieldhouse and encourages all a place to pause, reflect and leave a message of support or inspiration.
While battling back from a serious season ending injury freshman year, Baylis travelled to Namibia, Africa and volunteered with the Physically Active Youth (PAY) charity in a coaching and teaching role. Upon returning to campus, she helped resurrect field hockey’s partnership with the Friends of Jaclyn, a program that pairs children battling cancer with a local team or community group.
Baylis is from London, Eng. and a student in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Chris Davis, a four-year starter in the outfield and two-time captain for Princeton baseball, was an exceptional example of service and leadership during his time at Princeton.
Davis helped orchestrate the baseball program’s involvement with Trunk or Treat this past fall, a Halloween-themed event for families in the Princeton community, and been an active participant with baseball’s annual partnership with the Special Olympics. Additionally, Davis has served his Princeton Athletics community as a member of Varsity Student Athlete Advisory Council (VSAAC), helping to lead efforts around the “All Stripes One Streak” initiative focused on campus inclusivity and “No Tiger Too Tough,” a campaign to eliminate the stigma around mental health.
As president of VSAAC this past year, Davis help implement forums (i.e., awareness events, podcast series, etc.) for fellow student-athletes to share how they overcame difficult challenges during their time at Princeton – Davis having overcome two serious injuries early in his career. In this leadership role, he also represented Princeton at Ivy League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meetings.
Davis is a history major for Avon, Conn.
Class of 1916 Cup
Awarded each year to the Princeton varsity letterwinner who continuing in competition in his or her senior year achieved at graduation the highest academic standing. Given by the Class of 1916 on the occasion of its 50th reunion.
Hadley Wilhoite is a Spanish and Portuguese major from Portland, Ore., and has earned points for Princeton women’s track & field in both the high jump and sprint relays during her career. She was recently awarded the program’s John H. Chang ’60 Award, which recognizes one’s contributions to their teammates through their generosity, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to the team.
Wilhoite was previously honored by the Spanish Department with the Premio Ángel Rama for excellence by an underclassman in advanced Spanish courses. Her senior thesis investigated representations of dictatorship by examining illustrations of Rafael Trujillo, former president of the Dominican Republic. Wilhoite has served her community as a lead student-athlete volunteer for Reading with the Tigers and National Girls & Women in Sports Day.
Class of 1967 PVC Citizen-Athlete Award
Presented by the Princeton Varsity Club for selfless and noble contributions to sport and society.
A champion rower for Princeton and a championship owner of the Boston Celtics, Wycliffe “Wyc” Grousbeck ’83 has always pushed forward in the name of achievement and innovation, his passion for supporting a world-class NBA franchise only surpassed by his love for his family and dedication to bettering the lives of others.
His work with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Perkins School for the Blind and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation among numerous other charitable endeavors have earned Grousbeck the 2020 Class of 1967 PVC Citizen-Athlete Award, given for meaningful contributions to sport and society.
In 1983, Grousbeck and the lightweight crew went undefeated en route to an EARC Sprints championship and he twice represented Princeton at the Royal Henley Regatta. The sport of rowing made a lasting impact in Wyc, who has been quoted as listing his coaches at Princeton, Curtis Jordan and Gary Kilpatrick, as some of the most influential people in his life.
Wyc is the Chair of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a world leader in fighting blindness and deafness. He launched a capital campaign to seek cures for blindness and deafness, which has raised in excess of $250 million.
Wyc and his wife Emilia are involved in a number of charities including the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, Boston Children’s Hospital, Mass. Eye and Ear, Camp Jabberwocky, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, National Braille Press, Make-a-Wish Foundation, USA Rowing, Robin Hood, and the Lovelane Special Needs Riding Program.
He has been Lead Owner and Governor of the Boston Celtics since he conceived of, and led, the purchase of the team in 2002. He named his group “Banner 17 LLC” to signify his primary goal, the Celtics winning a 17th World Championship. That goal was achieved in 2008, as the Celtics defeated the Lakers by 39 points and became World Champions for the first time in 22 years.
Marvin Bressler Award
Awarded to that member of the Princeton family who, through heartfelt support of the University’s student-athletes and coaches, best embodies a belief in the lifelong lessons taught by competition and athletics as a complement to the overall educational mission. Awarded in the spirit of Marvin Bressler, professor of sociology, 1963-94.
Dr. Stanley Katz, a long-time Athletics Fellow and supporter of Princeton Athletics has been named the recipient of the 2020 Marvin Bressler Award which is presented to that member of the Princeton family who, through heartfelt support of the University’s student-athletes and coaches, best embodies a belief in the lifelong lessons taught by competition and athletics as a complement to the overall educational mission.
Dr. Stanley Katz h21 h80 h83 h85 has been an Athletics Fellow for the Princeton football program for the majority of Coach Bob Surace‘s tenure, working specifically with the quarterback position group. He has served as the thesis advisor for a number of Tiger student-athletes, including Kevin Davidson ’20 (football) and Grace Baylis ’20 (field hockey) this past academic year.
A lecturer with rank of professor in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Katz is a leading expert on American legal and constitutional history, and on philanthropy and non-profit institutions. His recent research focuses upon developments in American philanthropy, the relationship of civil society and constitutionalism to democracy, and upon the relationship of the United States to the international human rights regime. He is also director of the Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies and director emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Katz has served as President of the Organization of American Historians and the American Society for Legal History and as Vice President of the Research Division of the American Historical Association. Additionally, he currently serves as the Chair of the American Council of Learned Societies/Social Science Research Council Working Group on Cuba. Katz was recognized for his work with the annual Fellows Award from Phi Beta Kappa in 2010, and was presented with the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in 2011.
Princeton Letter Sweaters
The Princeton Varsity Club continued its tradition of providing varsity letter sweaters to all graduating varsity student-athletes. Thank you to our Tiger alumni and friends that generously supported this initiative and served as letter sweaters sponsors in concert with this year’s banquet.