Graduating Yale athletes honored for their service, academics

Six seniors and one team were honored by the Yale Athletics Department with awards at the annual senior student-athlete reception on May 19 at the Lanman Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

The men’s fencing team earned the Brodhead Award for highest team grade point average. Jeffrey Hatten of the men’s golf team and Talis Trevino of the gymnastics team received the Ford Student-Athlete Community Outreach Award. Adam Fields (of the men’s fencing team and Abigail Nunn of the women’s swimming and diving team were honored with the Kiphuth Student-Athlete Distinction Award. Aleca Hughes of the women’s ice hockey team and Michael Pratt of the men’s lacrosse team were given the Meyer Humanitarian Award.

Broadhead Award

The Brodhead Award is named in honor of Richard H. Brodhead '68, Ph.D. '72, who served as dean of Yale College from 1993 through 2004 and was on the faculty of the Department of English for more than 30 years. The men’s fencing team won the award with a 3.67 cumulative grade-point average through the fall of 2011.

In addition to Fields winning the Kiphuth Award, men’s fencing also had an Academic All-Ivy League selection in captain Shiv Kachruan, an economics major. Fields and Kachru were two of eight team members who competed at NCAA Regionals, and Kachru was one of three who went on to compete at the NCAA Championship. Yale finished 12th at the championship. The Bulldogs also finished tied for eighth at the United States Collegiate Squad Championships.

Ford Award

The Ford Award, given annually to the male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated their commitment to strengthening the relationship between the Yale Athletics Department and the New Haven community, is named in honor of Thomas W. Ford '42, who endowed the Yale Athletics Community Outreach Program in the fall of 1996.

Hatten, the captain of the golf team, took the lead in organizing weekly one-hour golf clinics for middle school children from St. Martin de Porres Academy at Yale’s David Paterson Golf Technology Center in Payne Whitney Gym. He planned the lessons and made sure enough of his teammates were on site for the clinic. Hatten also earned the team’s Widdy Neale Award this year as the most valuable player. He was a first team All-Ivy League honoree while helping Yale to an Ivy League championship as a junior in 2011. Hatten, a graduate of Loomis Chaffee, is a sociology major and member of Morse College.

Trevino was the chair of the Yale Athletics Department’s Thomas W. Ford ’42 Community Outreach Program. In that role, she organized and oversaw all community outreach activities for student-athletes. That included Youth Days each semester in which Yale student-athletes helped local youths learn sport skills; the Bulldog Buddies program that brings Yale student-athletes to a local school to help students with homework; and the annual Holiday Gift Giving Initiative in which Yale teams work together to purchase gifts for local underprivileged youths. Trevino kept the Bulldog Buddies program going through a transition of leadership at Troup Middle School this year, demonstrating her commitment to the mission of the program. She also earned the gymnastics team’s four-year senior varsity award for her contributions this season despite being unable to compete due to an injury. Trevino, a graduate of Lassiter, is a history major and member of Pierson College.

Kiphuth Award

The Kiphuth Award that Fields and Nunn won is given to the male and female student-athletes who rank highest in scholarship and have earned two varsity awards. It is named in honor of DeLaney Kiphuth '41, M.A. '47, who served as director of athletics from 1954 through 1976.

Fields, a psychology major and member of Berkeley College, qualified for NCAA Regionals in the sabre. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and attended Jericho prior to Yale.

Nunn, a history of science/history of medicine major in Calhoun College, was one of Yale’s top distance swimmers. On June 23 she will compete in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 28.5-mile race around the island. She attended Deep Run prior to Yale.

Meyer Award

This is the fourth year for the Meyer Award, which is named in honor of Molly Meyer, a nurse practitioner at Yale University Health Services who has been addressing the health needs of student-athletes at Yale since 1975. The award is given each year to a varsity athlete in the senior class "whose character exemplifies selfless devotion along with compassion and concern for their team and the community at Yale and beyond."

Hughes has been active in a cause that has helped save peoples’ lives. For four straight years she has worked extensively on the annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale. Those drives have added more than 3,000 potential donors to the Be The Match Registry for patients with life-threatening illnesses in need of genetic matches for transplants. Hughes played with Mandi Schwartz ’10 (1988-2011), who passed away in April 2011 after battling leukemia for more than two years. She has started the Mandi Schwartz Foundation in her honor. Hughes has also organized the annual “White Out for Mandi” fundraiser games at Ingalls Rink the past two seasons.

Hughes has been recognized many times over this year for her leadership and community service. She won the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup and the Sarah Devens Award. She also received the team’s Bingham Award. An American studies major in Berkeley College, Hughes is a graduate of Hotchkiss.

Pratt captained the Yale men’s lacrosse team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992, as the Bulldogs won the Ivy League Tournament to earn the league’s automatic berth in the tournament for the first time. He proved particularly valuable after the team got off to a 2-4 start, helping the Bulldogs emerge from those early-season struggles to win nine straight games — the longest winning streak at Yale in 22 years. That included six wins by two or fewer goals and three in overtime, a testament to the determination Pratt and his teammates displayed.

Noted for his leadership skills, Pratt has secured a coveted position at Barclays Capital after graduation. During his four years at Yale, he has helped the team to three straight Ivy League tournament appearances, an Ivy League regular season championship (in 2010) and three straight years in the national rankings. He was a first team All-New England and honorable mention All-Ivy League selection this year, and also won two of Yale’s team awards: the Donald J. Reape Memorial Award, presented annually to that upperclassman who best exemplifies the character, spirit, dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm that Donald J. Reape gave to Yale lacrosse, and the Winthrop A. Smith Award, presented to that member of the lacrosse team whose superior conditioning and team play has served as an inspiration to his teammates. Pratt, an economics major, is a member of Davenport College and a graduate of Chaminade.

Saturday’s ceremony also included a welcome from Tom Beckett, Yale's director of athletics, who praised the members of the senior class for their contributions as student-athletes and as members of the community. There were also reflections from two members of the graduating class: Hughes and Reggie Willhite of the men’s basketball team. The Bulldogs also recognized those seniors that had participated in Yale’s Kiphuth Leadership Academy, a program that is designed to foster leadership skills in Yale’s student-athletes.

A crowd of several hundred was on hand for the event, including senior student-athletes and their families along with coaches and athletic department administrators.