Night of Stars
Hall of Fame welcomes six inductees
Published: Monday, April 2, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 2, 2012 18:04
While Brandeis athletics give the University much reason to be excited about the present, the Hall of Fame induction last Saturday night allowed for some reflection on past accomplishments.
Held at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, the 2012 induction to Brandeis’ Sports Hall of Fame featured the initiation of six individuals. Ruth Porter Bernstein ’57, the late Harold Warren Zinn ’61, Robert Nayer ’70, William Carpenter ’81, Geoff Getz ’99, and Maya Marx ’04 were all recognized for their contributions in front of a crowd of 100 alumni, friends and athletics staff.
Speaking at the beginning of the ceremony, Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel explained that athletics exemplify the many positive qualities of the University.
“Athletics in so many ways represents the heart of this institution,” said Flagel. “Leadership. Commitment. A common thread in our society is excellence in athletics. Camaraderie. Leadership. Putting others above yourself.”
Porter Bernstein, a Winthrop, Mass. native, was inducted under the contributor category for her service on the board—and as president—of Friends of Brandeis Athletics (FOBA). Bernstein, who was also a member of the first undefeated women’s basketball team that went 13-0 in 1956, mentioned that she was glad to have her young grandchildren in the crowd.
She expressed her hope that they would understand how she earned her induction.
“I want my grandchildren to know that finding something you love and giving your best to it will bring untold reward,” she said. “Thank you so much for this wonderful honor.”
Zinn, honored posthumously, was one of the founding members of the Brandeis golf team. Though he passed away in 1991, his legacy endures as one of the finest golfers in not only school history, but in the New England region.
Nayer, who ranks 18th in points and second in rebounds on the men’s basketball team’s all-time list, said that he was honored to be inducted into such a prestigious group of individuals.
“I was very thrilled,” said Nayer, who works as the director of operating and capital budgets at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. “Honored. Humbled. Really appreciative, very proud,” he said. “It means so much to me.”
Carpenter, the Greater Boston League MVP his senior year, had a two-year stint in the minor leagues. After a memorable season in which he batted .458 in his senior year, Carpenter remembered the good times he had on the diamond, mentioning how excited he was to come back to campus.
“I got just as excited driving down South Street towards the school today as I did 35 years ago,” said Carpenter, who currently coaches American Legion baseball in Connecticut.
A three-time NCAA Division III National Champion in the 800-meter run, Getz still manages to run competitively at 35 years old. He is currently employed as an IT consultant for Z-TECH Associates, a company he began working for while a sophomore at Brandeis.
Though Getz is not as quick as when he ran a scorching time of 1:50 for the 800-meter, Getz, who lives in nearby Wayland, still reflects on his days as a Judge with great pride.
“We had some really talented middle-distance runners under [coach] Bruce Bickford [who was at one point ranked first in the world at 10,000 meters],” he said. “I think we got fourth at [NCAA Division III] cross-country nationals one year.”
Amid his extensive accomplishments, Getz said that he was humbled to be honored.
“I was surprised,” he added. “I’m flattered, of course. There are a lot of other good athletes here. I don’t know what the selection criteria [are], but I’m very honored.”
Marx, a three-time qualifier for the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships and three-time All-American in the breaststroke, cited her then-coach [and current Assistant Director of Athletics] Jim Zotz as her mentor. During her induction speech, Marx announced something personal—she and husband, former Judges swimmer Nick Dufresne ’04, are expecting their first child this fall.
“We hope they’ll swim, but we won’t pressure them,” Marx joked.
Though the next induction has already been planned for Oct. 12, 2013, there will be plenty of time for the Brandeis community to commemorate the accomplishments of these individuals. With current success on the fields, courts, trails and track, the task for those selecting future nominees will only be more challenging.