Maroons come home

On a sunny, 70-degree homecoming Saturday a couple hundred alumni returned to Hyde Park to tailgate, play catch, and watch the Maroons football team take on conference foe Washington University (St. Louis). The event started with a pregame picnic, where graduates chatted about their personal and professional lives and the University's rapidly changing campus—reflected in the picnic’s location on the year-old Ratner Athletics Center front lawn.

Some alumni skipped the food to watch the now-13th-ranked women’s soccer team take on Carnegie Mellon at 11 a.m. Two key Maroons—third-years Diana Connett and Jacqui DeLeon—returned from injuries, DeLeon playing with a cast on her broken arm. Despite their on-field presence, Chicago (7–1–2) struggled in the scoreless, double-overtime match. The now-14th-ranked men’s soccer team duplicated the 0–0 score immediately afterward.

Fans moved from picnic and soccer game to the day’s main attraction, football’s clash against perennially strong Washington University. Though it was a sloppy, 11-turnover affair, the Maroons (1–4) made the game interesting in the fourth quarter. Trailing 24–3, second-year quarterback Marc Zera hit first-year wide receiver Mike Albian on two touchdown passes, raising the score to 24–16. The crowd roared when Chicago recovered a fumble at the Washington 6-yard line with 2:58 left. But one play and four seconds later, Zera’s pass was intercepted in the end zone, and Washington won 24–16.

Though Chicago’s three games were thrillingly close, the weekend’s focus was taking a look back at past student-athlete contributors. Friday night’s second annual Hall of Fame Dinner, held at the Quadrangle Club, honored the six 2004 inductees: Patricia R. Kirby, William A. Lester Jr., SB’58, SM’59, James D. Lightbody, PhB’12, John J. Schommer, SB’09, Courtney D. Shanken, AB’42, and Helen Elizabeth Straus, Lab’80, AB’84, MD’90. Like last year's inaugural class, those recognized spanned men’s and women’s athletics, Big Ten and Division III eras, and included both administrators and students.


10-13-04_image-1_thumb.jpg 10-13-04_image-2_thumb.jpg 10-13-04_image-3_thumb.jpg

Photos by Kristine Khouri.

October 13, 2004