CHATHAM, N.J. - The Seton Hall University Department of Athletics hosted its 2012 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Dinner and Pirate Blue Golf Outing at the Fairmount Country Club on Monday, June 11, in Chatham, N.J.
The induction ceremony saw six Seton Hall University legends join the all-time greats in the Pirate Athletics Hall of Fame: Michael Costigan of men's golf, Nolle Graham of women's track & field, Shaheen Holloway of men's basketball, Sacha Kljestan of men's soccer, George Ramos Curvy of baseball, and loyal Pirate Blue supporter Al Frungillo.
The annual Hall of Fame event also serves as a fund-raiser for the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund which directly supports the Seton Hall Department of Athletics and our 200+ student-athletes. Several sponsors provided critical funding for the evenings event, including: Gourmet Dining LLC, Janus Capital, Torcon, Inc., Back Nine Network, Legg Mason, IVL Group, LLC and Jomar Agency.
"This class represented some of the finest student-athletes in school history," said Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons. "The success of yesterday's event is due in large part to our tremendous inductees and the many Pirate Blue members who supported the event. The Hall of Fame Golf Outing and Dinner will become an annual event each June, so we can continue to honor the contributions of the many deserving members of the Seton Hall Athletics Family and help support today's student-athletes".
After a perfect day of golf, it was time to come inside for the Hall of Fame enshrinement program. The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction where the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was able to talk with the evening's attendees before the formal induction dinner.
Associate Athletics Director for Development Bryan Felt emceed the evening and opened dinner before yielding the microphone to Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons, who recognized each of the six inductees.
After the dinner it was finally time to meet the new Hall of Famers. Introductory videos played prior to each Hall of Famer's acceptance speech, as pivotal figures in each of their lives shared personal reflections about each member of the Class of 2012.
Costigan was the first Hall of Famer to take the stage. A native of London, Ontario, he talked about the experience of being an international player coming Seton Hall to play collegiate golf against some of the best players in the country. As a freshman in 1996, Costigan became the first Seton Hall golfer in school history to capture the BIG EAST Championship.
The Pirates qualified for the NCAA East Regional in 1998 and 1999, recording a program-best 17th-place finish in 1999 when Costigan placed 53rd overall. During his speech, Costigan remembered what a great experience it was for the Pirates to compete in the NCAA's against top-ranked teams from across the country and prove that they too were some of the best in the nation.
Ramos, who was the first African-American to earn baseball All-America honors in Seton Hall history, talked about the chance that former coach Mike Sheppard, Sr. gave him to play baseball at Seton Hall, where he helped guide the Pirates to back-to-back College World Series appearances in 1974 and 1975 and a 135-51-2 mark over his four seasons at The Hall.
Ramos was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1977 and played for three seasons in the organization's minor league system. His .372 lifetime batting average ranks fourth in school history and his 47 stolen bases in 1977 are SHU's third-highest single-season total.
Graham was a dominant force for Seton Hall track & field program over four seasons, as she finished her career as a five-time All-American in the long jump, placing second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2000, fourth in 2001 and fifth in 2002.
Originally from Jamaica, Graham ran high school track in New York City, knowing she wanted to stay close to home to go to college. After visiting Seton Hall University and meeting with head coach John Moon and his staff, she said it was clear that Seton Hall was where she wanted to be and she made the most of her athletic and educational opportunities.
Frungillo, the founder and Chairman of Gourmet Dining LLC, has played a critical role in the advancement of Seton Hall athletics for nearly three decades. Along with his wife Hope and partner Ben Aiello, Frungillo has been a generous supporter of the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund since 1989.
During his speech, Frungillo shared stories about how influential the University has been for his business and his family. His two sons, Michael ('00) and Anthony ('05) are both Seton Hall graduates and operate as Vice Presidents in Gourmet Dining.
Holloway is one of the greatest point guards to ever wear a Seton Hall uniform, but as he looked back at this time at Seton Hall on Monday night, he thanked many of the people that helped him along the way, from his family, to the SHU men's basketball coaching staff, and the special bond he shares with Academic and Life Skills Consultant Robin Cunningham.
Holloway ranks first in school history with 681 assists, third with 437 steals and 12th in scoring with 1,588 points. He capped off his Hall of Fame four-year career by guiding the Pirates to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2000 NCAA Tournament, hitting the game-winning lay-up at the buzzer against Oregon in the opening round before upsetting second-seeded Temple in the second round.
Kljestan was one of the most prolific soccer players in Seton Hall history, guiding The Hall to three-straight NCAA Tournament berths from 2003-05 and a runner-up finish in the 2004 BIG EAST Championship. He was a first-team All-American in 2004, and a third-team selection in 2005; his 15 assists during the 2005 season still stands as the program's single-season record.
A California native, Kljestan had never been to the east coast before his official visit to Seton Hall, but despite the cold temperatures during that fateful February trip, he fell in love with the school and relished the opportunity to play for Manfred Schellscheidt. Just 10 years later, Kljestan expressed surprise and gratitude to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame as one of the University's all-time greats.
Earlier in the day, the Hall of Fame festivities started with lunch at Fairmount in the afternoon, followed by the Pirate Blue Golf Outing. The winning foursome was Paul Demskie, Danny Heller, Michael Stephanik ('98) and Christopher Wood.
To view interviews with inductees Sacha Kljestan, Nolle Graham and Saheen Holloway, CLICK HERE.