Hall of Fame Brings Alumni Back to Campus

Pat French

Early in the morning of Saturday, October 9, Manchester University alumni began to slowly pour in through the large iron gates and into the area surrounding the football stadium. The sky started the morning as overcast and grey, but as the morning wore on, the clouds slowly began to clear and the sky melted into bright blue. Along the road through the field, food trucks were just beginning to finish setting up their stations. The smell of fried bread began to slowly mix with the fresh scent of the cut grass in the morning dew. Across the alley where the food trucks slowly began to come to life, a large white tent stood alone and regal in the large field of grass outside the football stadium.

Inside the tent, away from all the outside noise of the food trucks and new arrivals, the diligent staff of Manchester University began to complete the last touches of the 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame induction. Alumni from graduating classes of the early 2000s gradually began to enter the tent and take their seats, quietly mingling with one another as the excitement built and the event began to start.

Zach Scott, a graduate and former athlete from the class of 2007, sat among the neatly made tables and chattering former classmates. “It was great,” he said, “I came to see two old teammates get inducted and got to revisit a campus I hadn’t seen in years.” This sentiment seemed to be shared by many of the alumni and former athletes present. Groups of past graduates wandered the surrounding sports fields and campus, reminiscing with current spouses and children.

Another family of an Manchester alumnus honored that day were the Libeys; their son Justin, a former pitcher who graduated in 2003, was present to be inducted for his accomplishments in baseball. “It’s so good to see him and all his old teammates again and see them inducted and honored,” said Justin Libey’s mother. “It’s good to see them all get their well-deserved recognition.”

Another alumnus that attended with their parents and children revisited the Gratz baseball field after the ceremony. Three generations all came to revisit where their son and their father played. “Lots of memories here, it’s just great to be back and see it all again,” he said.