BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh Athletics will hold its annual Roger S. Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet on Saturday, April 28. The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 features three men who were selected as part of a special election process for their distinguished contributions to Lehigh Athletics: former swimming and diving coach and director of admissions Bruce Gardiner, and University Board of Trustees members Dan Smith ’71, who played lacrosse and was a member of the swimming team and Ron Ulrich ’66, who played tennis.
Gardiner and Smith will be formally inducted on April 28, while Ulrich will defer his induction until next year due to a scheduling conflict. Also being inducted this year will be former volleyball standout Kim (Freedman) Kellow ’99, who was elected to the Hall of Fame last year but had to defer her formal induction due to travel and scheduling conflicts.
Bruce Gardiner has been a significant contributor to Lehigh Athletics now for the last 40 years. He initially came to Lehigh in 1972 as the head men’s swimming and diving coach and spent the next 17 years leading the Engineers in the pool. He oversaw the elevation on the women’s swimming and diving program to varsity status in 1974 and took over as head coach of the women’s program in 1980. He amassed a career record of 111-72, a winning percentage of .607 which at the time was the highest for any swimming coach in Lehigh’s history.
In 1976, Gardiner was appointed as Lehigh’s first aquatic director, a position which gave him oversight of all phases of swimming and aquatics at the University. In the mid-1980s, he developed the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams into contenders within the East Coast Conference. Gardner mentored nine men and three women to a total of 20 individual ECC titles from 1976-88. In 1989, Gardiner turned over the swimming and diving programs to Chris Marshall ’88, a student-athlete Gardiner recruited, coached and mentored, who went on to a stellar coaching career of his own.
Gardiner moved into the University’s Admissions area where he assumed the responsibility of the admissions for all prospective student-athletes, a position he held for 22 years until his retirement at the end of the 2010-11 academic year. Gardiner had several stints as Lehigh’s interim Director of Admissions, before assuming the role on a permanent basis in 2003 and holding the position for his final eight years.
In his 22 years in admissions, Gardiner was responsible for the admission of every student-athlete to be part of a Patriot League Championship team, and the admission of more than 90 percent of the school record holders across all of Lehigh’s varsity sports. The 90 percent graduation rate of the student-athletes Gardiner worked with in admissions serves as a testimony to his appreciation for the culture and characteristics of Lehigh University and his ability to identify those in student-athlete candidates for admission.
Following his retirement from admissions, Gardiner reconnected with the Mountain Hawks’ swimming and diving program, serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2011-12 season.
A native of Port Chester, N.Y., Gardiner graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1968 and added a master’s degree in physical education from Springfield in 1972. Prior to his arrival at Lehigh, Gardiner spent four years as the head swimming coach at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut and was director of physical education at the Westport YMCA. Gardiner has two children, James and Heather ’98, and two grandchildren.
A native of Nyack, N.Y., Dan Smith was a defenseman and midfielder on the lacrosse team at Lehigh during a very successful period for the sport. Remarkably, the first lacrosse game he ever witnessed was one in which he played. In three varsity seasons, the Brown and White amassed a 26-12 record. Smith was also a member of Lehigh’s swimming and diving team and was active on campus, serving as vice president and treasurer for the class of 1971 as well as a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
Smith graduated from Lehigh in 1971 with a degree in industrial engineering and went on to serve as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Following a stint in the Navy, Smith returned to graduate studies at Harvard, where he earned his MBA in 1976.
In business, Smith’s career has been highlighted by leadership positions within a number of technology companies focused mostly on the infrastructure for the telecommunications industry. Included in those are two companies that Smith co-founded and served as President and CEO, including his current enterprise Sycamore Networks. Smith is regarded as one of the top leaders in his industry and is often called upon as a speaker or to be profiled in business or industry journals.
Smith has served on Lehigh University’s Board of Trustees since 2000 and has served as chair since 2007. In addition to gifts in support of Lehigh’s academic and research mission, Smith has provided leadership and financial support for the Smith Family Chair in Men’s Lacrosseseveral athletics facility projects and has been a valued contributor to the annual Athletics Partnership fund.
More importantly, Smith has provided credible and transformational leadership in his board role in regards to the stability of the Patriot League, the evolution of merit aid for scholar athletes at Lehigh, and the level of appreciation for the educational role of coaches and support personnel in athletics. Smith’s belief in the importance of supporting high quality people as the foundation of a quality organization has influenced both the University and the stability of the Lehigh Athletics staff.
Dan Smith has made enduring contributions to Lehigh University and Lehigh Athletics through his vision, ambition, confidence and optimism. He has led by example and through highly credible influence. His passionate preference would be to shun spotlights and instead render his leadership and support in obscurity. Yet his impact on people, on Lehigh’s competitive aspirations, and in the example of his conduct warrant the recognition and appreciation associated with Hall of Fame election.
Smith and his wife Elizabeth Riley have two children, Emily and Daniel III.
Ronald J. Ulrich graduated from Lehigh in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and business administration. At Lehigh he was active in sports, including tennis and squash. He went on to earn an MBA in corporate finance from New York University’s Graduate School of Business in 1971.
In 1975, Ulrich co-founded Morgan Stanley Asset Management, and served as managing director of Morgan Stanley Group, Inc. After 15 years with Morgan Stanley, Ulrich founded Equinox Capital Management, LLC and served as chairman and chief investing officer. Currently, Ulrich is president and founder of Breithorn Capital, a private investment firm.
Ulrich joined Lehigh University’s Board of Trustees in 1993 and chaired the board from 1996-2002. During that time, Lehigh’s Athletics program experienced significant enhancement, particularly among women’s sports and sports that had suffered in terms of visibility and quality of facilities. As chairman emeritus, Ulrich chaired the Shine Forever campaign, Lehigh’s $500 million fundraising effort. He continues to serve on the board’s executive and development committees.
Through his generosity, Ulrich has set a leadership example for friends and alumni of Lehigh University, focusing his philanthropy on athletics, enhancements to Lehigh’s campus, and the visual and performing arts. He regularly supports Zoellner Arts Center and has established two endowed chairs in the music department.
On the athletics side, Ulrich provided support for the Ulrich Sports Complex, which currently features a grass soccer field, Frank Banko ’41 field for lacrosse and Ronald J. Ulrich ’66 Field for field hockey. He also contributed to renovations in the Cundey Varsity House, the wrestling arena in lower Grace Hall and upcoming Caruso Wrestling Complex. He has also supported the position endowment for the head football coach, endowed a scholarship for a wrestling student-athlete and created an athletics endowment that provides annual funding to execute the athletics fund raising effort.
Ulrich’s giving and generosity has been transformational to the University, however it is his vision, courage and belief in Lehigh that the University aspires to model and instill in current Lehigh students. He has been at the forefront in sharing his beliefs in the value of athletics as a window into Lehigh University. He understands the significance of sports as both a recruiting tool and a visible manifestation of the excellence at Lehigh. Ulrich boldly embraced and exemplified the notion that alumni giving to athletics did not lead to a lack of support for the academic, cultural or even community priorities of the University, but instead could be a catalyst for support of such areas.
In addition to his work as a Lehigh trustee and board member, Ulrich is a member of the board of trustees for the Wildlife Conservation Society and is involved in several leadership committees with the New York Philharmonic. He formerly served on the board of trustees for Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts in New York and the New Canaan Country Day School.
Ulrich is also active in wildlife conservation activities in the Congo Basin, East and Southern Africa, and the Russian Far East - focusing on preservation of elephants, low land gorillas, and the Siberian tiger.
With his wife Christine, Ron has three children, Benner ’98, Adrian ’99, and Collier.
Kimberly (Freedman) Kellow ‘99 had arguably one of the greatest careers of any women’s volleyball player in Lehigh history, setting the school record for kills in a season (566) and ranking second in school history in career kills with 1229. She was a member of Lehigh volleyball’s first ever NCAA tournament team in 1997 and was a two-time All-Patriot League first-team honoree.
In 1996, Kellow appeared in 25 matches where she recorded 245 kills and 87 digs. Things picked up for Kellow in her junior season where she had 411 kills and led Lehigh to a Patriot League Tournament title and its first and thus far only trip to the NCAA Tournament. A first team All-Patriot League selection, Kellow was named most outstanding player at the early-season Lehigh Invitational and was named to the All-Tournament team at the Navy Classic. She captured a pair of Patriot League weekly awards, and was named the Most Valuable Player at the Patriot League Tournament.
As a senior in 1998, Kellow enjoyed another tremendous season, with a program-record 566 kills. She was named to three different All-Tournament teams in the early season, including the Lehigh Mountain Hawks Classic. She was twice recognized as the Patriot League’s Player of the Week, and went on to earn Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors as well.
Kellow excelled off the court, graduating with a 3.59 grade point average. She was a Presidential Scholar, a member of the Dean’s List in 1997 and 1998, a two-time Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year for volleyball, and a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection in 1998. She was recognized as Lehigh’s Graduating Female Athlete of the Year in 1999.
After graduating with a B.S. in Biology, Kellow began her masters in Chemistry as a Presidential Scholar so she could pursue her dream as a perfumer. Kellow is now just one of only 500 perfumers in the entire world.
A native of Bloomington, Illinois, Kellow spent several years in London, England working for Fermenich. Kellow has since relocated to New Jersey with her children Easton and Lila Grace. She now works for Takasago International, a Japanese fragrance corporation.
Formal induction into the Roger S. Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame will take place on Saturday, April 28 and the induction is sponsored by the Lehigh Athletics Partnership. For more information, please contact Greg Strobel at (610) 758-3589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.