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GNAC Enshrines Eight in 2019 Hall of Fame Class Induction Ceremony


Eight inductees attend 2019 GNAC
Hall of Fame Induction Class ceremony

EAST BOSTON, Mass. – More than 140 guests, including all of the inductees, were in attendance last Wednesday, August 7, at the Hilton Garden Inn Logan Airport in Boston, as eight former student-athlete standouts were enshrined as part of the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Hall of Fame Class.

The GNAC appreciates the vast number of constituent groups represented at the event, as numerous delegations were on hand, including GNAC Presidents, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members, Faculty Athletic Representatives (FAR), Senior Woman Administrators (SWA), as well as current and former GNAC administrators and coaches.

This 2019 inductees included Ray Askew of Albertus Magnus College men's basketball; Iman (Davis) Barbosa of Emmanuel College women's basketball; Lamonte Thomas of Johnson & Wales University (RI) men's basketball; Jose Guitian of Lasell College men's basketball; Josh McElroy of Norwich University men's soccer; Aaron Dufoe of Rivier University men's soccer & men's basketball; Michael Maguire of Suffolk University baseball; and Jackie (Shedlock) Kapusta of Western New England University softball.  

Each inductee was spotlighted individually by the GNAC throughout the course of the summer. For each full in-depth feature, please see below. 

Commissioner Joe Walsh began the evening's programming with his opening remarks, before Norwich University FAR Joe Latulippe presented Norwich three-sport standout  Emily Oliver (women's volleyball, women's basketball, softball) with the 2019 GNAC Woman of the Year Award.

After Oliver spoke and thanked the audience, Rivier President Sister Paula Buley, IHM, delivered an invocation prior to the dinner. Following the meal, the programming shifted to the introductions, video presentations, and speeches from each of the eight inductees.

Members of the GNAC SAAC Commissioner's Council were involved in the introductions, as GNAC national SAAC representative Mikayla Arimura from Johnson & Wales University introduced Thomas; Emmanuel College men's lacrosse's Morgan Mercier introduced Barbosa; Norwich women's soccer's Alex MacPherson honored McElroy; and Saint Joseph's College of Maine track & field's Lillian Bisset welcomed Askew. 

Former GNAC national SAAC rep Nafeesa Connolly was also on hand to introduce Kapusta. The former Simmons University women's volleyball student-athlete is currently the Athletics Assistant Director for Marketing & Promotions at Boston University. 

Previously the NCAA Associate Director of Academic and Membership Affairs, current GNAC Assistant to the Commissioner Chris Brown introduced Guitian, while his predecessor at the conference office, Annie Jenkins, who is now the Assistant Director of Athletic Business Operations at UMass Lowell, welcomed Dufoe. 

Various GNAC "founders" were also in attendance, including former GNAC Commissioner and former JWU Athletics Director John Parente, who introduced Maguire. 

Also in attendance was GNAC men's basketball assignor Larry Last, as the conference would not be where it is without officials and referees for its 22 championship sports, as well as Tom O'Connor of Reading Trophy & Shirt, which has been the longtime GNAC awards provider for 15 years.

While last Wednesday marked the first-ever Hall of Fame dinner, the 2019 class was the third in the GNAC's rich Hall history.

The inaugural 2010 class included: Emerson College's Rob Hennigan (men's basketball), Emmanuel's Andy Yosinoff (women's basketball head coach), JWU's Milton Johnson (men's soccer), Pine Manor College's Sara Pray (women's soccer, softball), University of Saint Joseph's (Conn.) Noel Kusek (women's volleyball), Simmons University's Krista Dacek (women's soccer), Southern Vermont's Dan Dix (men's cross country), Suffolk's Katie Norton (softball), as well as the 2000 Emmanuel women's basketball team and the 2000 Suffolk University baseball program.

In 2012, Emerson's Ellen Boss (soccer, basketball, softball), JWU's Annemarie Proto (women's volleyball), and University of Saint Joseph's (Conn.) Stacy Manfredi (women's basketball) were all enshrined.

Throughout the month of July, the GNAC featured the inductees with spotlight stories:
Tues 7/9: Ray Askew, Albertus Magnus College Men's Basketball
Thurs 7/11: Iman (Davis) Barbosa, Emmanuel College Women's Basketball
Tues 7/16: Lamonte Thomas, Johnson & Wales University (RI) Men's Basketball
Thurs 7/18: Jose Guitian, Lasell College Men's Basketball
Tues 7/23: Josh McElroy, Norwich University Men's Soccer
Thurs 7/25: Aaron Dufoe, Rivier University Men's Basketball/Men's Soccer
Tues 7/30: Michael Maguire, Suffolk University Baseball
Thurs 8/1: Jackie (Shedlock) Kapusta, Western New England University Softball

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience. 

– #TheGNAC –