Caltech Athletics Inaugurates Hall of Honor

On May 18, 2014, Caltech Athletics established a Hall of Honor to recognize alumni for their athletic achievements. Awards were given in four categories: pioneer, coach, team, and individual. In this inaugural year, honorees spanned 60 years of Caltech history, from Glenn Graham (BS '26) to Angie Bealko (BS '96).

Caltech seniors were on hand at the inaugural event to tell their stories of competing at Caltech. Albie Lavin, a mechanical engineering major, says, "In high school, I was all about myself: how much time I would have on the field, how many hits I would get. At Caltech, I've really learned about teamwork. Caltech baseball has taught me to be a leader. Not to look to myself, but to my teammates and coaches. At Caltech, I played for everybody else, and everybody else played for me."

Rebekah Kitto, a chemistry major, echoes Lavin's sentiments, saying that "coming to Caltech really taught me to be part of a team." A tennis player, Kitto also went out for volleyball, starting the sport from absolute scratch. "Caltech teaches you that you can learn anything," says Kitto, "from science to a completely new sport."

The Hall of Honor was established by Director of Athletics Betsy Mitchell. As she puts it, "Initiating an athletic Hall of Honor at Caltech is an important step in our celebration of the value of educational athletics for young people. Caltech has a history of commitment to athletic competition, and that history is dotted with excellent scholar-athletes who can serve to inspire and motivate those who follow in their footsteps. Recognizing and celebrating this history has been long overdue. It was inspirational to be a part of the celebration."

Additional inductees will be announced in future years.

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Credit: Caltech Athletics

Angie Bealko (BS '96) received a pioneer award for "student athletes who were involved as a catalyst for change within Caltech Athletics."

Bealko came to Caltech as a seasoned basketball player. She initially played for the men's team, but in her sophomore year, she says, "I recruited four volleyball players and put out a general call to the women on campus saying, 'If you know what a basketball is and show up for practice, you can be on the team.'" Bealko formed the 1995–96 women's basketball club team. Today Caltech has an NCAA women's basketball team.

Created by Cynthia Eller