Butler welcomes newest Hall of Fame inductees

On Saturday night, Butler inducted seven new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame.

The inductees were Clyde McEntire, Norman “Norm” Ellenberger, Lynn Schreiber Wallace, Charles “Chuck” Orban, Beth Christiansen Hutson, Fraser Thompson and James “Jim” McGrath.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” McGrath said. “To be recognized for doing your job is almost beyond the scope of belief.”

The Athletic Hall of Fame began in 1992 and a class has been inducted  every year since then.

The earliest athletes can be inducted is 10 years after their graduation, and for an athletics department inductee, a minimum of five years of service is required.

A maximum of five members are elected every year. Exceptions to this are honorary inductees, who qualify as  non-athletes, coaches or   posthumous inductees.

This year, out of the seven inductees, McGrath received an honorary induction, and McEntire was honored posthumously.

McEntire, who graduated in 1950, is only the second golfer to be inducted.

His score of 66 in the 1950 Mid-American Conference Championship is still a league and school record to this day. He also received medalist honors in the conference three times.

Ellenberger, who graduated in 1955, was a three-sport athlete.

He played under legendary coach Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle in  men’s basketball.

In football, he was the team captain and was named an All-Conference player. In baseball, he pitched one of five no-hitters in Butler baseball history.

Wallace, who graduated in 1979, was a two-sport athlete for all four of her years at Butler.

She played No. 1 singles and doubles for the women’s tennis team in addition to helping the women’s basketball team achieve an undefeated regular season in 1978.

Orban, who graduated in 1991, was a linebacker for the football team.

He still holds the record for the most career (487) and single-season (181) tackles.

He also won Butler Defensive MVP twice, third team All-American and led the team to three conference championships.

“I think the best way to put it is it’s the journey of what you experienced at Butler,” Orban said. “It’s recognition, but it’s not only recognition for me. It’s recognition for the people I was here with.”

Orban said his best memory was his sophomore year when his team made the playoffs.

“We were a young team. Nobody really picked us to do much, and we all played very well,” Orban said.  “It was so fun because everybody played together as a team.”

Hutson, who graduated in 1991, is one of two female athletes from Butler to earn the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Cecil N. Coleman Medal of Honor.

Her total blocks, aces and hitting percentage place her second in school history.

In 1988, Hutson and the Butler volleyball team compiled a 29-7 record, the best in school history.

“This university is an amazing place, and I’m incredibly honored,” Hutson said.

Thompson, who graduated in 2000, was a track and cross country runner from Melbourne, Australia.

He received several NCAA honors, including All-American and All-Conference in both sports and the Coleman Medal of Honor.

McGrath has worked 31 years with Butler and has been involved with media relations for over 3,000 Butler athletic events.

“I’ve devoted 31 years of my life to this university, and you don’t do that unless it’s a really special place, and Butler has been just that,” said McGrath. “To get an honor like this from Butler means the world to me.

“The thing that I will remember the most is the athletes,” McGrath said. “We’ve had such a high-caliber group of great individuals come through Butler University.”

Athletes are nominated by former Butler athletes. The nominees are then reviewed by the B-Association Hall of Fame Committee, which is made up of five or six members of the B-Association Board of Directors.

The B-Association is the alumni association for all former Butler athletes.

“To have the opportunity to be recognized by your peers and other former Butler student athletes is a great honor,” Bill Lynch, associate athletic director for development, said.

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