Four Webster University graduates enshrined as the second Webster HOF class on Feb. 5
By Josh Sellmeyer
Four of the greatest student athletes in Webster University history were officially inducted into the Webster Athletic Hall of Fame on Feb. 5.
Halley (Spann) Barke, Mike Hutchison, Eric Stack and Dan Thoman joined last year’s inaugural class to comprise the first nine individuals enshrined in the HOF.
“It makes what you did feel important,” Thoman said. “You didn’t know at the time. You just loved the competition, but you didn’t know that your dedication to the university and the sports program might be a bigger thing. Now it feels like you’re being recognized for giving something to the university, and hopefully it gives people that drive to shoot for the same thing.”
The four inductees were honored at halftime of the men’s basketball game. Webster President Beth Stroble and Director of Athletics Tom Hart presented each of the individuals with a HOF jacket and a crystal prism trophy, as the inductees’ accomplishments were announced to the crowd of 300.
“Now, there are a lot bigger crowds at the games,” Stack said. “With the whole student housing and the construction going on, it’s really a nice college campus atmosphere. Before, it was a few buildings here and there. Now, you’re going to a university campus. I don’t think the kids there really know how good they have it right now.”
Earlier in the day during halftime of the women’s basketball game, Barke was inducted into the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. She is the fifth Webster graduate and 32nd person overall to be elected into the SLIAC HOF.
“It hasn’t really set in, but it was great getting the honor,” Barke said. “I feel very privileged to have been chosen. I look forward to coming back and seeing everyone else who gets inducted in later years.”
After the men’s basketball game ended, the inductees, their families, friends and members of the HOF selection committee met in the University Center Sunnen Lounge.
At the post-game reception, close friends of the inductees gave short speeches about why the individuals deserved to be Hall of Famers. Hutchison, a women’s soccer assistant coach, asked head coach Luigi Scire to speak on his behalf.
“Luigi said some very nice things, and so did the other people about the other candidates,” Hutchison said. “There’s a whole big support system that helped make all four of us successful. We were just the end product. So it was nice to be able to thank them and appreciate them.”