Athletics Department announces Hall of Fame Class of 2017, Induction Ceremony details

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College athletics department is proud to announce the induction of former athletic director Dr. Jo-Ann E. Nester and men's lacrosse standout Kevin DeBenedetto '10 to the Saint Anselm Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

The induction will take place on February 11, 2017, which will also include a celebration of 40 years of women's athletics at the College as well as the induction of the Hall of Fame Class of 2007.

"We are excited to honor all of the accomplishments of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017 while also finally inducting the Class of 2007," noted Director of Athletics Daron Montgomery. "We look forward to celebrating those groups as well as 40 years of women's athletics in a series of events exactly one month from today."

The day's events begin with the 40th year celebreation, starting with a continental breakfast at 10 a.m., and at 10:30 a.m., a celebration event featuring keynote speaker Dr. Jo-Ann Nester. This event is free and open to the public.

It is also a busy day on the Hilltop as there will be both a basketball and hockey doubleheader on campus. Men's and women's basketball hosts Saint Michael's College at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., with women's ice hockey taking on the Purple Knights at 1 p.m. and men's ice hockey wrapping up the day with a 4 p.m. game against nationally ranked UMass Boston.

The Hall of Fame festivities will commence at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, with the banquet and induction ceremony to follow. Tickets for the event may be purchased for $45 per person or $320 for a table of eight (8). Please contact Michele Durham at 603-641-7800 to RSVP.

Hall of Fame Inductions & 40th Year Celebration of women's athletics at Saint Anselm College
Saturday, February 11, 2017

10 a.m. - Continental Breakfast, NHIOP Hall of Flags
10:30 a.m. - Celebrating 40 Years of Women's Athletics, NHIOP Auditorium
Dr. Jo-Ann Nester, Keynote Speaker
12 p.m. - Lunch event (Details TBD) sponsored by Alumni Association
1 p.m. - Women's Ice Hockey vs. St. Michael's (Sullivan Arean)
1:30 p.m. - Women's Basketball vs. St. Michael's (Stoutenburgh Gymnasium)
3:30 p.m. - Men's Basketball vs. St. Michael's (Stoutenburgh Gymnasium)
4 p.m. - Men's Ice Hockey vs. UMass Boston (Sullivan Arena)
6 p.m. - Hall of Fame Reception, NHIOP Auditorium, lobby
7 p.m. - Hall of Fame Banquet, NHIOP Auditorium 

2017 Inductees

Dr. Jo-Ann E. Nester served as the Director of Athletics at Saint Anselm College on two separate occasions, from October 2009 through August 2011 and October of 2013 through May of 2014. During her time on the Hilltop, Dr. Nester helped restructure the athletics staff by moving several part-time head coaching positions into full time head coaching status. She also helped improve women's sports in the department by getting approval to provide athletic scholarship for all teams eligible. She was also instrumental in seeking and obtaining corporate sponsorships to help enhance the athletics budget as well as to jump start the Anselmian Athletic Club, which had been defunct for decades. Through her work in fundraising, the College was able to install the turf field at Grappone Stadium, provide Nike uniforms and shoes to every team, while also providing live video broadcasts for basketball, hockey, lacrosse and football home games.

"I am honored to have been selected for the Saint Anselm Hall of Fame and to join the group of elite former student athletes, coaches and administrators already in the Hall of Fame," said Dr. Nester. "I am looking forward to returning to campus for the induction, to see our current athletes in action, and re-connect with student-athletes, coaches and members of the College community."

Dr. Nester also focused on the student-athlete experience as she advocated for additional staff in the areas of Sports Medicine, Strength & Conditioning, Sports Information as well as adding and improving facilities. She also established the Faculty/Staff Team Advisory Program to bring the faculty, administration and the monastic community directly in touch with student-athletes and their programs.

Dr. Nester graduated from West Chester State College in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education, as well as a Master of Science degree from West Chester in 1976. In addition, Dr. Nester earned her doctorate in education from Temple University in 1985.

"It is exciting to be selected for the Hall of Fame and even more exciting to be selected in the year of the celebration of 40 years of women's athletics at Saint Anselm," added Dr. Nester. "The celebration of this milestone for the women's program is meaningful and appropriate because the road at Saint Anselm, and at most colleges and universities across the country, has not always been a smooth one. But, because of the devotion, talent and tenacity of our former and current female student-athletes, the road at Saint Anselm has become a much smoother one allowing for the growth and expanded success of all of our women's programs. I am very proud to have been a part of that growth and humbled to be recognized and welcomed as a member of the Saint Anselm Hall of Fame."

Kevin DeBenedetto was a four-time First Team All-New England selection as well as a two-time All-Northeast-10 Conference selection, including a First Team nod in 2010. That season, DeBenedetto was also recognized as the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year as well as the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) and ECAC Player of the Year and a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Second Team All-American, the program's first All-American. DeBenedetto also played in the USILA All-Star game in his senior season and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

"I am so honored," said DeBenedetto. "This was a special Christmas gift. Thank you to my teammates, coaches, trainers, friends and family that supported me along the way."

On the field, DeBenedetto helped lead the Hawks to 29 wins over his four seasons on the Hilltop, including four-straight NE10 Tournament bids and an appearance in the NE10 Semifinals in 2009.

In the Saint Anselm record book, DeBenedetto is currently the all-time leader in caused turnovers with 91, while ranking second in career games played (58) and third in groundballs (163). In 2010, DeBenedetto set the program record for caused turnovers in a single season with 54. Over his four years, he scored 14 goals and added three assists for 17 career points.

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