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September 20, 2006 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (September 20, 2006) - Aquinas College will induct eight individuals into two Halls of Fame Friday, September 29, 2006. Among the inductees will be three of West Michigan's top four amateur golfers. The inductions will be part of the College’s annual Hall of Fame Gala, which is the opening event for its Homecoming Weekend celebration (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1). The Gala will be held in the Wege Student Center Ballroom. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Gala ($65/person) are available by calling (616) 632-2809.

In recognition of outstanding contributions to the College and the lifelong achievements of distinguished alumni and friends of the College, the following are being inducted into the College Hall of Fame: President Emeritus R. Paul Nelson (1990 – 1997), for his many dedicated years of service to the College; Joseph ’50 and Mary (Beckwith ’50 †) Hansknecht for their service as agents of change in the Detroit area relating to human rights and the Christian Family Movement; and Aquinas College’s first library director, Sr. Malachi Laithwaite, O.P. (†), for her dedication and commitment to improving the quality of Aquinas College and its student resources.

The Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome three golfers who, in addition to their accomplishments as former student-athletes, have achieved notoriety for their amateur play both locally and statewide in capturing a combined total of 38 championship titles. Bob Sakocius ’78 (#1 with 24 titles), Al Dimavicius’62 (#2 with 8 victories) and Greg Alksnis ’71 (#4 with 6 wins). Each will also be recognized for his Lifetime Achievements. Also entering the Athletic Hall of Fame will be Shawn (Pearson ’90) Gleason who concluded her Saints volleyball career with 17 individual records and Mike Wilson ’89 who is the only Aquinas athlete to earn both NAIA All-American and Academic All-American honors in two sports, track and field and basketball.

Also to be honored with Alumni Association Awards on September 29 will be Brigadier General Jim Brunson ’71, an assistant U.S. Attorney and deputy commander of the Michigan Army National Guard, who will receive the Outstanding Alumni Award for service to his country and for efforts on behalf of Aquinas; Mike ’86 and Kathleen "Kiki" (Hieshetter ’87) Lown will share the Distinguished Service Award for their commitment of time and resources to the College; and Barbara Selesky ’87, whose tireless dedication to serving as an alumni representative has earned her the 2006 Alumni Association Board Member of the Year Award.

Aquinas' Homecoming Weekend is packed with a variety of activities for both alumni and their families on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 30 & Oct. 1). The College will also have special events for its alumni marking class reunions, including those from 1956-57, 1966, 1976, 1981, 1986 and 1996.

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