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Home > SVCPulse > News Archive

Eight Inducted into Athletic Hall of Fame

Public Relations
Posted: Friday Oct 18, 2013

Oct. 18, 2013

Eight graduates of Saint Vincent College who are also former stand-out athletes will be inducted into the Saint Vincent College Athletic Hall of Fame at a banquet at the Fred M. Rogers Center on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.

Those to be introduced during halftime of the Saint Vincent Bearcat football game vs Washington and Jefferson at 1 p.m. that day include Charles P. Ajemian of Waynesboro, Va., football and baseball; Thomas A. Goetz of Beach Lake, baseball and basketball; Daniel P. Lhota of Latrobe, basketball; Renee M. (McCracken) Furr of Latrobe, volleyball; John C. Pranaitis of Cranberry Twp., basketball; Kenneth F. Sweder of Wheaton, Ill., basketball; Amy P. (Gierl) Winkler of Gibsonia, basketball; and Robert T. Farrell, Jr., of Palm Coast, Fla., ice hockey (special award).

Charles P. Ajemian

Ajemian earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Saint Vincent College in 1964 where he played both football and baseball and was a member of the Lettermen Club. He earned a law degree (LLB) from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1967. He is employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as the Commonwealth’s attorney for the city of Waynesboro. He and his wife, Anne Marie, have five sons, Charles, Erik, Lucas, Jason and Jean-Claude who graduated from Saint Vincent in 1991. He is a member of St. John’s R.C. Church where he taught CCD from 1967 to 1975. He has also served as a member of the Jaycees and its board of directors and as a member of the chamber of commerce and its president. He has also coached Little League baseball (1975 to 1995) and was a founder of the Waynesboro Basketball Club and coached boys and girls AAU teams ages 10 to 19 from 1980 to 1997. His hobbies include coaching youth sports, playing tennis and golf, reading and poetry.

Thomas A. Goetz

Goetz earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Saint Vincent College in 1964 where he played baseball (four years) and basketball (two years) and served as vice president of the Lettermen Club. He earned a master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1965. He has attended alumni golf outings in Florida, Colorado and Idaho. He was also active in the Kiwanis Club and was a college and high school basketball official for more than 20 years. He is now retired from the State University of New York at Orange. He and his wife, Kathleen Colligan, have four children, Chad, Amy, Thomas and Elizabeth. His hobbies include fly fishing, flats fishing, kayaking, teaching pitching, fast pitch softball and watching his grandchildren compete in various sports.

Daniel P. Lhota

Lhota earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial relations from Saint Vincent College in 1981 where he played basketball for the Bearcats. He was named a small college All-American during his senior season when he averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds per game and his team was the first in school history to have 20 wins in a season. He was named first-team All-District his senior season. He also earned a master’s degree in industrial relations from West Virginia University. A former human resources executive with Sony and Pepsi, he currently is employed as director of human resources for the Pennsylvania operations of Alpha Natural Resources. He and his wife, Theresa, have two children, Daniel and Brittany. His hobbies include exercising, reading, short and long distance running, participating in mud runs and outdoor yard work. He is a member of the First Church of God, Latrobe.

Renee M. (McCracken) Furr

Furr earned a bachelor of arts degree in computing and information science with honors from Saint Vincent College in 1994 where she played volleyball and was named freshman of the year in 1990, player of the year in 1993 and NAIA All-American in 1993. She earned a master of business administration degree with information systems emphasis from Duquesne University in 2000 and a master’s certificate in project management from Duquesne. She is currently employed as director of information technology with Carpenter Technology in Latrobe. She and her husband, Chad, have two children, Cole and Jordan. Her hobbies include reading, camping, running, and watching and supporting her children in their athletic careers. She is a member of St. Cecilia’s R.C. Church, Whitney.

John C. Pranaitis

Pranaitis earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Saint Vincent College in 1967 where he played basketball and earned his way into 1000-point club, was leading rebounder his junior year and was leading scorer and set a field goal record his senior year. He played in the North/South All-Star Game and was named twice to the All-Conference team. He was honored as Review Athlete of the Year, received a Student Government Award and was a member of the Tilton Society. He is now retired from the position of president of Transtar, Inc., a wholly owned transportation subsidiary of U.S. Steel. He and his wife, Patricia, have two children, Jeff and Christie. Formerly active in the Rotary Club and at St. Raymond’s Cathedral Parish in Joliet, Ill., he is currently active with the PKD Foundation and as a member of St. Ferdinand R.C. Church, Cranberry Twp. His hobbies include reading, music and outdoor yard work.

Kenneth F. Sweder

Sweder earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Saint Vincent College in 1965 where he played varsity basketball for the Bearcats and averaged 20.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game during his junior year, was a two-time team leading scorer and rebounder, and set two SVC scoring records with most points per single game (42) and most field goals per single game (17). Team captain for two years, he was named most outstanding athlete in his senior year and was selected to the All-West Penn Conference Team. He was also active in the Monogram Club, Business Forum, Young Democrats and intramurals. He earned a master of business administration degree from DePaul University in 1977. He and his wife, Carol, have been married for 48 years and have two children, Kristen and Kenneth. He is now retired and enjoys golf, traveling, gardening, cooking and reading.

Amy P. (Gierl) Winkler

Winkler earned a bachelor of science degree in biology with highest honor from Saint Vincent College in 1993 where she was co-captain of the women’s basketball team. She is the sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,518 career points, a Kodak All-American, William Rafferty Scholar-Athlete Awardee, NAIA Scholar-Athlete Awardee and set a record for most steals in a game (11) which was later tied. She earned a master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh in 1995. She is currently employed as a physical therapist at St. John Specialty Care Center, Mars. She and her husband, David, have three children, Greta, Alana and David. She serves as the assistant coach of her daughter’s sixth grade basketball team at Pine-Richland and enjoys watching her daughter’s field hockey team and her son’s baseball team. She is a member of Christ Episcopal Church, North Hills.

Robert T. Farrell, Jr.

Farrell earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Saint Vincent College in 1972 where he played both golf and ice hockey and later served as coach of the Saint Vincent ice hockey team. While a student at Saint Vincent, he was active on the orientation committee and in the student government association. After a career of 35 years in juvenile justice with the Glen Mills Schools, he is now semi-retired and working part time in security at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine. His past community activities include SS. Peter and Paul baseball, Norwin PAL baseball and softball, Penn-Trafford AA softball, Westmoreland women’s softball, Westmoreland probation basketball, Greensburg Central Catholic hockey, Pittsburgh Amateur Penguins AA hockey, Hempfield High School hockey, Penn-Trafford High School hockey, Westmoreland Hockey Association, and founder/director of the Jim Ferramuda Life is Good Memorial Golf Tournament. He and his wife, Virginia, have four children, Kerry, Robert, Jessica and Ashley. His hobbies include hockey, playing golf, his grandchildren and juvenile justice.

Saint Vincent College Hall of Fame

Membership in the Hall of Fame is granted to those who played athletics or served in an athletic role at the College, alumni who graduated more than 15 years ago, and to those who have demonstrated loyalty to the College and have distinguished themselves in their service to their careers, their families and their communities.

A limited number of tickets ($50 per person) are available. For further information, contact Mary Ann Dunlap at the Saint Vincent Alumni Office, 724-805-2568.

The program will include a welcome by Edward McCormick, past-president of the Saint Vincent Alumni Council, who will also serve as master of ceremonies; remarks by Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president of Saint Vincent College; invocation by Rev. Myron M. Kirsch, O.S.B., Saint Vincent athletic director; and presentation of awards by Oland “Dodo” Canterna, former basketball coach and athletic director.

The Athletic Hall of Fame Committee includes Carl D. Burlas, Oland Canterna (chair), Lawrence R. Conley, James F. DiMuzio, Ronald D. Firment, Walter B. Hobart, Jr., Sue Hozak, Thomas M. Kissell, Edward McCormick, Joseph G. Mucci and Julieann Selep.

The event is coordinated by Michael Gerdich, director of alumni relations.

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Photos: Charles P. Ajemian, Thomas A. Goetz, Daniel P. Lhota, Renee M. (McCracken) Furr, John C. Pranaitis, Kenneth F. Sweder, Amy (Gierl) Winkler, Robert T. Farrell, Jr. 

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