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Six selected for RIT Sports Hall of Fame

The RIT Sports Hall of Fame grew to 135 members with the induction of six new members at the 35th annual ceremony Nov. 8, 2003.

The latest inductees into RIT’s Sports Hall of Fame are, from left, Tony Fraij ’96, Allan Shepard ’62, Craig Jones ’98, Kristina Schulze Keer ’93, Ronald Rice ’77, and Frederick Bleiler.

Allan H. Shepard ’62 (printing), a native of Buffalo, now lives in Cambridge, Md. He was the driving force in the late 1950s and early ’60s before men’s hockey became a varsity sport. Shepard played three seasons of club hockey and was chosen to drop the ceremonial puck at the first varsity game in 1963-64. He was also a member of Gamma Epsilon Tau Fraternity. Shepard is vice president of Roebuck Printing Inc. in Baltimore.

Craig S. Jones ’97 (social work), will be remembered as one of the finest players in all of NCAA Division III basketball. He was a three-time All-American, national Player of the Year, co-Senior Athlete of the Year and three times Rochester College Player of the Year. In 2002 he was inducted into the JP Morgan Chase Tournament Hall of Fame.

In his four years, he scored 1,984 points, breaking the previous mark of Hall of Famer Jim Robinson ’68 who had 1,919. Jones also set the career rebound record with 1,085. He played in 106 games and helped guide the team to an 84-22 won-lost record.

A native of Webster, N.Y., Jones resides in Prescott, Ariz., where he is a residential program director with Daybreak Behavioral Resources in Dewey, Ariz.

Kristina Schulze Keer ’93 (hotel management) did her share of rewriting the RIT track and field record book. Competing in the grueling indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon, Keer won five New York state titles during her career. Along the way, she shattered school records and was named Senior Athlete of the Year in 1993. Keer set school marks in the pentathlon (2,622 points), heptathlon (3,767), high jump, long jump, 800 meters and 40-meter hurdles. She missed her entire sophomore year because of injury and the death of her father.

A former girls’ track coach at Merritt Island (Fla.) High School, she recently relocated to Pottstown, Pa., with her husband and two children. She is a native of Rensselaer, N.Y.

Tony S. Fraij ’97 (packaging science) had the distinction of earning 11 All-American titles in cross country and track, more than any other athlete in RIT history. Fraij excelled at distance running and capped off his cross country career with third place honors in the 1996 NCAA Division III championship. RIT finished fourth in the nationals in 1993 and 1995. His track career was highlighted with second and third place finishes in the 10,000 and 5,000 meters in 1995.

He was RIT Athlete of the Week 23 times and was named co-Senior Athlete of the Year in 1997. He was Rochester Press-Radio Club College Athlete of the Year in 1995 and won the team Outstanding Runner Award three times. Fraij also maintained a 3.37 grade point average and was named to the Dean’s List eight quarters. The Sidney, Ohio, native now lives in Hilliard, Ohio, and is a package development engineer with Roxane Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio.

Ronald P. Rice ’78 (applied photography), a native of Warren, Mich., was the first All-American in the history of RIT swimming, gaining the honor in the 200-yard freestyle in 1974-75 with a time of 1:48.1. He repeated the feat a year later as part of the 400-yard freestyle relay. Rice was named National Technical Institute for the Deaf Male Athlete of the Year in 1975 and 1978 and was RIT’s first deaf All-American. He displayed his versatility by swimming freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and as part of relays.

During his RIT career, Rice won 82 of 85 races and was four-time Most Valuable Swimmer and leading scorer. He lives in Oregon City, Ore., and is employed with Orepac Building Products Co., Wilsonville, Ore.

Fred Bleiler, honored for distinguished service, served as RIT’s physical education and athletics administrator from 1968 to 2000. Bleiler created and implemented intercollegiate, intramural and physical education programs at the newly opened Eisenhower College, which later became part of RIT. Bleiler was director of physical education and athletics from 1968 to July 22, 1982, when Eisenhower closed.

A native of Odessa, N.Y., and now of Henrietta, N.Y., he joined the RIT physical education staff in 1982 as associate director and physical education instructor and became director in 1984. After he assumed leadership, the RIT physical education program was revised to include a wellness component, a faculty/staff health enhancement program (known as RIT*FIT) and a senior “fit for success” certificate awards program.

Bleiler, along with Hall of Famer Fred W. Smith (former vice president for student affairs and now secretary of the institute and assistant to the president) and associate director Greg Moss, was instrumental in the design and planning of the Hale-Andrews Student Life Center, which opened in 1992.

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