The Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to honor former athletes and teams who achieved excellence through competition, coaches who have made a difference in the lives of their athletes and supporters of the athletic program. The induction ceremony has since become one of the most popular annual events on Glendale’s social calendar. Jim Sartoris, Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee, former Athletic Director and Physical Education Chair and GCC football coach of more than 40 years, talks about the program that he played such a key role in developing.
“When we got the Hall of Fame together 11 years ago, it wasn’t intended as a fundraiser,” says Sartoris. “The purpose was, and is, to honor Glendale’s athletic tradition, to bring alumni back to campus and to get those honorees involved with the college in ways that they might not have been for 30 or 40 years. It has been very successful – in my opinion one of the best things we’ve done. Year after year it’s an activity that creates excitement. People have tremendous pride in Glendale College and honorees are excited about coming back and sharing their stories – it’s inspiring!
“Many people are unaware that student athletes as a cohort transfer at a higher rate than any other cohort, except maybe the scholars program,” Sartoris continued. “The reason for that is because of the academic requirements to stay eligible; they must maintain a decent GPA and pass a certain amount of units.” Ed Karpp, Dean of Research, Planning & Grants concurs. “Student athletes are transferring at a rate about 8 percent higher than the average student, and if they complete two years of the program, the rate is even better than that.”
“The Hall of Fame has evolved over the years – some of the recent profits have been used to help with certain projects around the campus having to do with athletics. We’ve been working with the Athletic Department to identify needs that they have that they’re unable to satisfy through normal budgeting channels,” Sartoris continues. “For example, the training room is in great need of repair and upgrades. So we’ve been able to state that as a goal for any profits generated by the Hall of Fame for this year. Our goal is to raise $50,000 and we are halfway there.” To donate to the Athletic Training Facility, click here.
“A community college is a stepping stone - a transitory time, but it can be so important in the life of a student athlete; many of whom would not be on a college track, except for the opportunity to participate in sports. I’d tell student athletes, ‘work hard in everything you do but take advantage of the opportunities Glendale can afford you both academically and in athletics.’ No one goes anyplace without a strong academic background. If they get serious about it, they’ll be successful no matter what happens. Even if they need to start with remedial classes, or if they’re the last-string player and never see the field; if they’ve worked hard in the classroom, they’re going to transfer.”