PASADENA (Mar. 29, 2019) – Caltech Athletics will induct its sixth Hall of Honor Class on Sunday, May 19 in conjunction with Alumni Seminar Weekend. This group consists of four athletes, an undefeated SCIAC Championship-winning team and the first former Athletic Director inductee.
Thomas Dee Burton '69, Rene (Davis) Daer '08, Kenneth Walker '74, Jacki (Wilbur) George '04, the 1942 men's golf team and former athletic director and coach of swimming and water polo Warren Emery.
For the third straight year, the Hall of Honor induction will take place in conjunction with the annual scholar-athlete awards banquet at Ramo Auditorium from 12:30-2pm. No registration is required and all are encouraged to attend, although seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. A short reception will follow the ceremony.
Thomas Dee Burton '69
Football, Track & Field
Burton enjoyed a distinguished football career in which he earned NAIA District 3 Second Team and Honorable Mention status, in addition to three All-SCIAC selections (Second Team twice) in as many seasons of participation before he graduated early. He quarterbacked the Beavers to their final Varsity win and first in 34 years, even clinching the game with an interception on UCSD’s final pass in the 34-31 victory. His exploits extended to track & field as well, where he placed fifth in the javelin and recorded the program’s third-best mark prior to the 1985 redesign.
Rene (Davis) Daer '08
Basketball, Track & Field
A highly accomplished scholar-athlete in both basketball and track & field, Daer (née Davis) finished her career at Caltech with several program records and individual accolades. She became the first player in women’s basketball program history to earn All-SCIAC recognition and reached the track & field podium at the SCIAC Championships with a second-place finish in the high jump, in addition to bests of fourth in the long jump and sixth in javelin. She held the women’s basketball record for career assists for a decade and is the former leader in both double-doubles and points (currently ranking sixth), while she boasts an incredible 12 Top 10 marks in track & field, including the best high jump, second-ranked heptathlon and third 200-meter dash, javelin and discus.
Daer recently earned her PhD in Biological Design from Arizona State University and has since pursued a career as a molecular biologist, currently working at Progenity, Inc. in San Diego.
Kenneth Walker '74
An NAIA District 3 champion and one of two three-time SCIAC champions in wrestling program history, Walker claimed his titles at 142 lbs. and incredibly notched Top-4 finishes in the district championships across three different weight classes.
After receiving his master’s and PhD in chemical engineering at Stanford University, Walker spent 21 years at Bell Laboratories and currently serves as Director of Research & Development at BrightView Technologies.
Jacki (Wilbur) George '04
Swimming & Diving, Water Polo
George (née Wilbur) was a dominant force on both the swimming & diving and water polo teams in her time at the Institute. She held seven individual records and a share of all five relay marks upon graduation, placing a high of fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and fifth in the 100 Free at the SCIAC Championships as a senior. She also led the water polo team to an unprecedented and since unmatched eight wins over her final two seasons, setting a record with 11 assists in 2004.
Having received a degree in Mechanical Engineering, George briefly worked in the industry following graduation but soon joined the Peace Corp as a Volunteer Teacher and Community Developer – the first in a very remote Ghana village. She also spent several years as a Project Engineer with Rexam Engineering, Marketing and Manufacturing to develop prototype tooling and coordinate testing utilizing 3D computer modeling.
’64-89 Athletic Director, '55-67 Swimming & Diving, Water Polo Coach
Highly regarded on campus and among his peers, Emory presided over a period of significant change for Caltech Athletics. He championed the expansion of the department’s Physical Education course offerings, memorably quipping for an article in the California Tech [Vol. XC No. 29], “My feeling was that we oughta be doing more teaching” along with the advent of Title IX and the Institute’s compliance with the new federal law in 1972 that led to Caltech’s first female Varsity team (fencing, inducted 2015).
Prior to shouldering the mantle of Athletic Director from 1964-89, Emery was Caltech’s first full-time swimming and water polo coach in 1955. Under his guidance the swimming & diving program won five SCIAC championship titles (only one other program won even a single championship during that span), boasting 36 individual and relay champions, while the water polo team earned 11 All-SCIAC First Team and 16 Second Team honors. His swimmers set eight conference and meet records at the SCIAC Championships, headlined by the Beavers’ only NAIA National champion, Henry DeWitt ’68 (inducted 2015).
1942 Men's Golf SCIAC champions
Joe Garst, Arnold Grossberg, Dexter Haymond, Bob Johns (cptn.), Bill Kennedy, Dick Marsh, Harry Moore, Roy Weller
Managers: Edward Bartlett Jr., Tony Briglio, Dave Douglas, Greg Young
One of two championship-winning teams in program history, the 1942 men’s golf squad ran the table with an undefeated SCIAC record in the regular season and claimed the championship in medal play. A dominant trio of golfers nearly swept the podium at the championship round, with Bob Johns becoming Caltech’s first ever SCIAC champion, Joe Garst placing second and Dexter Haymond tying for third as they paced a Beavers team that recorded its lowest championship score in history.