Trophy cases with awards and achievements line the walls of Taylor Gym's Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame. The hall of fame gallery is split up into different sections based on team and individual accomplishment. (Xiangda Zhu/B&W Staff)

Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame announces newest class of inductees


To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame, six new members will be inducted in May.

The hall holds 105 members, all honored with individual plaques depicting an illustration of their head, the year of their induction and their names.

The last time Lehigh inducted new members was in 2019.

Cross country and track and field runner Wayne Rogers, ’75, men’s soccer forward Andrew Mittendorf, ‘99, wrestler Troy Letters, ’06, and women’s soccer forward Gina Lewandowski, ’07, were elected to the hall. 

Judy Turner Baxter, former field hockey and women’s lacrosse coach who later served as the assistant athletic director, and Greg Strobel, former wrestling head coach, are also joining the class in the hall.

Following her retirement from professional soccer, Lewandowski now serves as an assistant coach of Lehigh women’s soccer. Her 16-year professional career included time spent in the National Women’s Soccer League and playing for Bayern Munich, one of the top clubs in Germany.

Lewandowski accumulated individual accolades at Lehigh, such as winning the Patriot League’s Offensive Player of the Year award twice. She said the amount of trust and hope her Lehigh coaches had in her set her up for a long and successful professional career.

“My love for the game grew each year that I was able to play,” Lewandowski said.

She said she did not expect to be inducted into the hall but recognized her growth as a player on the field and leader off the field throughout her career.

Lewandowski said she hopes to inspire the next generation of players as a coach.

“Having the right people, support and resources around you is so valuable, but more importantly, coupled with an inner drive to get to your next level, the sky is the limit,” Lewandowski said.

The process of selecting these individuals is not simple. Lehigh Athletics even stopped the process altogether after electing the 2012 class, only to resume voting in 2019, revamping the process of selecting candidates. 

Adjustments to the voting system were made to delineate inductees into four categories. Two are for male and female candidates, one is for candidates regardless of gender who graduated from Lehigh over 35 years ago, and one is for non-athlete contributors to Lehigh Athletics, such as coaches and event staff members. 

The Athletic Department instituted this change to make sure the Hall of Fame represented a diverse group of individuals.

The process of electing new members begins with Rob Kaufman, ‘69, Lehigh Athletics archive manager.

Rich Haas, assistant athletic director for Sales and Marketing, said Kaufman does a great job looking through the history of Lehigh sports and finding potential candidates in each program to suggest. 

Haas said the next step of the process involves a committee of around 10 people, composed of both athletic department staff and Hall of Fame members, who match Kaufman’s selections to each of the four categories. The committee’s job is to select which athletes will make their way onto the final ballot.

Haas said the final step of the process involves a group of around 50 people, composed of Hall of Fame members and head coaches, who vote on the candidates the committee places on the ballot. If a nominee reaches a certain threshold of votes determined by the Athletic Department, they are inducted. 

“It’s a very democratic process which allows for a much broader selection and (an) equitable election process,” Haas said.

Lehigh hosts a dinner to formally induct electees. This year’s event will be held on May 12.

Kaufman said after the months-long process, the dinner is the most rewarding part of the experience.

“You know, it’s (like) the wedding ceremony,” Kaufman said. “You see the smile on their face.”

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