Our NYU: March 2022
A Note from President Hamilton
I am mad about sports.
I love watching them—the Steelers and Premier League in particular—and I love playing them. For many years, I played rugby; finally, I had to come to terms with the incompatibility of playing flanker (for the cognoscenti) and being a professor of chemistry and father of three, particularly after I broke my collarbone! Thence began my many years of playing soccer with other superannuated athletes, for which I still feel an inordinate and sentimental fondness (a plaque memorializing the year I was the team’s highest goal scorer still hangs on my wall).
Among college athletics, Division III competition—NYU’s division—doesn’t garner as much attention as the Division I powerhouses. However, to this soccer-playing organic chemist, NYU’s team members epitomize the ideal of student-athletes, and they deserve our respect and our support. So I want to take a moment to celebrate some of this year’s achievements by our tremendous 500-some varsity student-athletes, who deliver their best in the classroom and on the rink/diamond/field/pitch (23 varsity sports altogether) all season long and make us ever so proud.
- Our women’s basketball team won our conference’s (the University Athletic Association, or UAA) championship for the first time since 2007 and earned an automatic bid for the NCAA Division III Tournament. They ended their regular season with a 22–1 record, and were ranked #7 in the nation among DIII teams, making it to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament!
- For the sixth time in seven years, four wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships. Trent Furman (CAS ’23), Jason Geyer (SPS ’23), Matt Kelly (SPS ’24), and Cooper Pontelandolfo (CAS ’25) qualified in their respective weight classes at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships, with Pontelandolfo earning All-America honors.
- Twenty-seven members of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams qualified for the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. Caitlin Marshall (CAS ’25) won the 200-yard butterfly and Jessica Flynn (Steinhardt ’23) won the 100-yard backstroke, and the team earned eight All-America honors.
- And speaking of fencing above one’s weight, our men’s and women’s teams combined for an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, which included all three NCAA Divisions. NYU was the top Division III finisher as senior Ian Sanders (CAS) took the bronze medal in epee. He and junior Jamie Ren (CAS and Stern) earned All-America honors. And in February, the men’s and women’s teams beat our uptown rivals, nationally ranked Division I Columbia University.
- Finally, two first-years, Dakota Fordham (Gallatin) and Carol Plakk (Nursing), made NYU history by winning the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Doubles Championship—becoming NYU’s first tennis champions.
These accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you realize that NYU does not have its own dedicated playing fields and that its main sports facility has been off-line since 2016 (the latter will be remedied when 181 Mercer opens next year).
When I need my fix of sports fandom, there’s nothing more enjoyable than watching our teams play. As winter gives way to spring weather, I hope you’ll join Jennie and me and turn out to cheer for our teams, particularly now that we’ve eased some of the restrictions on spectators.
I wish all of you the best with your continued studies, research, and work. And from all of us to our intercollegiate athletes: Go Violets!
Our scholar-athletes have had standout performances thus far. Here are just a few highlights from the 2021–2022 season to date.
Cooper Pontelandolfo, a first-year studying economics at the College of Arts and Science, was one of four wrestlers who qualified for the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championship, and earned All-America honors.
Our women’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight this year! Here, head coach Meg Barber and her bench celebrate during the Violets’ NCAA tournament first-round victory over Washington and Lee University on March 4 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn—a few blocks from NYU Tandon.