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Alvernia University inducts athletes into Hall of Fame

Date: 10/9/2010

Members of the 1987 cross country team pose in front of an original image.


Alvernia University honored former student-athletes at the annual Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony, Friday, October 8, 2010, in the Physical Education Center on main campus.

This year’s individual Athletics Hall of Fame inductees include:

Shannon Brandt ’94 (women’s basketball)
Jeffrey Merlet ’94 (baseball)
Lonnie Walker (men’s basketball)
P.J. Yoder (baseball)

Shannon Brandt ’94 (women’s basketball) was a four-year starter who scored 859 points and also played on Alvernia’s first championship team, the Keystone Athletic Conference champs of 1992. She played on three NAIA qualifying teams and was named Team MVP for her freshman and senior years.

Jeffrey Merlet ’94 (baseball) played professionally in Europe. He was named to the NAIA BB District 19 First Team (1993), the All-PAC BB First Team (1993), and as Player of the Year for NAIA District 19 (1992).

Lonnie Walker (men’s basketball) was the only 1,000 point, 1,000 rebound men's player in Alvernia’s history. He scored 1,312 career points, had 1,002 career rebounds, and had the only men’s team’s triple-double. In 1997, he was named to the 1st Team All-PAC, 2nd Team Mid-Atlantic, and ECAC 1st Team Mid-Atlantic Team. He was the 1998 PAC Player of the Year and a 2nd Team All-American in 1998.

P.J. Yoder (baseball) had an impressive .422 batting average at Alvernia and was a 26th round draft pick of New York Mets (1995). He was named to the NAIA District 19 First Team (1993), the All-PAC First Team (1993), and the All-PAC First Team (1994). Before being drafted in 1995, Yoder was also named All-PAC First Team (1995), ECAC South First Team (1995), ECAC South Player of the Year (1995), and Team MVP (1995).

The 1987 men’s cross country team was also inducted. Members include:
    Dwight Armistead ’91
    Timothy Bender
    Lee Bennett’ 92, M’04
    Thomas Dourte ’90
    Christopher Gallo
    Dr. Michael Gentile ’88
    Brian Patton ’90
    Charles Scott ’88
    Isaac ‘Butch’ Ulrich ’88
    Larry Zerbe, Head Coach ’88
    Stephanie Butcher, Assistant Coach

Alvernia Athletics Hall of Fame inductees must be athletes who have completed their collegiate experience at least ten years prior to selection, and have brought distinction and honor to himself or herself, to Alvernia University, and Alvernia’s intercollegiate athletic program through athletic achievement.

Img: Lonnie Walker Polly Mathys

Awardee Lonnie Walker spent time reminiscing with Professor Polly Mathys.

Click here to view more photos from the event.

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.