On Friday, November 5, 2021, The Hill School held a special induction ceremony to honor the teams that are part of the Alumni Centennial Hall and Frank S. Bissell '33 Hall. *Scroll down to view more photos.
Upon entering the Center For The Arts, inductees and their guests took a walk down memory lane as the hallway leading into the luncheon was lined with enlarged copies of each team's Hill School photo. Alumni enjoyed pointing to their photos and sharing stories with family members and teammates.
After an introduction by Board Chair James Alexandre '75 and blessing by Tom Northrup '64 (member of The Hill School Athletics Hall of Fame Founders Hall), Director of Athletics and Co-Curricular Activities Seth Eilberg P'22 '23 '25 offered a history of how the newly formed Halls were created.
"A few years ago, when we first considered moving the Hall of Fame induction ceremony from an annual occurrence to an every-other-year event, one of the discussions that arose was the sheer volume of championship teams from the early years of Hill Athletics that were deserving of Hall of Fame induction," remarked Eilberg.
"Around the same time, the School was beginning to plan for the Centennial Anniversary of the formation of The Hill School Alumni Association. Hence came the idea to create a special, one-time recognition class of the greatest teams from the first half-century of the Alumni Association's existence - the group which became the Alumni Centennial Hall.
"To create this group, we combed through the annals and came up with a preliminary list of teams from each sport to consider. There was one catch, though. How would we determine which of the 17 National Prep Champion wrestling teams that had not yet been inducted into the Hall of Fame, were most worthy of being in the Alumni Centennial Hall? Winning one National Championship is a remarkable achievement, let alone winning 17 titles in 22 years. We felt it was most appropriate to honor all of the teams from the Hill Wrestling dynasty under Coach Bissell with the creation of the Frank S. Bissell '33 Hall, a section of the Hall of Fame honoring all 17 National Prep champions."
A few of Hill's current coaches of the sports being honored into the Centennial Hall were invited to read the citations for each team. Doug Schutte '71, the historian for The Hill Wrestling Association, shared thoughts on the Bissell Hall before Dave Hoffman '01, head wrestling coach, recognized those teams and wrestlers being honored.
Alumni Centennial Hall
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Alumni Association’s formation, the Alumni Centennial Hall was created as a one-time recognition class that honors 13 of the greatest Hill School teams from the first half-century of the Alumni Association’s existence. Those teams include: 1922-23 Football; 1931-32, 1932-33, 1934-35, 1935-36 Basketball; 1949-50 Tennis; 1955-56 Football; 1956-57 Swimming; 1957-58 Football; 1960-61 Swimming; 1963-64 Squash; 1965-66 Swimming; 1967-68 Golf. Read more about the Centennial Hall.
The Frank S. Bissell '33 Hall
The Bissell Hall was established to honor all 17 of Hill’s National Prep championship-winning teams, which include: 1948-49, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1951-52, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58 (2013 HOF inductees), 1958-59, 1960-61, 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1967-68, and 1970-71.