The College of Staten Island honored six individuals this evening as part of the Class of 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at The Vanderbilt at South Beach on Staten Island. Recipients Jason Anarumo, Christina D’Arpa, James Donlan, Tara Gagliardo-DeGrado, Ken Lam, and David Paul were the honorees, representing a total of nearly 60 years of service as coaches and student-athletes. The rousing event featured a cluster of guest speakers over a full dinner, with words from each of the honorees or their families.
With many of the guests having not seen one-another in many years, the beginning of the Hall of Fame dinner was a chance for many to catch-up, share anecdotes, and reflect on the meritorious years of service of the inducted. The evening commenced with words from Associate Athletic Director David Pizzuto, who served as Hall of Fame Committee Chairperson and host, followed by Director of Athletics Charles Gomes and Deputy to the President Kenichi Iwama. Dr. William Fritz, CSI President addressed the crowd and offered congratulations to end the evening. Gomes spoke about the importance of connecting with alumni, congratulating the pioneers of the program who help usher in the Class of 2016. Iwama touched on the direction of the College, and the importance of continuing a legacy that have been storied both at Staten Island Community College and CSI. Shortly thereafter, the hardware was issued to the seven guests of honor.
First to the stage was Anarumo, who was presented by his father and former CSI Baseball Assistant Coach Anthony Anarumo. The power-hitting infielder set multiple records for CSI and remains the school’s all-time home runs leader and ranks in the top five of 16 other major offensive categories. It culminated with a CUNYAC Championship in 1997, the first in a long line since, as Anarumo has set the pace for many future classes.
Next to be inaugurated was men’s hoop star Ken Lam, who starred on the team from 1968-70 when CSI was Staten Island Community College. The eye-popping numbers saw Lam average over 20 points and rebounds per game over his 43-game career, obliterating school records in both categories at the time. He would go on to star at NCAA Division I NYU and St. Francis post-graduation from SICC.
Next up was CSI softball star Christina D’Arpa, whose numbers at the plate and in the circle alone would have earned her into hallowed company. Together, the superstar was the only three-time CUNYAC Most Valuable Player, adding three championships and the school’s all-time home runs, slugging percentage and earned run average records.
After a break in the program, men’s soccer skipper James Donlan was next to be honored. Donlan guided the soccer unit on four different occasions during his career beginning in 1964, each time taking the floundering program and resurrecting it to championship form. Along the way were two regional NJCAA Championships and one of the school’s last CUNYAC Championship teams in 1996. To date, he is the only coach who is the all-time wins leader in their respective sport at both SICC and CSI.
Next up to the podium was men’s basketball dynamo David Paul, who bookended his career with a pair of CUNYAC Championship and was a back-to-back CUNYAC and Metro Basketball Writers Player of the Year his junior and senior seasons. He finished his career as the school’s all-time points leader, since broken, and is now a professional basketballer with the Harlem Wizards.
Capping the evening was women’s hoops standout Tara Gagliardo-DeGrado, who for four seasons quarterbacked the Dolphins to a pair of CUNYAC Championships. A tremendous two way player from 1996-00, Gagliardo-DeGrado finished her career as the school’s all-time leader in assists and steals, still standing, and the all-time leader in scoring, since broken.
The Hall of Fame proved to be a magical evening for many of the guests, and for the honorees, the focus seemed to be less about the induction and more about the College’s historical significance.
Alongside the inductees receiving hardware, the same plaques, complete with telling bios will hang in the CSI Sports & Recreation Center as part of Hall of Fame walk, located on the upper concourse of the basketball arena.
Future Hall of Classes will be announced every other year, with the next class slated for 2018.