Fisk University inducts inaugural Sports Hall of Fame class

At the Inaugural Fisk University Sports Hall of Fame Induction are [l-r]: Russell Acklin, Larry Glover, Helen Beard, William Head, Harriet Hamilton, Shavicka Newsom, and Sara Grams.

At the Inaugural Fisk University Sports Hall of Fame Induction are [l-r]: Russell Acklin, Larry Glover, Helen Beard, William Head, Harriet Hamilton, Shavicka Newsom, and Sara Grams.

The inaugural Fisk University Sports Hall Of Fame Induction was a celebratory success. As part of the University’s weeklong homecoming celebration, the inaugural Hall of Fame induction was held during a luncheon on Friday, November 11, 2016 in the Appleton Room of Jubilee Hall at Fisk. The school established the Fisk University Hall of Fame to honor former athletes, coaches, and administrators that have played an integral part in the achievements of the Fisk athletics program.

Derrick Mason, former wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans, served as keynote speaker for the luncheon. Several members from the “Boys of the 60’s” organization, members of the 1973 and 1975 Championship Football Team, members from the upcoming documentary “Lucky 11”, and several former F.U. athletic greats were in attendance. Plans for a future home for the Fisk HOF are in the works and will be made public as finalized.

The 2016 Hall of Fame inaugural class saw the posthumous induction of the “Sons of Milo,” the undefeated 1893 team named after the first university president, Erastus Milo Cravath. Members of the 1893 “Sons of Milo” team were: Julian Ware, Charles Snyder, John W. Work, Sr., Luther Moore, Fish Jenkins, William Miller, Harry Bass, Sr., Peter Landry, Joseph Barrbin, and G.M. McClellan. Between 1899 and 1904 Fisk University only lost one game and by 1929 had won the Southern Football Championship eight times. And, yes, these universities and their teams were racially segregated. (Source: The Tennessee State Museum website: tn4me.org)

During the luncheon, there was a short screening of “Lucky Eleven,” a documentary chronicling 11 former high school teammates that played at Fisk and were later drafted by the NFL.

“Establishing a Hall of Fame at Fisk has been long overdue, as our athletics program has existed and thrived for 100 of the 150 years that the university has been in existence,” said Dr. Larry Glover, director of athletics. “The Fisk University Sports Hall of Fame seeks to highlight the many contributions made by former Fisk athletes, dating back to 1893 when our first sports team was established. This will be a special moment for the many alumni that will be in attendance and we look forward to welcoming future recipients into our Hall of Fame.”

Membership into the Hall of Fame is extended to those that have competed in one or more of the university sanctioned sports programs, but also to those that have served as supporters for the athletics program. Members are nominated and voted on by a committee consisting of members of the athletics department, alumni association, and student body.