120 Former Yale Players in Attendance
MANHATTAN, N.Y. - Bulldogs love the cold of the winter, especially when they travel in packs, have plenty of food and drink and can talk about their gridiron glory days with an audience. So on a cold night in New York City, a bunch of them dressed in penguin suits gathered inside the Marriott Marquis Hotel to honor a famous Carm Cozza pupil at the 2013 Ivy Football Association Dinner.
Calvin Hill '69, the Yale All-American and National Football League star, was the focus of their attention in the Broadway Ballroom as one of the IFA's eight honorees.
Peter Salovey, Yale's president-elect, director of athletics Tom Beckett, Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach, and his entire coaching staff, and some of the team's support staff joined Old Blue and recent graduates to honor half of the most famous backfield in modern Yale football.
Hill, a Baltimore native, went from the Riverdale (NY) Country School to New Haven, where he became a track (long, triple jump) and football star and helped the Elis win two Ancient Eight championships before winning a Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys, for whom he now serves as an advisor.
The other half of the famed 1968 offensive backfield was quarterback Brian Dowling '69, who was also at the Marquis for the celebration. Dowling (a.k.a Gary Trudeau's BD) and other Bulldogs gathered before the dinner for a reception that included comments from Yale's honoree, the current Bulldog mentor and the school's new president.
"It's an honor to represent Yale tonight. It's also an honor with all of the other Ancient Eight schools represented here. I embrace that," said Hill, who spoke at the reception and then addressed the full audience after a short documentary was shown about his career..
Hill got a chance to spend some time with Salovey, who was genuinely thrilled to be part of this event and meet the former NFL All-Pro.
"It's so nice to see so many football players who I taught," said the president-elect. "An event like this really brings together friends who are honored to have played for Yale. I am just as proud to have watched Yale football since 1981. And to be asked to lead this institution is just a thrill for me."
Over 200 Yale supporters attended the event, including 120 former players. Three Super Bowl champions were on hand: Hill ('72 Cowboys), Chuck Mercein ('68 Packers) and Gary Fencik ('86 Bears). There were also three Yale Bushnell Cup (Ivy MVP) recipients at the dinner: John Pagliaro (1976, 77), Kevin Czinger (1980) and Mike McLeod (2007).
The success of the seventh IFA dinner – the first at the Marriott Marquis - was due in part to Bill Primps '71, who served as co-chair of the dinner, Yale table captain John Lykouretzos '95 and master of ceremonies Jack Ford '72.
THE OTHER HONOREES
Thomas G. Catena, M.D.- BROWN '86
Humanitarian Surgeon Practicing in War-Torn Sudan
Marcellus Wiley - COLUMBIA '97
Former NFL Pro-Bowler, ESPN Personality
Tim Ring - CORNELL '79
Chairman and CEO, C.R. Bard, Inc.
Civic and Philanthropic Leader
Willie Bogan - DARTMOUTH '71
Senior Executive, McKesson Corporation
Jerry Jordan - HARVARD '61
Co-Founder and Chairman, Hellman Jordan Management Company
Robert Wolf - PENNSYLVANIA '84
Founder & CEO, 32 Advisors
Former CEO, UBS Americas
Member, President's Council on Jobs & Competitiveness
Robert H.B. Baldwin - PRINCETON '42
Former Chairman of the Board, Morgan Stanley
Former Under Secretary, U.S. Navy
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Image: Calvin Hill, Brian Dowling (by Steve Conn)