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University to honor former student-athletes on ‘Night of Distinction’
University to honor former student-athletes on ‘Night of Distinction’September 25, 2007Sue Cornelius Edsonsedson@syr.edu
Syracuse University will honor six former student-athletes representing various sports and eras of Orange athletics as LetterWinners of Distinction. The “Night of Distinction” will be held on Friday, Oct. 12, at the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse. The 43rd LetterWinner of Distinction class includes Brent Clark ’50 (swimming), Bob Dixon ’38 (tennis), Richard King ’65 (football), Roger Praetorius ’73 (football), Thomas C. Schlendorf ’67 (wrestling) and James R. Shreve ’51 (basketball/football).
“We have the honor, once again, of recognizing Syracuse Athletics’ finest,” says Director of Athletics Daryl Gross. “We celebrate their accomplishments and, more importantly, the impact each individual has made on the world. Please join us in our applauding of these fabulous representatives of our great university.”
Tickets are $75 per person or $700 for a table of 10. A reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. To make a reservation, contact The Events Company at (315) 422-9400 or http://SUathletics@theeventscompany.com.
Brent M. Clark, 1950 (Swimming)A team captain for the swimming and diving team, Clark set Syracuse records in the 100 freestyle and 220 freestyle events. He earned the Captains’ Trophy for outstanding performance in 1950 and was the team’s Most Improved Swimmer in 1948 and 1949.
Clark, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from SU, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951. After basic training, he attended OCS and graduated as a 2nd lieutenant before attending Penn State Meteorology School, from which he earned a B.S. in meteorology in 1953. He then served as a weather detachment commander at Camp Detrick in Frederick, Md.
In 1956, Clark began a 33-year career in the marketing area of engineering plastics for the DuPont Co. He served in many positions, including sales representative, product technologist and development technologist. He retired in 1989 as the manager of UL & CSA Affairs for the Engineering Polymers Division. In 1990, he began a four-year stint as a consultant for Clark Associates Consulting Services.
W. Robert Dixon, 1938 (Tennis/Cheerleading)A three-year tennis letterwinner, Dixon was a team captain during his senior season. Dixon also participated in cheerleading, including one year as head cheerleader in 1937?38, and was the senior class president. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1938 and then a master’s degree from the Maxwell School in 1939.
In 1940, Dixon began his teaching career in Middleville, N.Y. In 1942, he became a high school principal. That same year, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force and was called to active duty. During World War II, he was based in England and France and flew in 80 combat missions. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
After he returned to the United States, Dixon earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1948. Dixon remained in the college ranks as a professor at the University of Illinois before returning to Michigan, where he worked for 35 years. His career achievements include fellowships in the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Advancement of Science.
Richard K. King, 1965 (Football)As a co-captain during his senior year, King helped lead the 1964 Orange to the Sugar Bowl. King earned three letters for SU from 1962?64. He was also a member of the 1961?62 freshman basketball squad and the 1963 baseball team.
Between 1966 and 1969, King served as a member of the 101st and 173rd Airborne and did a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1967?68. Upon his return to the United States, King entered the investment securities business as a broker for Merrill Lynch. In 1982, he began a 23-year tenure with Smith and Barney, where he served as a branch manager, portfolio manager and first vice president of investments. In 2005, he created Presido Group Wealth Management and became a managing partner.
King has been associated with the United Way of Tucson since 1989, serving as a loan executive vice chair in 1990 and division chair financial advisor in 2006.
Roger H. Praetorius, 1973 (Football)In three seasons between 1970 and 1972, Praetorius rushed for 1,772 yards and graduated as the sixth-leading rusher in school history. In 1971, he rushed for a team-best 705 yards on 169 carries and scored 11 touchdowns. A three-year letterwinner, Praetorius served as a game captain several times during the 1972 season. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1973, Praetorius was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers.
While pursuing his master’s degree at Syracuse University, Praetorius participated in NFL training camps with the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and New England Patriots. He completed his master’s degree in 1975 before becoming a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch in 1976. He served as a financial advisor before moving into his current role as vice president. He was a five-year member of Merrill Lynch’s Chairmen’s Club.
Thomas C. Schlendorf, 1967 (Wrestling)The 1967 NCAA champion in the 191-pound weight class, Schlendorf earned first-team All-America honors as a senior. He also won the 1967 EIWA Championship and the East/West All-Star Championship. A three-year letterwinner for the Orange, he posted an 84?8?1 record. In 1967, Schlendorf was named the Syracuse University co-Athlete of the Year, along with Rick Bean and Floyd Little, and shared the 1967 Co-Fraternity Man of the Year honor with Little.
After graduating, Schlendorf became a marketing executive in the textile industry. He started his career at Greenwood Mills, where he worked as an account executive, merchandise manager, sales manager and divisional vice president. He moved to Harmony Grove Mills as the president of a specialty mill, before becoming vice president of sales and marketing at Johnston Industries. The 1988 Textile Man of the Year, Schlendorf is a member of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute and has served on the Board of Directors of the Textile Distributors Association.
James R. Shreve, 1951 (Basketball/Football)Shreve was a three-year Orange football letterwinner after serving a 15-month assignment in the U.S. Army. Shreve suited up for the Orange football teams from 1948?50 after enrolling at Syracuse in 1945 as a football and basketball student-athlete. He temporarily left Syracuse in January 1946, when he was drafted by the U.S. Army. As a senior, Shreve led the Orange with three interceptions.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in education, Shreve was appointed head football coach at Moravian College. In 1954, he received national recognition with a vote for Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 6-2 record — its first winning record in 13 years. In addition to his coaching duties, Shreve was an assistant athletics director, director of intramural athletics and an associate professor of physical education.
In 1955, he became the offensive backs/quarterbacks coach and assistant baseball coach at George Washington University, prior to joining the Lehigh University football staff as a defensive and offensive backs coach in 1957. At Lehigh, Shreve was also the freshman lacrosse coach. In 1959, he was promoted to head lacrosse coach and led the Mountain Hawks to the National Class “C” Championship.
Shreve returned to SU as the head freshman football coach and director of recruiting during the national championship year of 1959. He led the freshman team to a 34?4 record before he was promoted to offensive backfield and quarterback coach in 1969. He served in that role until 1973. Syracuse participated in the Cotton, Sugar, Gator and Liberty Bowl during Shreve’s 14-year tenure with the Orange.
Shreve worked as the backfield/quarterback coach at Iowa State in 1973 before accepting the position of athletics director and head football coach at Canastota High School in 1974. After three years at Canastota, Shreve was named the wide receivers coach at Cornell University. In 1983, he retired from coaching to pursue a career in the real estate business.