2018 Thomas Glasser '82 Hall of Achievement Inductees
- Sol Tollin '51 - Basketball
- Stuart Levitt '63 - Track & Field, Basketball
- Stephanie B. James '87 - Basketball, Lacrosse
- Amy Furr Stilwell '90 - Soccer
- Matt Leighninger '92 - Cross Country, Track & Field
Although small in stature at five feet, seven inches tall, Sol Tollin ’51 made a big impact on the Haverford College men’s basketball team. Labeled by the local media as ‘one of the deadliest outside men in Philadelphia basketball circles’, Tollin certainly lived up to his billing as he led the Middle Atlantic Conference in scoring during his senior year and graduated with a program record 898 points in just 50 career games.
During his senior season, Tollin poured in 21.5 points per game and was honored as the team’s Bennett S. Cooper award recipient, recognizing the most valuable player in the program. That scoring averaging represented the second straight year in which he averaged 20-plus points per game. His scoring totals of 20.5 points per game during the 1949-50 season and 21.5 points per game as a senior the following year continue to rank among the top 10 single-season performances in school history.
Although his scoring prowess was headlined by his final two seasons, Tollin’s contributions on the court were immediate as he led Haverford in scoring during each of his four years. By the time his playing career ended, Tollin had set new program records for points, points per game (18.0), and field goals made (356). As of his induction, Tollin’s scoring average is still the third highest mark in school history. To put into historical perspective how dominant Tollin was on the courts, consider the fact that games around the 1950’s normally averaged 60 points per team, meaning Tollin accounted for nearly 30 percent of the team’s offense during his time on the hardwood.
Tollin, who is being inducted posthumously, described his time at Haverford in the following manner when he was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. “It was the best of all possible worlds. I was playing a game that I loved and getting a great education.”
Born and raised in nearby Chester, Pa., Tollin made waves locally as an all-city performer in both basketball and baseball at Chester High. Tollin graduated from Haverford College in the spring of 1951 with a degree in English. He also resided in Villanova and West Conshohocken during his life. He was a loving husband to Patsy (nee Kanner), along with being a caring father to Stephen Tollin, Cindy Peterson, Mike Tollin, and Larry Tollin.
Known as an avid supporter of the Phillies, Tollin believed that sports serve as a great example of the successes and failures in life while also teaching the values of commitment, dedication, and accountability.
The first national champion in the history of the storied Haverford College men’s track & field team, Stuart Levitt ’63 achieved national prominence with his javelin ability. Levitt was so dominant in the javelin that he went undefeated through the College National Championships during his senior season. His competition came from all over, but he still captured individual championships at the prestigious Penn and Florida Relays, along with being crowned a Middle Athletic Conference Champion. After winning the College Division Championship, Levitt entered the University National Championship and placed seventh against a field in which each of the other All-Americans came from Division I programs.
His talents were something Haverford had not witnessed before and still has not seen again to this day. His school record throw of 238 feet, 11 and a half inches was over 43 feet clear of the previous school record set in 1958. His personal best in the event, which he set during the qualifying rounds at the University Nationals, stood as a Division III record for nearly 12 years and still ranks as the fourth-best throw among all Division III athletes. Changes to the javelin which came in 1986 ensure that his record will endure for eternity.
A four-year letter winner and team captain for the track & field program, Levitt was a well-rounded athlete. In addition to his javelin prowess, he was also the team’s top performer in the discus and broad jump events. He scored a team-best 59 points during the track & field season as a senior and was honored as the program’s Ernest P. Walton Cup recipient, which is awarded annually to the team’s MVP.
Being a well-rounded athlete also served him well on the basketball courts where he helped guide his team to the 1963 Middle Atlantic Conference Tournament. He ranked fifth on the team in scoring with 82 points that year as Haverford matched its school record for wins in a season with a 12-5 record.
After graduating from Haverford, Levitt became immersed in the field of exercise science, fitness, and sport. He landed a position at Brooklyn College where he taught and coached for over forty years. Levitt and his wife, Nina, moved to Montana in 1997 where he still teaches, coaches the javelin, and instructs in a medical fitness center. He and his wife have enjoyed 46 years of marriage and derive much joy from their family life with their two sons, their wonderful spouses, and their treasured grandchildren.
Stephanie B. James '87 was a two-sport star at Haverford, excelling on the basketball court during the winter and showcasing her talents on the lacrosse field during the spring. Her athletic exploits garnered her the recognition of the 1987 Varsity Cup, Haverford’s highest athletic honor.
In basketball, James was a three-time Philadelphia Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (PAIAW) All-Star. She served as team captain during both her junior and season seasons and was selected as the team’s co-MVP following the 1986 season.
James did a little bit of everything for the Fords during her basketball career as she graduated with the College’s career records for assists, steals, free throws made, and free throw percentage, while her 614 career points were the second most in school history at that time. Her career steals and assists per game records both stood for over 20 years and still rank second in school history.
Wasting little time to make her impact felt, James broke the school record by averaging 13.7 points per game as a first year player. She bookended her career by setting the school’s single-season assist record as a senior. Dishing out 5.5 assists per game during her record-breaking senior season, that mark still stands as a school record to this day.
On the lacrosse field, James was a first-team and second-team IWLCA/Brine All-American selection and a two-time honorable mention All-American honoree on the U.S. Lacrosse team. James was additionally a two-time first-team All-MAC and PAIAW All-Star selection as the Fords won three PAIAW Championships, one Middle Atlantic Conference Championship, and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals during two consecutive seasons.
Selected as the team’s co-MVP as a senior, James graduated with the school’s career records in points and assists, while also ranking second in goals. The 1986 Fords won 14 straight games en route to the NCAA quarterfinals, and James came back even stronger the following season as she rewrote the College’s record book with 85 points and 27 assists. She scored 58 goals as her team made it back to the NCAA quarterfinals. Her 85 points stood as a school single-season record until the turn of the century and continue to rank second all-time.
Upon graduation, James attended the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, followed by a residency in zoo medicine and surgery at the Wildlife Conservation Society in the Bronx Zoo. After working with The Bronx Zoo, Roger Williams Park Zoo, The Pittsburgh Zoo, and PPG Aquarium, she switched her focus to small animal medicine through which she provides alternative medicine, including traditional Chinese medicine and spinal manipulation. James currently lives with her partner in Berkshires, Massachusetts where they have a small menagerie of four legged friends and some winged companions also.
With the Haverford College women’s soccer team becoming a varsity program while she was still a senior in high school, Amy Furr Stilwell ’90 was one of the program’s first stars. In the program’s infant stages, Furr Stilwell set school records that have not been matched to this day as she scored 48 goals and accounted for 115 career points. Her 19 career assists are still the second highest mark in school history.
Furr Stilwell’s strongest statistical season came in 1988 when she scored a school record 19 goals and finished the year with a program record 46 points. During that campaign, she was named a first-team All-Middle Atlantic Conference selection as the team won a program-record 10 matches on Walton Field. That was far from her only standout season, however, as she held three of the program’s top seven single-season marks for goals and points when she graduated in the spring of 1990.
Rising to the occasion in every big moment, opponents still were not able to stop her even when they knew where the ball was going. Furr Stilwell scored in 28 different contests during her college career, recording multiple goals during 13 of those contests. Haverford was 17-8-3 when Furr Stilwell found the back of the net during her four-year career. She tallied the game-winning goal in eight of those 17 Haverford victories and still ranks among the program’s top five players in career game-winning goals.
During her breakout 1988 season, Furr Stilwell had five multi-goal games. She became the last player to score four goals in a single game at Haverford when she did so during a 5-4 victory over Bryn Mawr as a junior. That offensive outburst came just three days after she recorded a hat trick against Elizabethtown. Furr Stillwell also finished her career with hat tricks against Kutztown (1986) and Notre Dame (Md.) (1989).
Furr Stilwell earned her bachelor’s degree in English and comparative literature at Haverford in 1990. After graduating, she served as a charter member of the Teach for America corps, teaching elementary school in rural North Carolina for two years. She earned a Master of Education at Harvard University in 1994, and worked as a kindergarten teacher in Frederick, Maryland for four years.
She still resides in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she continues to serve children and their families through formal and informal volunteer activities. She is the president of the Down Syndrome Association of the New River Valley, an organization that provides direct support, social activities, and advocacy for community members with Down Syndrome and their families. Among many volunteer activities, she delivers meals for Micah’s Backpack, a program that offers food assistance to children from low-income families, and she is a driver for Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, supporting international refugee families as they resettle in Blacksburg.
A two-time national champion and seven-time All-American, Matt Leighninger ’92 ranks among the all-time great competitors in Haverford’s storied cross country and track & field history. He was a part of five Middle Atlantic Conference Championship teams during his Haverford career. Epitomizing the true student-athlete, Leighninger was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship upon his graduation and was honored as both a Varsity Cup and Gregory Kannerstein ’63 Award recipient.
A captain of both the men’s cross country and track & field teams, Leighninger won his first national championship in the winter of 1991 when he captured the 1,500 meter title during the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. Leighninger finished his career as a three-time All-American on the indoor surface, placing fourth in the 800 meters that same year and following it up with a fifth-place showing in the 1,500 meters as a senior. Leighninger broke the College’s record in both of his specialty indoor events with a time of 1:52.1 in the 800 meters, and 3:47.85 in the 1,500 meters. Both of those marks still stand as the second quickest in school history. Leighninger was also a member of the 1991 record-breaking 4x800 relay team.
Leighninger’s outdoor track & field national championship came in the steeplechase during that same decorated 1991 season. His personal best time of 8:59.34 made him the first runner in school history to finish under the nine minute mark and still ranks as the fourth quickest steeplechase time in program history. He went on to earn All-American accolades three times during the 1990 through 1992 outdoor seasons at the 1,500 meter distance.
Completing his track career as a 16-time Middle Atlantic Conference Champion, Leighninger won the 1,500 meter outdoor conference championship during each of his four years and was a three-time conference champion in the steeplechase. He was named to the Middle Atlantic Conference All-Century Team for both cross country and track & field. Leighninger represented the Fords at nationals in cross country during each of the three years they won the MAC Championship, earning top 10 team finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1989 and 1990. The indoor and outdoor track & field teams had respective fourth and sixth place finishes in the final team standings during the two seasons in which he was an individual national champion.
Leighninger’s interest in democracy and citizenship, kindled while at Haverford, continues to shape his career in public engagement and democratic innovation. He is currently the Vice President for Public Engagement, and Director of the Yankelovich Center, at Public Agenda. He is the author of two books; he dedicated the first, The Next Form of Democracy, to head coach Tom Donnelly. Leighninger lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife Pamela Swett (BMC ’92) and sons Jack ’20, Nathaniel, and Paul.