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Members of 1956 Undefeated Hockey Team Return to Walker Arena
[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/walker56.jpg]
They're a little older, they may have slowed a bit, but what the Golden Knights hockey team accomplished in 1956 is still the stuff of legends around Clarkson University's campus. Four players of that storied team returned to Potsdam for the 50th anniversary of their undefeated season and to take part in the University's reunion June 6 - 9.
Forwards Joseph D. Thompson '56, Thomas A. Sherby '56, Thomas H. Meeker '56 and Donald E. May '57 made the return visit to the 40,000 square foot historic arena and reminisced about their 23 wins, no loss season. The team was victorious over Michigan, Montreal, Loyola, Hamilton, Harvard, Boston College, Boston U., Laval, St. Lawrence, Queens, Dartmouth, Middlebury, RPI, Queens and Providence. The Golden Knights scored an incredible 158 goals and had only 56 scored on them.
The accomplishments of the 1956 team both on the ice and off is an enduring inspiration to our student athletes, remarked Steve Yianoukos, Clarkson University Athletics Director. Their success as a team is a goal we have been attempting to duplicate for 50 years. Their success in life attests to the character of Clarkson students both yesterday and today.
Thompson, a civil engineering major, is chairman of the board of PCL Construction Group. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Sherby, a mechanical engineering major, received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and retired as chairman, CEO and president of Knights Technology. He resides in Sun Valley, Idaho, and Santa Barbara, California. Meeker, a civil engineering major, retired as a district engineer from Bell Canada. He makes his home in Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada. May, a business administration major, retired as president of Ice Systems of America Inc. He lives in Southport, North Carolina.
Clarkson University president Tony Collins and Assemblyman Darrell Aubertine toured Walker Center with the four former teammates and discussed the University's plans to develop the building into a multipurpose recreation venue that will provide a practice field for a diverse group of University, sports tourism and community youth groups. Plans call for the Center to also function as a laboratory and demonstration facility for faculty and students and the public to introduce new energy technologies. In fact, the multipurpose venue will be powered by state-of-the-art fuel cell technology, wind generator and other energy efficient sources. Assemblyman Aubertine, a staunch supporter of the planned renovation, was instrumental in acquiring $1 million in funding the project.
Walker's last renovation occurred during the University's 75th anniversary in 1971. Refrigeration was installed under a new rink surface which provided, for the first time, the capability of having ice during the summer months. Additionally, the seating capacity was increased to 2,300 and improved lighting made it possible for closed-circuit TV broadcasting on local cable service. The Cheel Campus Center, completed in 1991, is a 110,000 square foot student center. The 3,500 foot multipurpose arena within Cheel also serves as home ice for today's Golden Knights.
The four teammates toured Walker Arena, where their home games were played. The Center is being developed into a multipurpose sports complex and laboratory for introducing new energy technologies. In the photo are (L- R), Joseph D. Thompson '56, Thomas A. Sherby '56, Thomas H. Meeker '56, Donald E. May '57, Assemblyman Darrell Aubertine, and Clarkson University President Tony Collins.