Award Winners Named at 2013 Senior Letterwinners' Dinner

Award Winners Named at 2013 Senior Letterwinners' Dinner

The 2013 Senior Letterwinners' Dinner award winners (Photo: David Silverman).

– The annual Senior Letterwinners' Dinner was held Wednesday night at the Murr Center, honoring the Harvard class of 2013 for its athletic and academic achievements. Colton Chapple of the football team received the William J. Bingham Award as Harvard's outstanding male athlete, and Laura Gemmell of the women's squash team garnered the Radcliffe Prize as Harvard's outstanding female athlete.

Chapple left an indelible mark on the football record books despite starting just 17 games at quarterback in his career. The Alpharetta, Ga., native established single-season records for touchdown passes (24) and total offense (3,169) to lead the highest scoring offense in Ivy League history (394 points) in 2012. He also set new single-game marks for passing yards (448), total offense (530) and touchdown passes (5) while climbing the career charts to finish with the second-highest completion percentage (.622), eighth-most passing yards (3,926) and tied for the second-most touchdown passes (39).

The 2012 Asa S. Bushnell Cup winner as Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year finished his career with a 14-3 record in starts, including a perfect 4-0 record for the 2011 Ivy League champions. He earned numerous accolades in his career, including the New England Division I FCS Gold Helmet, the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback Award, the George "Bulger" Lowe Award and four Ivy League Player of the Week nods.  

Gemmell was a dominant force on the squash courts during her four years in Cambridge. The Toronto native burst onto the scene as a freshman, going a perfect 16-0 to win the CSA Individual National Championship and earn Ivy League Rookie and Player of the Year honors.  The Crimson also went undefeated that season, finishing 12-0 to claim the national title and Ramsay Cup for the first time since 2000-01.

The program's resurgence continued as the squad went 45-3 over the past four seasons with three team national championships and two Ivy League titles. Individually, Gemmell was a four-time CSA first team All-American and All-Ivy selection, a three-time Academic All-Ivy recipient and a two-time Ancient Eight Player of the Year.

The Francis H. Burr '09 Prize, which is Harvard's oldest award and recognizes one male and one female for all-around excellence, went to Joshua Hicks of men's heavyweight crew and Victoria Lippert of the women's basketball team.

Hicks has been an integral part of the crew during his four years. As a senior, he helped the Crimson win the Rowe Cup for the fourth straight year, winning the first varsity eight race at EARC Sprints for the third time in the past four years to earn All-Ivy first team honors. He was also a first-team selection as a sophomore and a second-teamer as a junior.

In addition to his efforts with the Crimson, Hicks also stroked the winning entry in the Stewards' Challenge Cup in the National Rowing Centre of Excellence A entry, and he also helped his Aussie eight defeat Waiariki Rowing Club in the Grand Challenge Cup event.  A government concentrator, the Australia native carries a 3.82 cumulative grade-point average.

Lippert sits among the career leaders in points (1,520, sixth), three-pointers (185, second), field goals made (568, fourth) and games played (117, first). She was a four-time All-Ivy selection, including a first-team choice as a senior. She won a total of seven Ivy League weekly awards with three player of the week nods and four rookie of the week honors while helping the Crimson go 77-40 and reach the Women's National Invitational Tournament three times in her career. A 2013 Academic All-Ivy pick, the history & science concentrator holds a 3.59 cumulative grade-point average. 

The Mary G. Paget Prize, given to the senior who has contributed the most to women's athletics, went to Aisha Price, a member of the women's soccer and water polo teams. In the pool, the East Asian studies concentrator was elected co-captain as a senior, and went on to lead the team in goals (79), assists (45) and steals (72) to earn CWPA Southern Division first-team honors and CWPA Eastern Championship second team all-tournament accolades. The Crimson finished with a winning record for the third straight season, the first time that has happened since 2000-02, and placed sixth at Easterns, tied for the fifth-best finish in school history.

On the soccer pitch, she helped the Crimson win a pair of Ivy League titles in 2009 and 2011, finishing with a 39-24-6 mark during her four years. Known for her booming throw-ins, the Hawaii native tallied one goal and five assists to tie for the team lead in points as a senior.

Three-time wrestling captain Walter Peppelman took home the John P. Reardon, Jr. Prize, which was established in 1987 to recognize the senior varsity male athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of excellent scholarship, character, leadership and athletic ability. A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Peppelman finished his career as a two-time All-American and tied for fifth with 111 career wins. He also has the third-most pins (31) in a career. In the classroom, the government concentrator was a three-time Academic All-Ivy and NWCA All-Academic selection, carrying a 3.72 GPA.

The Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women's Athletics (HRFWA) Prize – presented to Harvard's top female scholar-athlete – went to Veronique Irwin of women's lightweight crew. A key member of the second varsity eight, she helped the Black and White win gold at the EARC Sprints, the first win in the event in five years, as a junior. A sociology concentrator with a 3.90 GPA, Irwin was also named a CRCA Scholar-Athlete in 2011-12.

Women's squash co-captain Sarah Mumanachit earned the Arthur L. Boland prize, given annually to a senior attending medical school who also best exemplifies the characteristics and qualities of the award's namesake. While compiling a career record of 47-8 and helping the Crimson win three national championships and two Ivy League titles, the neurobiology concentrator also spent time researching in the Boston Children's Hospital Lab of Cognitive Science and shadowing medical workers in Thailand after receiving the David Rockefeller International Experience Grant.

Jonathan Mason of the football team garnered the John P. Fadden Award, which is given to the senior who has overcome physical adversity to make a contribution to his or her team. Despite undergoing 11 knee surgeries in the last five seasons, Mason played in 20 games, contributing to the 2011 Ivy League championship team. He finished with a total of 28 tackles, including nine solo and half a sack, after playing in all 10 games for the first time in his career as a senior.

The Francis J. Toland Community Service Award, given to the senior student-athlete who has made the most outstanding contribution to Harvard and its neighboring communities, went to Brittany Powell of the women's swimming and diving team. The Rockville, Md., native serves as a Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisor on campus and was voted to the board after just one semester with the program. Powell also volunteers as the lead fundraiser for the Circle of Women, an organization the helps women around the world gain access to education, and she interns with global health NGO Partners In Health, traveling to Malawi as part of a global health initiative last summer.

The Neurobiology concentrator was also a key component of Harvard's Ivy League title in 2011-12 and three runner-up finishes during her time in Cambridge. As a senior, she won the one-meter diving event and placed second in the three-meter at the Ivy Championships while helping extend the Crimson's Ivy League dual win streak to 14.

The Harvard Varsity Club has been instrumental to the success of Harvard Athletics since it was founded in 1886. The Varsity Club preserves the traditions, fosters the ideals, and advances the interests of Harvard Athletics through a wide range of activities for our 20,000+ members. The annual Senior Letterwinners' Dinner, established in 1967 to honor the contributions of the outgoing senior class, is one example of the many functions provided by the Varsity Club.