Gary Walters ’67 PVC Awards Banquet Celebrates the Class of 2022

The Princeton Varsity Club and the Department of Athletics held its annual Gary Walters ’67 PVC Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 19th, to celebrate the accomplishments of the Princeton Athletics’ Class of 2022. Nearly 600 attendees including alumni, families, friends, coaches and staff came together in Jadwin Gym to honor the more than 200 graduating Tiger student-athletes.

Click here to view highlights and features from the Gary Walters ’67 PVC Awards Banquet.

Click here to view the complete photo gallery from the evening.

Ford Family Director of Athletics, John Mack ’00, presented the department’s top student-athlete and alumni awards while speaking to the perseverance and competitive excellence of the Princeton Athletics’ Class of 2022.  In addition to the below student-athlete awards, heartfelt and inspiring keynote remarks were provided by Class of 1967 PVC Citizen-Athlete Award recipient Sari Chang Guthrie ’84 (Video Feature) as well as Marvin Bressler Award recipient Alec Dun *04 (Video Feature).

Click here to read more on Sari Chang Guthrie and Alec Dun’s respective accolades and awards.

Additional student-athlete awards presented as part of the evening included the following:

C. Otto von Kienbusch Award
Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete from a Women’s Program
2022 finalists
 – Maia Chamberlain (fencing), Abby Meyers (basketball), Lucy Rickerson (soccer), Kyla Sears (lacrosse); click here to read more on each of the von Kienbusch Award finalists

2022 recipient – Kyla Sears (lacrosse) | Award Presentation

Kyla Sears has rewritten the record books for Princeton women’s lacrosse during the most successful offensive career in program history. The 2022 Ivy League Attacker of the Year, Sears ranks No. 1 all-time in points by a Tiger with 307, No. 1 in goals with 209, No. 1 in assists with 98 and No. 1 in free position goals with 75. An efficient performer, she has scored at least one goal in every career game played. Her production has made an impact nationally as she ranks No. 7 among active players in points-per-game, No. 12 in goals-per-game, and No. 20 in assists-per-game. A three-time first-team All-Ivy selection, Sears ranks No. 2 all-time in points by an Ivy League player, No. 2 in goals and T-No. 5 in assists. In 2018, she established new Ivy League freshmen records for goals with 64 and points with 83. A three-time Ivy League champion, Sears’ 40 assists in 2019 are a single-season program record. Sears was named one of 25 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award as national player of the year in 2022.

William Winston Roper Trophy
Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete from a Men’s Program
2022 finalists
 – George Baughan (lacrosse), Youssef Ibrahim (squash), C.J. Licata (track & field), Kevin O’Toole (soccer), Jeremiah Tyler (football); click here to read more on each of the Roper Trophy finalists

2022 recipient – Kevin O’Toole (soccer) | Award Presentation

Kevin O’Toole made Princeton men’s soccer history, becoming the first Tiger to win multiple Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year awards over his career and leading Princeton to only the second perfect Ivy League season in program history. O’Toole scored seven goals and added nine assists to lead the Ivy League in scoring on his way to third-team All-American honors from both United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News. A three-time first-team All-Ivy selection, O’Toole tallied 15 goals and 18 assists during his Princeton career, dishing out the fourth-most assists in program history and he will graduate as a two-time Ivy League champion. In January, O’Toole was drafted 34th overall in the MLS SuperDraft by NYCFC and has begun his professional career.

Art Lane ’34 Award
Selfless Contribution To Sport and Society By An Undergraduate Athlete; given in memory of Art Lane ’34 by friends and family
2022 finalists
 – Elijah Barnes (basketball), Alex Charles (soccer), Ornella Ebongue (open rowing), Nika Gjaja (volleyball), Maddie Hamilton (softball), Grace Lanouette (track & field), Mary Murphy (lacrosse), Elle Ruggiero (squash); click here to read more on each of the Art Lane ’34 finalists

2022 recipients – Ornella Ebongue (open rowing), Elle Ruggiero (squash) | Award Presentation

Ornella Ebongue picked up the sport of rowing upon her arrival to Princeton, but wasted no time in making her impact felt on the water and in the community. Ebongue has been instrumental in the implementation and success of Princeton Rowing’s STEM to Stern program, which provides local underserved middle school students access to the sport of rowing and STEM curriculum. Additionally, she has served her residential college community as a student assistant, helping to support and promote civic engagement opportunities. Ebongue participated in the PVC-sponsored Coach for College program in the summer of 2019, where she taught mathematics, life skills and sports to underprivileged youth in rural Vietnam. After working as a lifeguard and realizing she was saving children of color at a disproportionately high rate, Ebongue took action, helping to implement swimming programs in the Greater Boston area that provides children of color ongoing access to free swimming lessons. Ebongue is an Operations Research and Financial Engineering major.

Elle Ruggiero, a captain and two-time All-American for Princeton women’s squash, helped lead the Tigers to a top-five national ranking in each of her three full seasons. A two-time College Squash Association Scholar-Athlete, Ruggiero has dedicated herself to service both on campus and abroad. She was a member of the First College Council, Athlete Ally and Student-Athlete Wellness Leaders. She has also volunteered as a tutor with the FUTURO Program, providing academic support and mentorship to first and second-generation high school students. Ruggiero has interned with Child Family Health International, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the United States Agency for International Development. For her impactful work across these organizations, Ruggiero was awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize, which funds international civic service projects. She will spend the next year in Brazil studying maternal mortality during the Zika epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic. Ruggiero is studying in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs with certificates in Spanish and Latin American Studies.

Class of 1916 Cup
Varsity Athlete With the Highest Academic Standing
2022 finalists – Julia Campbell (men’s heavyweight rowing), Jamie Kim (water polo), Jake Mayer (golf), Caroline Noonan (soccer), Jack Roberts (soccer); click here to read more on each of the Class of 1916 Cup finalists

2022 recipient – Jake Mayer (golf) | Award Presentation

Jake Mayer is an economics major and team captain for Princeton men’s golf. Mayer earned Academic All-Ivy honors this spring after being named a GCAA All-America Scholar in 2020. Mayer helped lead the Tigers to the 2019 Ivy League championship, and paced Princeton in scoring at the NCAA Athens Regional. He was named PING All-Northeast Region and awarded the program’s Martin P. “Buff” Wohlforth ’76 Memorial Award, presented to the individual who has contributed the most to the Princeton golf program, for that campaign. Mayer served as co-president of the Student-Athlete Service Council (SASC) for the past two years, helping to organize a variety of on and off-campus service initiatives to connect varsity student-athletes with the Princeton community. He has also been an active volunteer coaching golf with the Special Olympics of New Jersey.

In addition to naming each award winner, the PVC also announced the endowment of the Princeton Varsity Club Letter Sweater Program. The anonymous gift will help the PVC continue its tradition of presenting letter sweaters to each graduating varsity student-athlete at the banquet each year. Click here to learn more about the Princeton Varsity Club Letter Sweater Program and its recent endowment.

The PVC would also like to thank all of the generous alumni, parents and Athletics Friends Groups who sponsored a table at this year’s event.

We wish all the 2022 graduating seniors the best of luck, and look forward to watching them succeed in their future endeavors!