On behalf of the Princeton Varsity Club and our esteemed co-hosts, Monica Moore Thompson ’89 S88 P20 and John Thompson, III ’88 S89 P20, we invite you to join us on Thursday, October 12th for a special evening in Washington D.C. at the new Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) location in Dupont Circle. The night will include a complimentary reception and conversation and Q&A with three accomplished leaders, including Ford Family Director of Athletics John Mack ’00 and two-time defending Ivy League champion head coaches Mitch Henderson ’98 (men’s basketball) and Lisa Van Ackeren (softball). Additional bio information on our featured guests can be found below.
This “PVC on the Road” event will take place in the Penthouse Suite of the new Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) location in Washington D.C. (1333 New Hampshire Avenue at Dupont Circle), which is pictured above.
CLICK HERE to RSVP for the event. Note: there is no charge for this event, but you MUST RSVP in advance to attend.
- 5:30 p.m. – Cocktail Reception with John Mack ’00, Mitch Henderson ’98 and Lisa Van Ackeren
- 6:15 p.m. – Panel Conversation begins
- 7:10 p.m. – Panel Conversation concludes and Q&A begins
- 7:30 p.m. – Q&A concludes
JOHN MACK ’00 | Ford Family Director of Athletics
John Mack ’00 is entering his third year as the Ford Family Director of Athletics. John is the sixth Director of Athletics at Princeton, each of his predecessors also a former Princeton student-athlete. John has held the title of student-athlete, coach, and administrator at Princeton.
During his first two years at the helm of Princeton Athletics, the Tigers have won 32 league championships, including 16 titles during both the 2021-22 year and 16 titles during the 2022-23 year. The 16 league championships in a single year match the highest ever total for Princeton Athletics – achieved only once before – during the 1999-00 year when Mack was a senior student-athlete. Princeton finished ranked #18 in the nation following the 2021-22 year – a Princeton record and the best mark of any Ivy League school in the nearly 30 years of the award. During the most recent 2022-23 campaign, the Tigers also won 9 individual or team national championships.
Prior to Princeton, Mack spent 10 years in the legal field as a practicing lawyer and prior to that he spent time as a collegiate athletics administrator at Princeton as well as with the Big Ten Conference and at Northwestern University. John Mack, a 2000 William Winston Roper Trophy recipient as the top male senior student-athlete at Princeton, captained the men’s track and field team during his time competing for the Tigers. During his four years on campus, Princeton won three straight Heps Triple Crowns, sweeping every league track and field and cross-country championship from fall 1997 through spring of 2000, with Mack’s sprinting playing a key role in six total indoor and outdoor Heps titles. Individually, Mack won five indoor Heps titles, winning the 400 three times (1997, 1999 and 2000) and the 4×400 relay twice (1997, 1999); outdoors, he was also a five-time Heps champion.
An ordained pastor, Mack most recently served as pastor at the Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in New Haven, Mich.
MITCH HENDERSON ’98 | Franklin C. Cappon-Edward C. Green ’40 Head Coach of Men’s Basketball
Mitch Henderson ’98, behind only Pete Carril and Franklin C. “Cappy” Cappon as the third-winningest coach in program history, enters his 13th year and 12th season as the Franklin C. Cappon-Edward G. Green ’40 head coach of Princeton men’s basketball in 2022-23.
A two-time NABC District 13 Coach of the Year, (2022, 2017), Henderson led Princeton to the Sweet Sixteen in 2022-23, becoming just the fourth No. 15 seed in history to do so, along with the Ivy Tournament and Ivy Regular Season Championships. With Henderson leading the way, the Tigers defeated a pair of nationally-ranked opponents (No. 8 Arizona & No. 23 Missouri), became the 11th No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed after taking down Arizona 58-55 in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64, and earned the largest ever margin of victory for a No. 15 seed thanks to a 78-63 victory over Mizzou in the Round of 32. In addition, Henderson recorded his 200th career victory as a head coach in 2022-23 and became just the eighth men’s basketball head coach to record 100 Ivy League victories.
Henderson guided the Tigers to the outright Ivy League Championship in 2021-22. Along with defeating a pair of power five programs, South Carolina and Oregon State, the Tigers set four team records; most points in a season (2395), most points per game in a season (79.8), most field goals made in a season (910), and most three-point field goals made in a season (327). In 2017, Henderson led the Tigers to the Ivy League championship and NCAA Tournament and a first-round near-upset of 14th-ranked and fifth-seeded Notre Dame, while being named Ivy League Coach of the Year,
Throughout his Princeton career, Henderson has coached 26 All-Ivy League honorees, including 2013 Ivy League Player of the Year and two-time first-team All-Ivy League honoree Ian Hummer, an AP honorable mention All-America, 2014 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, 2023 Ivy League Rookie of the Year Caden Pierce, 2017 Player of the Year Spencer Weisz, 2021 Ivy League Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan, 2017 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Myles Stephens, and 2018 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Amir Bell.
A former point guard for the Tigers, Henderson returned to Princeton as the program’s head coach in 2011 following 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Northwestern under his former coach at Princeton, Bill Carmody. During his playing career at Princeton, Henderson helped the Tigers upset UCLA 43-41 in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Henderson earned second-team All-Ivy League honors in 1998 and an All-Ivy honorable mention in 1997. He is eighth in career assists in school history with 304 and ninth in career steals with 142. During his senior season, Henderson was a team co-captain and a co-winner of the B.F. Bunn Trophy, Princeton’s most prized annual men’s basketball award. Also a talented baseball player, Henderson was drafted by the New York Yankees as an outfielder with the 24th pick of the 29th round, 815th overall, in 1994.
LISA VAN ACKEREN | Head Coach of Softball
Lisa (Sweeney) Van Ackeren, a four-time Patriot League Pitcher of the Year at Lehigh and a New Jersey native, is a four-time Ivy League Coach of the Year and enters her 12th year as Princeton’s head softball coach. Her 195 career victories stand two wins away from being the second-winningest coach in program history.
Princeton returned to the top of the Ivy League standings and NCAA Tournament in 2022, winning 17 Ivy games for its most since 2008 and 27 games overall for its most since Van Ackeren’s first season of 2013. Eight players earned All-Ivy League honors, with six on the first team. The Tigers defended their title in 2023, repeating as Ivy League champions behind two-time unanimous Ivy Pitcher of the Year Alexis Laudenslager ’23 and Ivy Player of the Year Serena Starks ’23, while winning 29 games, the program’s most since 2006. Van Ackeren was named Ivy League Coach of the Year in both 2022 and 2023.
In her first season of 2013, Van Ackeren became the winningest first-year coach in Princeton softball history, finishing at 27-19 and with the best record since the Tigers went 34-19 in 2006. Van Ackeren’s fourth season saw her win the 2016 Ivy League Coach of the Year award after leading Princeton to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. The 2017 season saw Princeton again win both the Ivy South division and the Ivy League Championship Series.
Van Ackeren, a 2009 Lehigh graduate, coached as a volunteer assistant at Lehigh in 2010 and was an assistant coach at Penn in 2011 and 2012. When she finished her playing career at Lehigh, the former Lisa Sweeney’s name was listed more than a hundred times throughout the Patriot League record book, from being the only player in Patriot League history to win four Pitcher of the Year awards – as well as the 2008 Player of the Year award – to being a third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree in 2008. She twice led the Mountain Hawks to NCAA Regional Final appearances, and finished with 94 career wins on the mound. Van Ackeren was inducted into the Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.