Dearborn, Mich. – On Friday, September 24th, the UM-Dearborn Athletics Department inducted four new members into the Athletics Hall of Fame. Former student-athletes Joe Aho (men's ice hockey), Heather (Boni) Larson (volleyball), Ibrahim Baydoun (men's basketball), and Michael Macari (men's ice hockey) were officially inducted on Friday with the ceremony honoring them. The ceremony was set to take place in June 2020, but due to the pandemic it was moved outdoors and was part of the homecoming week activities this past. Class of 2018 Hall of Fame members Diane Calliway, Dr. Peggy Foss, and Mike Gibson attended the event. Dr. Foss and Gibson were presenters for new inductees Joe Aho and Heather Larson respectively.
Foss opened her remarks by reflecting not only on the accomplishments of Aho, who was a student-athlete and then head coach, but the accomplishments in the classroom and after graduation that all of the Hall of Fame members shared. Gibson shared that it was only fitting that the best overall volleyball student-athlete in the history of UM-Dearborn should be the first volleyball student-athlete inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Honorable Judge David Turfe spoke about the hard work ethic and dedication that Baydoun had for the game of basketball but also his work ethic in the classroom and after graduation focusing on developing students for success at the high school level and beyond. Current Head Men's Ice Hockey Head Coach Chris Haltinner spoke about what Macari meant to the program at that time and how all of the Class of 2020 members have been so successful after graduation in their careers and in their respective communities.
Each of the four inductees spoke about how their experience at UM-Dearborn shaped them and helped them develop skills they used after graduation. Aho spoke about how being a head coach at a young age helped him develop skills that he used in business and helped him grow in his career as he is currently the CFO for Majesco Corporation. Larson mentioned how athletics has been such a big part of her life and how impactful UM-Dearborn was to her life. She also joked that needed to take home an award to show her three children that mom was an athlete in college. Baydoun spoke about how he would play basketball at various playgrounds in order to get shots in and how fortunate he was to play high school football and high school and college basketball for legendary coaches including former UM-Dearborn Coach Lofton Greene. Macari spoke about the tough admissions standards here at UM-Dearborn and how fortunate he was to get admitted and earn his degree here.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2020 also includes Dr. Heather Towery, but she was unable to make it to the ceremony. Dr. Towery will be inducted with the Class of 2022 on June 9, 2022.