SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee is proud to announce that four individuals have been chosen as the newest class into the Mount Holyoke Athletics Hall of Fame. The Class of 2017 consists of Bob Bontempo, Michelle Johannes '93, Jessica Justice '03 and Jean Osachuk '80.
"This year's class of inductees covers four decades of athletic, academic and professional excellence at Mount Holyoke College. These individuals are examples of Mount Holyoke's legacy of developing the remarkable talent of its student-athletes not only for excellence in their sports, but also for extraordinary contributions to our world," said Lori Hendricks, Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education at Mount Holyoke. "We are excited to honor Bob, Michelle, Jessica and Jean as our newest Hall of Fame members. They have surely set a bar of achievement for which each of our current student-athletes and coaches should aim."
Bontempo served Mount Holyoke for 38 years from 1970 until 2007. In addition to founding and coaching the women's golf program, he also served as the head professional at the Orchards Golf Club, and as a lecturer within the Department of Physical Education at MHC. During his tenure, Bontempo's teams amassed unprecedented success, including the 1987-88 team, which finished second in the nation at the NCGA Division III Championships behind All-America performances from Kathleen Rourke '88 and Mary Beth Berndt '88. In all, three of his student-athletes garnered All-America honors, including Rourke, Berndt and Marcia Podvey '90, who finished ninth overall at the 1990 NCAA National Championships. A 2014 Western Mass Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Bontempo brought a number of events to the Orchards, including the 1973 National Women's Intercollegiate Championship, the USGA Junior Girls Championship and the 1993 NGCA Division II and III National Championship.
A four-year standout on the Mount Holyoke volleyball team, Johannes helped lead the Lyons to a 69-44 record during her career. While statistics from this era were limited, her impact on the team was undeniable as she was named the NEW8 Player of the Year in 1992, also achieving All-Conference honors in three seasons. A two-time selection to the Seven Sisters All-Tournament Team, she was also an All-New England First Team selection in 1991. Johannes, who was the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior, was the first Mount Holyoke student-athlete to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition three times – and remains just one of two all-time to achieve the feat. After graduating from Mount Holyoke in Spring of '93, Johannes coached the MIT JV volleyball team and the co-ed MIT spring volleyball team through the '93-'94 season. She returned to Mount Holyoke to teach as the Laboratory Instructor in the physics department for the '94-'96 school years. Johannes went on to attend University of California at Davis, receiving her Ph.D. in computational physics in 1997. Currently, she works at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. where she serves as the Head of the Center for Computational Materials Science.
Justice remains one of the all-time greatest student-athletes in Mount Holyoke athletics history, leading nearly every scoring and rebounding statistical category in basketball to this day. She paced the squad in scoring and rebounding all four years of her career, all while dealing with Erbs Palsy, a condition that limited the use of her right arm. A two-time NEWMAC All-Conference First Team selection, she was a Seven Sisters All-Tournament honoree twice. Currently, Justice is MHC basketball's all-time leading scorer with 1,533 points. She also ranks first overall in a number of career records, including points per game in a career (15.5), field goals made (606 in 99 games), field goal percentage (.600) and free throws made (320 in 99 games). Justice earned her degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Mount Holyoke in 2003.
An all-around athlete and leader in athletics during her time at Mount Holyoke, Osachuk has been a role model for women across a number of sports. A standout in tennis at MHC, she amassed a record of 54-10 as the number one ranked singles player all four years. During her senior season, she won the Seven Sisters Tournament, also competing on MHC's basketball and softball teams. Additionally, Osachuk was instrumental in the organization and establishment of the Athletic and Recreation Association at Mount Holyoke, which helped students on-campus be able to participate in a number of intramural sports, including soccer, volleyball, touch football and softball. A competitive tennis player after college, she was a National Champion in 2012, winning the Women's 50 and Over "4.5 team doubles competition." Osachuk, who was inducted into the New England Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Jane Blalock Company – an organization that is responsible for the organization and management of the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women.
The 2017 Class will be inducted at Mount Holyoke's Athletics Hall of Fame Ceremony, which will be held during Family & Friends Weekend on October 21. Tickets for the reception and dinner are available for purchase through the Department of Athletics. To request a ticket application, contact Cathy Smelcer by phone at (413) 538-2310 or via e-mail at email@example.com.