Whitman College Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2004

News release date: Nov. 19, 2004

Whitman Inducts Four as Second Class in Athletics Hall of Fame

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Two Whitman College tennis greats, along with two coaches whose tenures spanned decades, have been elected as the second class of inductees in the Whitman Athletics Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2004 includes coaches Robert "Bob" Burgess, who led the men's tennis team to 357 dual meet victories over 32 seasons, and Robert "Bob" Thomsen, who sparked Whitman to winning seasons in five of his seven seasons as head football coach and later guided the men's golf team to a string of five consecutive conference titles.

Rounding out the 2004 inductees are a pair of superlative tennis players -- Lynn Greer McKelvey, who dominated women's collegiate tennis in the Northwest during 1980s, and Stephen Ronfeldt, who led the men's team to four consecutive conference titles in the early 1960s.

Both Burgess, 88, and Thomsen, 90, and their wives continue to make their homes in Walla Walla.

Ronfeldt, who also lettered in four seasons of basketball at Whitman, lives in Berkeley, Calif., and maintains a law career devoted to the needs of the less fortunate. Greer McElvey, an investment representative, lives in West Linn, Ore. Both Ronfeldt and Greer McElvey are married to Whitman graduates.

The Whitman Hall of Fame's Executive Board, comprised of former student-athletes and coaches, selected the first class of inductees, based on nominations submitted during the past year.

Among criteria for induction, primary emphasis is given to contributions to Whitman athletics. Other points of consideration may include contribution to the college as a whole and achievements after graduation.

Whitman, a private, independent liberal arts & sciences college of about 1,400 students, sponsors a total of 16 men's and women's varsity teams. A founding member of the Northwest Conference, Whitman competes as a member of NCAA Division III.

For profiles on the Class of 2004 inductees into Whitman's Athletics Hall of Fame, check the links below:

  • Robert "Bob" Burgess

  • Robert "Bob" Thomsen

  • Lynn Greer McKelvey

  • Stephen Ronfeldt

    CONTACT: Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information
    509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu