Lees-McRae announces 2011 Hall of Fame Class

Lees-McRae announces 2011 Hall of Fame Class

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College athletic department, and Director of Athletics Craig McPhail, are pleased to announce the 2011 class of inductees into the Fred I. Dickerson Hall of Fame. The College will induct three new members into its hall of fame on Friday, September 30 as part of its Homecoming festivities, welcoming new inductees Carla Swart ('11), Allison McDonald Norris ('93), and Leonard Wheeler ('89).

"This promises to be another fantastic and memorable evening for our Hall of Fame inductees," said McPhail. "These people were and are still great ambassadors of the college, and their efforts on the fields and in the classroom are indicative of the success they have had since leaving Lees-McRae College."

Swart almost single-handedly redefined the sport of collegiate cycling, quickly becoming the most decorated rider in the history of the sport before passing away in a tragic training accident this past January in her native South Africa. During her career with the Bobcats, Swart collected 19 individual and team national titles, while becoming the first cyclist in collegiate history to win a national title in each of the four disciplines, accomplishing the feat during the 2008 season.

Norris starred for the women's soccer team as one of the first four-year athletes in the program's history, leading the Bobcats to a 63-17-1 record and a trio of conference championships during the school's transition to a four-year institution. A native of Hendersonville, Tenn., Norris garnered all-region and conference player of the year honors as a senior, while finishing her career ranked second in program history in total assists (36), third in match-winning goals (12), fourth in total points (108), and tied for seventh in total goals (36).

Wheeler played six seasons in the National Football League after a four-year college career that included stops at Mississippi, Troy, and Lees-McRae. A native of Toccoa, Ga., Wheeler was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 1992 NFL Draft, where he spent the first five years of his career. Wheeler went on to play one season with the Minnesota Vikings and one with the Carolina Panthers before retiring in 2001.

Wheeler is now the CEO and founder of Wheeler Enterprises, Inc., a company which specializes in personal and executive coaching to facilitate growth and development meant to improve their clients' quality of life. He is also an active member of the NFL Players Association, serving on the association's financial committee and has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the NFLPA.

"From what Leonard did in the NFL, to Allison working as the Dean of Student at her alma mater, and Carla's legacy in regards to collegiate cycling and our program, I am so proud to be a part of this special time," said McPhail.

This year's inductees will be honored at a Hall of Fame dinner on Friday, September 30, 2011 in MacDonald Dining Hall, which is located on the main College campus. Tickets are priced at $15 for adults, and $10 for children aged 12 and under. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations Michelle Scott by email at scottm@lmc.edu or by phone at (828) 898-2489.

- LMC -