In December 2012, Elmhurst running back Scottie Williams ’13 won the Gagliardi Trophy, the most prestigious award in Division III football. Today, thanks to the generosity of an Elmhurst legacy family, a replica of that trophy has a permanent home at the College.
The replica, donated to the College by 1982 graduates Ron and Juliann Vincent and their children, made a special appearance at Elmhurst during Homecoming 2013. After a presentation at the Homecoming Kick-Off Celebration on October 5, the Vincent family carried the trophy to Langhorst Stadium, where it stood throughout the football game as a prominent reminder of success and hard work.
As an Elmhurst legacy family, the Vincents have strong connections with the College. Ron and Juliann met at Elmhurst, and all three of their children followed in their footsteps: LoriAnn ’09, Eric ’13 and Shane ’17.
Speaking on behalf of the family at the Homecoming Kick-Off, Shane Vincent reflected on his role as the youngest member of a legacy family. “A legacy is much like a tree,” he said. “It branches out and takes roots.”
Ron Vincent, who played football as an Elmhurst student, said he hopes the trophy will serve as an inspiration to current and future athletes. College athletics, he added, bring an important balance to campus. “It’s part of the entire education process,” he said. “It’s not just mind. It’s body, it’s community, it’s everything.”
The Gagliardi Trophy is an annual award given to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III. Honoring excellence in athletics, academics and community service, the award is known as the Division III equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
“This trophy isn’t just about performance on the field—it’s also about academics and service,” said Elmhurst head football coach Joe Adam. “It encompasses all three sides of the complete student athlete. We’re very proud to have this visual representation of the complete student athlete on display.”
The replica trophy will remain on display in the athletics office in Faganel Hall as a lasting inspiration for athletes to come.
Tailgating in the Alexander parking lot with his family before the Homecoming game, Ron Vincent said he was happy to be back at a place that has had such an impact on his family. “This is a jewel,” he said of the College. “It’s a jewel that I don’t think a lot of people realize is in their back yard.”