The way Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor David Williams sees it, Will Perdue set the benchmark for Vanderbilt’s men basketball players.
So for Williams, Perdue was an eventual no-brainer for a future inductee into Vanderbilt’s Hall of Fame. On Wednesday, the former All-American and 7-foot center headlined the announcement of the nine new members, who make up Vanderbilt’s fourth Hall of Fame class and will be enshrined in September.
“I think you always have to mark what you’re doing against what Will Perdue meant,” Williams said. “Now, we have had a lot of great basketball players here, but I think Will is right up at the top of that.”
Perdue played at Vanderbilt from 1984-88, setting school records in career field goal percentage (60.6) and career blocks (157). He ranks 22nd on the all-time scoring list with 1,281 points and averaged 18.3 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior.
In 1988, Perdue was named to the Associated Press All-American Third Team. He was also the Southeastern Conference’s player and athlete (all sports) of the year in 1988. That same season Vanderbilt reached its first Sweet 16.
That following summer Perdue was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bulls. He won three NBA championships with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and later earned another ring with the San Antonio Spurs.
He averaged 4.7 points and 4.9 rebounds during a 13-year career — the longest for any former Vanderbilt player. The Florida native is now an analyst for ESPN, providing insight for college and NBA games.
“Not only for what he did in college, but going on and playing in the pros. ... He is clearly one of the Vanderbilt greats,” Williams said. “There is no doubt about that.”
Williams and Vanderbilt’s senior athletic managers reviewed over 100 nominations from alumni and fans before whittling it down to the final nine. All will be honored at a dinner on Sept. 2 and will be recognized during Vanderbilt’s football season opener against Elon on Sept. 3.
Along with Perdue, some of the notable members of the 2011 class include U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (track and field), former football All-American Carl Hinkle, women’s basketball standout Sheri Sam and former Rhodes scholar David Latimer (cross country).
“We try to be very broad and we pride ourselves in the student-athletes and our university,” Williams said. “So it is really nice to have people that are graduating magna cum laude, going on to get PhDs. ... It is sort of an eclectic class.”
2011 Hall of Fame Class
Lamar Alexander, Track and Field, 1960-62
*Member of school-record 440-yard relay team (42.7 seconds)
*Previous titles include University of Tennessee president; governor of Tennessee (1979-1987); U.S. secretary of education (1991-1993); U.S. senator of Tennessee since 2003 and senior senator since 2007; Currently serves as conference chair of the Republican Party
Tyler Griffin, Women’s Soccer, 2004-06
*School’s career shutout leader (31) and third in saves (224)
*2005 SEC Defensive Player of the Year
*Three-time All-SEC selection and school’s female athlete of the year in 2005
*North Carolina transfer helped lead Vanderbilt to school-record 16 wins in 2005, along with NCAA Tournament berths in 2005-06
Carl Hinkle, Football, 1935-37
*All-American lineman (both sides) who finished seventh in the 1937 Heisman Trophy Voting
*Named SEC MVP in 1937
*Decorated pilot in World War II and retired from Air Force as a colonel
*Was inducted into National College Football Hall of Fame in 1959
*Hendersonville native was selected posthumously
John Ingram, Lifetime Achievement, 1984-86
*Vanderbilt University Board of Trust member
*Went to Princeton for undergrad degree but received M.B.A. at Vanderbilt in 1986
*Has played a vital role in Vanderbilt’s facility upgrades and was member of search committee that selected Nicholas Zeppos as the school’s chancellor in 2008
Peter Lamb, Men’s Tennis, 1977-80
*Two-time SEC outdoor singles champion
*First tennis player to be offered a full athletic scholarship at Vanderbilt
*A South Africa native, who was the first non-white player to represent his country in international Davis Cup play; Competed against the United States in 1978 in a match held in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium
David Latimer, Cross Country, 1994-98
*Recorded fifth-fastest Vanderbilt time at SEC meet and fourth-fastest mark at District IX Championship in 1997
*Named school’s male athlete of the year in 1998
*In 1997, he became school’s first Rhodes Scholar in 14 years
Scotti Madison, Baseball, 1977-80
*First baseball player in school history to earn first team All-American accolades (1980)
*Named to All-SEC first team as an outfielder (1978) and catcher (1979-80)
*Set single-season record for home runs (15) in 1977 and shares career record (49) with Pedro Alvarez
*Third-round draft choice by Minnesota Twins in 1980, he spent 10 years playing professional baseball, including stints with Detroit, Kansas City and Cincinnati
Will Perdue, Men’s Basketball, 1984-88
*Set school records in career field goal percentage (60.6) and blocks (157)
*Named SEC’s player and athlete of the year in 1988
*Selected to AP All-American Third Team in 1988
*Drafted by Chicago Bulls in first round and played 13 years in the NBA, winning four championships with Chicago and San Antonio
*Analyst for ESPN
Sheri Sam, Women’s Basketball, 1993-96
*1996 Kodak All-American
*Graduated seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,537 points
*Member of Vanderbilt’s Final Four team in 1993
*Played 10 years in the WNBA, winning a championship with the Seattle Storm in 2004