Column: Athletic Center Installs New Sidwell Wall of Fame

Sidwell’s Pearson Athletic Center recently underwent a small yet eye-catching renovation to its second floor. The new addition to the center highlights Sidwell alumni and their athletics careers.

The renovation, which was for aesthetic, not structural purposes, made no significant architectural changes to the Athletic Center. Approximately 12 athletes each received a panel along the wall across from the Athletic Director’s office. Each panel includes a short summary of a given athlete’s success at Sidwell and their achievements beyond high school. The panels highlight people like Olympic triathlete Taylor Knibb and NBA basketball players Josh Hart and Saddiq Bey.

The new wall of fame also includes a glass case that showcases athletes’ uniforms, trophies and medals. A new TV in the middle of the display shows a slideshow of recent Sidwell athletic successes, highlighting championship teams and recent graduates who are currently competing in the NCAA.

The reactions to the renovations have been largely positive, with students describing it as interesting and noticeable. Sophomore Alma Bielenberg said the renovations are a “really nice addition to the Athletic Center.”

The tribute is placed strategically at the foot of the first flight of stairs. Now, everyone walking into the Athletic Center can see the legacy and impact of the Sidwell athletic program. Sophomore Gabi Green shared her thoughts on the wall, saying, “The new AC wall of fame elevates the culture and environment of Sidwell Athletics by showing our athletes what we can accomplish in the future.”

These renovations come after a significant increase in the success of Sidwell athletics. Last year, Sidwell’s athletic program won more state and league championships than in any other year, with both Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Teams appearing in national tournaments, resulting in Girls’ Basketball taking home a national title. All of the state and national championship trophies from 2021-2022 are in a glass case next to the Rusch Room. The DCSAA banners line the front basketball court.

These renovations signal the beginning of a new era of Sidwell Athletics, with the departure of former Athletic Director Keith Leventhal and the beginning of new Athletic Director John Square’s time at Sidwell. In this new era of Sidwell athletics, with multiple athletes looking to continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level and beyond, there is potential for new additions to the panels and an expansion of the trophy case.