For more than 50 years, Long Island’s Hofstra University has recognized and celebrated the professional and personal achievements of its graduates, along with their many contributions to society. At the 2012 Hofstra alumni award dinner held at the end of September, eight alumni were honored. Among them were outstanding student-athletes James C. Metzger, who received a Hofstra alumni achievement award, and Stephen E. Dunn, who was named the Hofstra alumnus of the year.
Stephen Dunn was a guard on the men’s basketball team from 1958 to 1961. During his playing days, he scored 755 points and grabbed 132 rebounds. Hofstra posted a 64-12 record during these three years, including a 23-1 mark for the 1959-60 season. During 1958-59, Dunn was the team’s second highest scorer, averaging 14.2 points per game.
After graduating from Hofstra with a degree in English, Dunn worked in advertising and then wrote a novel before he earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Syracuse University. Today, he is an award-winning author of more than 12 collections of poetry and the recipient of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his collection Different Hours. Dunn also has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Metzger’s Contributions Then And Now
James Metzger was a two-year letterman (1979 and 1980) on the men’s lacrosse team. He led the team in assists during both seasons, posting 12 in 1979 and 28 in 1980, and he led the team in points per game in 1980 with 49 points, including 21 goals. Metzger’s 4.90 points per game average stands today as the fifth best season average in school history.
For the 1980 season, Metzger was named a Division I All-America honorable mention by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. He is one of three Hofstra players to tally eight or more points three times in a single season when he recorded eight points versus Penn State, Towson and North Carolina State during that same season.
After his 1983 graduation, Metzger entered the insurance industry. By 1989, he had founded his own company, The Whitmore Group Ltd., which today is one of the largest independent insurance agencies and estate planning companies in the New York metropolitan area. For more than two decades, The Whitmore Group has focused on all facets of personal and commercial insurance along with estate planning.
Cited as one of the most civic and community-minded businessmen on Long Island, Metzger and The Whitmore Group are the leading benefactor of Hofstra Athletics. In recognition of Metzger’s contributions, the Hofstra Athletics Department Capital Improvements Fund now is known as The James C. Metzger Fund for Capital Improvements.
The additional alumni recognized this year by Hofstra included:
- Vincent Polimeni, honorary alumnus, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Polimeni International, a full-service real estate firm. Polimeni also oversees subsidiary companies that specialize in the development, construction, management, brokerage and marketing of prime commercial properties.
- Cara Castronuova, young alumna, is a celebrity fitness trainer, athlete and television personality. A boxer who is a two-time Golden Gloves champion, she was featured as a head trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser and is the spokeswoman for Puma.
- David A. Crichlow, alumni achievement, is a partner at the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman.
- Michele Medaglia, alumni achievement, is president of ACC Construction Corporation in New York City.
- Darra Pace, alumni achievement, is professor and chair of Hofstra’s Department of Special Education. She teaches courses in intellectual disabilities, cultural competence, and access and equity in special education.
- Dr. Jill Maura Rabin, alumni achievement, is professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and she is co-director of ACE (Advanced Clinical Experience) at the Hofstra-North Shore LIJ School of Medicine. Dr. Rabin also is the head of urogynecology in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center of the North-Shore-LIJ Health System.