Hall of Fame honors two former star athletes and generous donor family at Saturday event

Two former PNW athletes and a generous supporter of the school’s athletics department were inducted into the PNW Hall of Fame for 2020.

Former basketball stars Ben Simmons and Stephanie Beck, and the Graegin family were honored on Feb. 22 during the afternoon’s Pride basketball games against the Lake Superior State Lakers. 

Simmons graduated from PNW (then known as Purdue University Calumet) in 1992. During his career, he scored 979 points, completed 952 rebounds and made 190 steals. As team captain, he averaged a double-double in points and rebounds during the 1991 season and was a three-time winner of the Pride Hustle award. He has since established his own company, BnX Sports Technology Inc. in San Antonio, Texas. 

“Ben was an incredibly talented player and it’s exciting to see his hard work recognized,” said John Friend, former athletics director. “He was a defensive force on the court and has been a tremendous supporter of PNW Athletics.” 

Beck graduated in 2012 as the fourth highest scorer in the women’s basketball program’s history. During her career, she recorded 1,686 points, collected 132 assists and made 603 rebounds.  She went on to serve as an assistant coach at an NCAA Division III program in Oregon before returning to PNW as an assistant women’s basketball coach and head cross country coach. In 2018, she became head coach of the South Burlington High School girl’s basketball team. 

“Stephanie was a very gifted player and coach and to have her join the ranks of so many talented and successful student-athletes and alumni is well deserved,” said Director of Athletics Rick Costello. 

The Graegin Family has supported Purdue University Northwest and PNW Athletics for several years, including development of the Paul K. & Barbara Greagin Academic Excellence Center, a state-of-the-art learning space for Purdue Northwest student-athletes. 

“The Graegin Family has been very thoughtful and generous with Purdue Northwest,” said Friend. “Their gifts will continue to make an impact to students for years to come.”