Frederick L. Mitchell, varsity swim captain, is this year's recipient of the William J. Bingham Award, Harvard's top athletic prize.
The award was one of four made at the annual Varsity Club Senior Lettermen dinner last night at the Palmer-Dixon Courts.
Other award recipients included David P. St. Pierre, varsity football captain and varsity baseball player, who received the Francis H. Burr Award for combining athletic and academic excellence. St. Pierre, who has gained All-Ivy honors in both sports will enter Tufts Medical School next fall.
Bernard R. Bach '75 received the Jack Fadden Award for "overcoming physical adversity," the first non-senior and the first intramural athlete to do so. The award was opened to intramural athletes for the first time this year.
A set of knee operations has sidelined Bach, an intramural basketball player, from varsity football and basketball competition.
Ronald D. Thorpe Jr., varsity football manager for three years, received the Manager's Trophy.
Robert B. Watson, director of Athletics, presented the award to Mitchell, citing the swimmer's contribution to the stability of the team during a time of numerous coach changes. Mitchell, who has three times been captain of his squad, holds several records in free style and relay events.
Open to Women?
The Harvard athletic awards are among many which have come under scrutiny as advocates of equal treatment of women have sought to open Harvard prizes to Radcliffe students and as women athletes have sought greater parity in distribution of athletic resources.
Mary G. Paget, assistant to the director of Athletics and coordinator of Sports, Dance and Recreation at Radcliffe College, said last night that there "hasn't been the kind of pressure for the awards that there has been for other things."
She said "the valued things"--equipment, fields, playing time--"preoccupied us more," although there had been discussion about making some nominations.
Both Harvard and Radcliffe varsity squads receive their letters--or, in the case of women players, nylon jackets or sweaters--at team banquets at the end of their seasons.