15 Student-Athletes to be Inducted into Frank G. Ham Society of Character

15 Student-Athletes to be Inducted into Frank G. Ham Society of Character

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Athletics will induct 15 student-athletes into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character tonight at a dinner prior to Kentucky’s men’s basketball game against Ole Miss.

The student-athletes will be recognized on the court at Rupp Arena at halftime of the basketball game.

The Society of Character annually honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. The SOC was founded during the 1998-99 school year and is named for Ham, a longtime UK administrator.

Past honorees and more on the Frank G. Ham Society of Character can be found online at

The following is an alphabetized list of this year’s induction class and highlights of their accomplishments.

Victoria Buerger – Women’s Swimming

  • 2021 All-SEC Freshman Team
  • 2022, 2023 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 9 in the record book in the 100 backstroke
  • Over 177 hours of community service time at UK

Evan Byers – Baseball

  • In 2023, posted a team-best 1.65 ERA as Kentucky advanced to its second-ever Super Regional.
  • Dean’s List honoree
  • Two-time Southeastern Conference academic Honor Roll honoree
  • Volunteered for the Beef Cattleman’s Association, God’s Pantry Food Bank, Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Miracle League and several different organizations in his home county of Jessamine County, Kentucky

Erin Coffel – Softball

  • 2023 NFCA All-American, second All-America honor of her career
  • Led the NCAA in walks for 2023
  • 55 career home runs, six shy of tying the Kentucky career HR record
  • Active with the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and KY Special Olympics with plans to attend graduate school next year

Ben Damge – Men’s Soccer

  • 2023 Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament Team
  • Hat trick vs. Georgia Southern, earning him Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week in 2022
  • In four years as a Wildcat, recorded 12 goals (7 game-winning) and 5 assists in 59 matches with 18 starts. Tallied 60 shots with 33 on goal.
  • Volunteered at Julius Marks Elementary School’s Celebration Day as well as God’s Pantry Food Bank, Donate Life Event, Big Blue Boo and several local career days

Sofie Davis – Women’s Swimming

  • 2023-24 Team Captain
  • Earning bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism
  • SEC Academic Honor Roll selection
  • Has volunteered at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, God’s Pantry, West Jessamine School District and more

Sam Duncan – Men’s Diving

  • Three-time NCAA qualifier
  • Ranks fourth in program history on both the 1-meter and 3-meter
  • Multi-time “A-Finalist” at the SEC Championships
  • Has served as a mentor at Amachi Lexington, an organization which serves children of incarcerated parents

Bridget Engel – Women’s Swimming

  • Ranks inside the program’s all-time top 10 in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke
  • Holds all-time UK record in the 100 M breaststroke long course event
  • 2023 NCAA qualifier
  • Avid volunteer at Southland Youth Ministry

Grace Lorsung – Softball

  • Transferred from Indiana in the offseason of 2022-23
  • Series-clinching HR in rubber match of series vs. Florida
  • 14 extra-base hits and 31 RBI in 2023
  • Active in community service at several local elementary schools and plans to attend medical school after graduation

Vanessa Nesby – Softball

  • Hit .362 last season with 47 hits and 35 runs scored
  • 18-for-20 stolen bases in her career
  • Voted on as team captain for 2024, her senior season
  • Participated in God’s Pantry backpack program and volunteered at UK’s Circle of Love, helping less fortunate families during the holidays

Tori Orcutt – Women’s Swimming

  • Has nearly 700 total volunteer hours at UK
  • Two-time member of SEC Community Service Team
  • SEC Academic Honor Roll member
  • Plans to join Air Force after graduation

Anna Havens Rice – Women’s Swimming

  • Ranks in the program’s all-time top 10 in four events
  • Two-time NCAA qualifier
  • 2021 All-America Honorable Mention in 400 IM
  • Serves as a mentor at Amachi Lexington, an organization which serves children of incarcerated parents

Zane Rosely – Men’s Swimming

  • Owns top-10 times in five different events at UK
  • 2021 NCAA qualifier
  • 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team
  • Has volunteered at a number of organizations including God’s Pantry and Golfview Estates Neighborhood Association

Reagan Rutherford – Volleyball

  • 2020 NCAA National Champion
  • Two-time All-SEC performer
  • Two-time AVCA All-American
  • 2023 SEC Community Service Team

Stephanie Schoonover – Softball

  • NFCA National Pitcher of the Week and SEC Pitcher of the Week in March 2023
  • 12-2 in 2023 with a 2.01 ERA and a team-best 160 strikeouts
  • Led the Wildcats with 114.2 innings pitched a season ago
  • Active with the KY Special Olympics and Salvation Army with plans to attend physical therapy school in the fall

Erica Thulen – Softball

  • Three-for-three in her career in stolen bases
  • Has scored 25 runs for UK in her three years as a Wildcat
  • Two RBI vs. #8 Washington in extra innings last year in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
  • Active with God’s Pantry Food Bank helping pack lunches for less fortunate children and delivering them to local schools

Related Stories

View all