Baker, Ferrentino, Ruchlin to Be Inducted Into UB Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: September 15, 1994 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A NASA astronaut, a former football captain and a major booster of the University at Buffalo sports program are this year's inductees into the UB Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame.

The induction will take place at a dinner to be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, in the Center for Tomorrow on the North (Amherst) Campus. The new members will be inducted into the hall of fame by Sarah M. Anderson, president of the UB Alumni Association, and Nelson E. Townsend, director of the UB Division of Athletics.

The inductees are Ellen Shulman Baker, M.D., a 1974 UB graduate and star swimmer who was the first UB woman to place in a women's national championship; Matthew "Matty" Ferrentino, a 1951 graduate and football standout who earned an All-American designation in 1950, and Barry A. Ruchlin, D.D.S., a co-founder of the President's Associates and long-time supporter of UB athletics.

Baker placed 8th in the 100-meter freestyle and 14th in the 50-meter freestyle at the Women's National Swimming and Diving Championships during the 1970-71 season. She won the 50 freestyle in the 1970-71 New York State Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, and placed in the top 12 in three individual events at the 1971-72 Eastern Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, earning similar conference and district honors.

She received a bachelor's degree in geology from UB in 1974 and a medical degree from Cornell University in 1978. She joined NASA in 1981 as a medical officer at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, and was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1984. Her first trip to space was aboard Atlantis in 1989. She also served as a mission specialist on a 1992 Columbia flight. Baker will be an astronaut on the next Space Lab flight scheduled for mid-1995. She resides in Houston.

Ferrentino played football for the UB Bulls from 1947-50, starting all four years as an offensive guard and defensive linebacker. He earned Little All-American designation in 1950, the year he served as co-captain and lead the team to its fifth-straight winning season. Ferrentino also played baseball and basketball, and was a professional boxer and bowler.

He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from UB in 1951. A resident of West Seneca, he recently retired as a production manager at the Ford Motor Co.

Ruchlin is being honored for his significant and consistent financial donations to the UB Division of Athletics. A member of the UB Athletic Advisory Committee since 1987, he was the alumni representative to the UB Athletic Board during the 1992-93 academic year.

He received a bachelor's degree in history and a dental degree from UB in 1967.

Since 1971, Ruchlin has practiced orthodontics in Tonawanda, where he resides.

The cost of dinner is $25 for alumni association members and $28 for others. Reservations are due by Sept. 16.

For more information, call (716) 829-2608 or 1-800-BUILD-UB.