Packed House Honors Bryce Chase In Lovefest/Roast
Bryce Chase Celebration Photo Album
TigerBlog On Brycie's Night
The ballroom at the Hyatt Regency was packed Saturday night, and the reason why was a man who was dressed head-to-toe in Princeton garb, from his orange pants on up.
The occasion was the sixth annual Friends of Princeton Lacrosse Fall Celebration, this one to honor Bryce Chase ’63, who has been around Princeton's program since he first joined the freshman team in 1960.
From the start, it was clear that this would be equal parts lovefest and roast, and it certainly played out that way. In all, the crowd of current players, former players, friends and family swelled to 350, many of whom had flown in just for the event.
The evening included an equal balance of words about how much Bryce has meant to Princeton Lacrosse and the University as a whole and jokes at his expense.
Among the highlights:
* the opening remarks from Friends' Group President Jon Hess ’98, especially when he spoke to the current Princeton freshman and said that this "is what Princeton lacrosse is all about" as he pointed to Bryce's eight teammates and classmates who came back 50 years later just to celebrate with their friend
* the stand-up routine that emcee Matt Bailer ’01 gave through the course of the night
* the tribute to Bryce by head coach Chris Bates, who also spoke about the current team and read a letter to Bryce written by Ford Family Director of Athletics Gary Walters ’67
* the commentary on Bryce from his classmate Ernie Dreher ’63, whose words mirrored the theme of the night
* the introduction of the 2014 team by the players themselves, who introduced themselves in numerical order
* the 20-minute video tribute to Bryce, featuring about 30 or so different participants spanning all of the decades he's spent affiliated with the school. The stories told ranged from testimonials about his character to his legendary use of more colorful language
* the sight of Bryce and his eight classmates and teammates as they shared the stage, first alone and then with the five members of Princeton's most recent class, the Class of 2013, two groups of men who were separated by 50 years
* lastly, Bryce himself spoke to the crowd and told stories that were heartfelt and funny, in a style that is unique to the man himself and was well-received by the crowd
Bryce Chase graduated from Princeton High School as a baseball player. He came to Princeton after a year of Marine Corps active duty and then spent 10 years in the Reserves.
He graduated from Princeton in 1963 and then graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1966. He became an assistant coach in 1970 under Art Robinson and has been with the program ever since.
His wife Phyllis was Princeton's team travel coordinator for many years before retiring in 2012.
The fall celebration has become an annual event for the Friends of Lacrosse that has proven to be vital to the support of the men's and women's programs. To learn more about supporting the Friends of Princeton Lacrosse, click here.