WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Wednesday, Catholic University Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Sean Sullivan announced that Fred Favo '55 has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Smathers Award which will be awarded on Friday, October 19 at the 10th annual athletic department Golf Classic at Joint Base Andrews, South Course.
The Smathers Award, established in 2009, is given annually at the Golf Classic to a current or former student-athlete who has distinguished himself or herself in service to community, university, profession or country.
The award is named for Captain John Smathers '80, '84, a former football player who became a lawyer and decorated Army reservist earning four Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, an Army Commendation Medal and six Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals. He passed away on Feb. 4, 2006.
Favo came to Catholic after initially committing to attend Penn State at the suggestion of family friend and Catholic University affiliated priest, Bishop McDowell. Upon his arrival, his athleticism was noticed right away by former track and field coach and Athletics Hall of Famer Dorsey Griffith.
As a four-year member of the track team, Favo was a seven-time Mason-Dixon Conference indoor champion in the 440 (1954, 1955), mile relay (1954, 1955) and sprint medley (1953, 1954, 1955). In outdoor track, he was a nine-time Mason-Dixon Conference champion in the mile relay (1952, 1953, 1954, 1955), 220 (1953, 1954, 1955) and the 440 (1953, 1954) and was a participant in the 1954 NCAA Track and Field Championships.
Favo was also member of the wrestling team for four years and the cross country team for three. As a wrestler, he was the runner-up at the Mason-Dixon Conference Championships in 1954 (137 pounds) and 1955 (147 pounds). He was awarded the Harris Cup as a graduating male senior in 1955, recognizing his outstanding service to the university as a scholar, student-athlete and gentleman.
Favo met his wife, Maureen, at Catholic, they were married in 1956 and moved to Texas where he began serving in the Air Force with Special Services as a member of the All-Air Force Mile Relay championship team. He then went to Ellington Field and entered Navigation School. Upon receiving his Wings, he served with the Air Defense Command at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota where his last appointment was at the same base that his grandson was first assigned to upon his entrance into the Air Force.
Following his military career, Favo moved back to Oakmont, Pennsylvania where he helped start Oakmont Realty with his father. He has served the Borough of Oakmont for nearly 60 years, currently serving as Borough Treasurer after having served as president for over 30. He was also the head track and field coach at Riverview High School for 15 years. He has received numerous civic awards while being heavily involved at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church.
Favo served as a member of the Catholic University Board of Trustees (1987-98, 1999-2011) and is a current Trustee Emeritus. He won the Harris Cup as an undergraduate student-athlete and was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982. He has also served on the Alumni Board of Governors and is a recipient of the Bishop Thomas J. Shahan Medal.
In his time serving on the Board of Trustees, Favo was instrumental in several campus improvements, including Centennial Village, the DuFour Center and the McMahon Hall renovations. He also assisted in generating funds for scholarship through the annual Cardinals Dinner, ensuring that each member of his family was able to attend at least one of these events held across the country.
Some of Favo's proudest ties to the University are that four of his children attended Catholic: Christopher Favo, Timothy Favo, Loraine Zatawski and Maureen Favo. He has been known to say that his life was truly directed by attending Catholic University.
2017 - Franny Murray '50
2016 - Kathleen (Franciose) Green '77
2015 - Joe Fisher '75
2014 - David Conover '72, '79
2013 - Bob Talbot '59
2012 - Nick Olivero ’09
2011 - Connie Hanlon '89
2010 - Bill Wilson '69
2009 - Sean Mulholland '82