Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Former Olympic Sprinter, Stony Brook All American Roger Gill Dies in Car Crash
To the Stony Brook Community,
Roger was recruited by some
of the top track programs in America (including UCLA & Georgia Tech),
yet chose Stony Brook for its educational and athletic opportunities.
Roger was a 4 time All State high school track athlete in high school
and decided to attend Stony Brook with 4 other freshman. These freshman,
along with senior Jean Massilon became known as the "Stony Brook
Express." The Stony Brook Express brought forth a golden age at
Stony Brook for the men's track and field team and this group still
currently holds over 12 university men's track and field records, captured
the ECAC track championships in 1991 (the first one ever), and has several
All-Americans and Olympians. Roger graduated from Stony Brook with a
BA in Human Resource Management and took graduate classes at Stony Brook.
Roger epitomizes the notion of student athlete, husband, father and a quality person in America that we can all honor. While at Stony Brook, Roger was Stony Brook’s first ever Freshman All-American. Roger was also one of two members of the Express to run in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. One of our proudest moments in life was seeing him and Anderson Vilien on television as they marched in the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremonies. It brought tears to our eyes see our former teammates at the Olympics when knowing just two years before we would all speak, not in jest, about how they would run in the Olympics. That was typical Roger, setting goals and achieving them.
Roger was truly a special student
athlete. We all drew strength from Roger's ability and desire
to be the best. He was known for his ability to bring our relay teams
back from 4th or 5th place to first in a blink of an eye. We also remember
watching his performance at the Penn Relays, where he passed 6 teams,
many of which were Division I programs to lead our relay to victory.
It was because of Roger that our team continued to get better, stronger
and faster. We had no fear with our leader by our side, and Roger never
showed any fear.
Clearly, if you look at the
university record books, Roger is the best athlete that Stony Brook
has ever had, both pre and post the division I move. Roger not only
performed at meets, he was one of the hardest working students we knew.
We all owe part of our own track success at Stony Brook directly to
Roger, who pushed us, reminded us that we could do better and eventually
let by example on the track and in life.
Roger ran for the love of the
sport. Back then, there were no athletic scholarships and no additional
funds for the athletic department. We even had to purchase our
own running shoes. But despite this, Roger ran all four years, proudly
wearing the Stony Brook jersey. He was even the last SB athlete
to compete under the old school mascot, the Patriots.
But, there’s so much more
to Roger than just his running. He and his wife are part of the
Stony Brook family. Our Stony Brook family. He fell in love
and married Annette Hicks (’96), who is also a SB alumni, and they
have shared over ten years of marriage together. During her time
at SB, Annette was elected SGA vice-president and president. To
us, the Gill family reminds us of how unique our SB experience has been
to all of us. Roger and Annette have four beautiful daughters,
ranging from 10 to 1 years old. And, they are expecting twins
in the coming months. This is truly a tragic event in all of our
lives and for the Stony Brook community.
We were with Roger the night
of his death, and as usual he spoke of his wife, his daughters and becoming
a new father again. That night he also spoke of Stony Brook, and
discussed why it was that neither he nor any of the Express members
were in the Athletic Hall of Fame at Stony Brook. In some ways,
it bothered not only him, but all of us, and its ironic to know that
during his final day, he still had Stony Brook on his mind. He
truly admired our University and lived a beautiful life.
Given all of what the Gill
family has accomplished and meant for Stony Brook, the time is now for
the University to take action and acknowledge to Roger’s family how
special Roger was to our University. Everyone of our past, current
and future students should aspire to live life as Roger did. Therefore,
we are sure that the University will join us and our friends to help
Roger’s family at this time. We hope that the University is
willing to recognize Roger and Annette’s efforts in life by providing
their children with scholarships to the University, and additional support,
as we all take this time to honor one of Stony Brook’s greatest alumni.
Roger’s additional accomplishments:
First Freshman All-American, 6 time All-American, 2 time SBU Athlete
of the Year, 2 time ECAC- MVP, Senior Athlete of the Year, Milrose Games-
Madison Square Garden- 1st Place- 4x400M, Guyana National Record
Holder- 4x400M, Bronze Medal CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games-
He was also involved in the
following activities at Stony Brook: Polity Senator, Vice President-
Caribbean Student Organization, Gospel Choir, Faculty / Staff Advisor-
Caribbean Student Organization, Student Manager- Campus Catering, Assistant
Foodservice Manager, Part of Opening Team for the Student Activities
Center, Foodservice Director- Stony Brook Union, Humanities Café.
Roger was also a deacon at
his church, Corona Seventh Day Adventist Church, where he and his family
often participated in many of the church’s activities.
With love, brotherhood, and
admiration. We will always miss you Roger and Warren.
Courtney O’Mealley Jerry Canada Jeremiah Ellis
Jean Massilion Anderson Vilien
Donations to benefit Roger’s
daughters and wife Annette should be payable to the
“Roger L. Gill Family Trust”. Donations should then be sent
care of Jerry Canada, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, One Broadway, NY, NY
Roger Gill Arrangements
Jamaica, NY 11412