To recognize his outstanding contributions to the University over the course of a 40-year relationship as a student-athlete and lead philanthropist, Hofstra University recently held a private ceremony on campus in which James C. Metzger ’83 was shown the #56 retired jersey that will adorn the facade of Margiotta Hall and also the bronze bust that will be added to the newly-landscaped area outside the men’s lacrosse locker room at Shuart Stadium.
The presentation was made by Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr.
“Jim is an integral part of the fabric of Hofstra Athletics and our entire University,” commented Cole. “We are thankful for his continued support of our student-athletes and programs and this gesture shows our incredible gratitude towards Jim and recognizes what he has meant to our University. I know I speak for the entire Hofstra community when I say congratulations, Jim, on these well-deserved honors!”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hofstra University for the humbling honor and acknowledgment of my contributions to the school,” commented Metzger. “I’m greatly flattered by the size and scope of their recognition, for which I greatly appreciate. I’m proud of Hofstra for both their academics and athletics prowess. The Hofstra brand grows stronger every year, so it’s gratifying to play a small role in the success of the University. Special thanks to Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz, Rick Cole Jr., Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Seth Tierney, Deputy Director of Athletics Jay Artinian, and Senior Associate Director of Athletics Bryan Graff for their support. I will continue to support Hofstra to help make the brand stronger and the University a better place for all.”
Metzger, the founder, chairman, and CEO of The Whitmore Agency, a leading Long Island insurance and financial services company with headquarters in Garden City, New York, was a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-American at Hofstra in 1980.
Metzger, who was second on the 1980 Hofstra team with 49 points in just 10 games, led the Pride in assists with 28 and also led the 1979 team with 12 assists. He is one of just three Hofstra student-athletes to record eight points or more in three games in a single season, posting eight points against Penn State (2-6), Towson (2-6), and North Carolina State (3-5). Metzger continues to be ranked in the top 10 in best assists per game average and best points per game average in a single season. His 4.90 points per game in 1980 ranks fifth all-time in program history and his 2.80 assists per game that same season ranks eighth all-time at Hofstra.
While Metzger’s athletic credentials at both the scholastic and collegiate levels were outstanding, his contributions as a philanthropist are even more impressive. He is a frequent donor to educational, charitable and other organizations in the metropolitan area including Hofstra, Half Hollow Hills High School, Saint Anthony’s High School, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island, the American Heart Association, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the New York City YMCA, the Hempstead PAL Lacrosse Program and many others.
Metzger is a frequent contributor to athletic and academic programs at Hofstra. In 2007, he helped address improvements to Joseph M. Margiotta Hall including the Harry Royle-Vincent Sombrotto Men’s Lacrosse Locker Room, the Traditions Project on the upper level, and the Lacrosse Office Reception Room, named in honor of Gary Arnold and the Unterstein Family. In 2015 Hofstra dedicated James C. Metzger Hall at James M. Shuart Stadium which includes The Fried Center for Student-Athlete Development, the stadium suites, and the stadium press box.
In 2012 Hofstra Athletics announced that the Stadium Building, located on the west side of James M. Shuart Stadium, would be renamed James C. Metzger Hall and the Capital Improvements Fund would be renamed, The James C. Metzger Fund for Capital Improvements, in recognition of his $1.5 million commitment to support the men’s lacrosse program and all sports. The Hofstra men’s lacrosse Outstanding Sophomore Award is also named after Metzger while the James C. Metzger-Michael D’Innocenzo Endowed Summer Internship for the Center for Civic Engagement was established in 2009 by Metzger.
Hofstra University has honored Metzger numerous times for his contributions. In 2011 he received the Joseph M. Margiotta Distinguished Service Award from the Hofstra Pride Club, A year later, Metzger received the Hofstra University Alumni Achievement Award. In 2015, Metzger was inducted into the Hofstra Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2016 he was selected the Hofstra Alumnus of the Year.