The Ivy League lost a wonderful friend in November when Timothy (Tim) A. Maslyn, 51, the founder of Maslyn Studios, died unexpectedly at his studio.
A prominent figure in Ivy League trophy presentations, Maslyn had sculpted 19 League team trophies over his career – including three track and field trophies.
Maslyn was the protégé of the well-known sculptor Joseph Brown, a Princeton University professor and, interestingly, a boxing instructor at the school for four decades (1939-77). Here is where Ivy trophies begin a beautiful weave. Joe Brown’s pieces were used for the current Ivy League trophies in men’s fencing, men’s soccer and wrestling. Brown, in turn, was a student of the legendary R. Tait McKenzie, whose piece “The Onslaught” sits atop the Ivy League Football Trophy.
Maslyn was a sculptor and curator for the Joe Brown Foundation and later created many of the trophies included in the Ivy League trophy program. Additionally, he also did work for Princeton University, including what would be his last completed sculpture — a life size bronze statue of Dick Kazmaier, Jr., Class of 1952, dedicated on Oct. 24, 2008, at Princeton’s Jadwin Gymnasium.
While the Heps men do not currently have a traveling team trophy for indoor track and field, the women’s champion receives Maslyn’s Frank Greenberg Trophy, which was established by the Greenberg family in 2005. Greenberg, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, has been one of the world’s preeminent track and field authorities for decades, including a four-year stint as the President of USA Track & Field.
Both outdoor trophies were sculpted by Maslyn. The men’s champion takes home the John Baxter Taylor Trophy, which was anonymously funded to honor the former Penn champion. In 1908 Taylor became the first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal as a member of the U.S. sprint medley relay. Sadly, Taylor died of pneumonia within a few months of that victory.
The women’s outdoor track champion receives the Lynn Jennings Trophy, which was funded by the Friends of Princeton Track. Jennings not only won three world cross country championships after graduation, she remains the only Ivy League female to win an Olympic medal in athletics (track and field). She claimed bronze in the 10,000-meter run in Barcelona in 1992.
The men also have a team cross country trophy which pre-dated the Maslyn trophy program, which was initiated by former Associate Director Chuck Yrigoyen. The Junius T. Auerbach Trophy, the cross country award, was established as a memorial award in 1939 by his sons. Auerbach, an 1890 Cornell graduate, was an ardent supporter of the Big Red’s athletic teams.