June 23, 2018

Meet Samantha Walther - Hamilton Women's Ice Hockey

Samantha Walther - Hamilton Courtesy of Hamilton Sports Information

A published author and an All-American ice hockey goalie, Samantha Walther graduated from Hamilton as a government major. Walther was a five-time Dean’s List student and a NESCAC All-Academic honoree.

In 2017, she was the recipient of the Raphael Lemkin Essay Prize on the practice of genocide. She wrote for Change Magazine, where she published an article about Hamilton faculty members’ experiences teaching in prison classrooms. She was selected by Hamilton professors and the Utica Mental Health Court Judge to complete a semester field study on the Swedish criminal justice system, where she traveled to the country to conduct her research, and authored a policy proposal directed at criminal justice reform in the United States. She also authored a report, which will be published this summer/fall, on the current state of jails and incarceration units in Oneida County and proposed policy changes. Walther participated in the American Prison Writing Archive, transcribing and editing handwritten letters from American prisoners to an online digital archive that were used in the latest edition of the book Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America.

The 2018 NESCAC Player of the Year, Walther was a three-time All-NESCAC selection and two-time All-American. A finalist for the Laura Hurd NCAA Division III Player of the Year honor, she led Hamilton to four NESCAC Tournament appearances. Walther was awarded the Jack B. Riffle Award as Hamilton’s Female Athlete of the Year and was honored with the Utica Kiwanis Club Award for academic, athletic and character achievements. She owns the Hamilton single-season and career records for save percentage, shutouts, and goals against average. She finished her career ranked among the top five all-time among NCAA leaders in save percentage and shutouts.

Walther, a native of Gambrills, Maryland, also spent her time at Hamilton volunteering for Special Olympics and the Strong Girl program, which encourages girls about positive self and body image. Walther, who is conversational in Arabic and American Sign Language, was also a pen pal with students at the New York State School for the Deaf. Besides sharing letters, she visited with them, shared meals, and attended sporting events. Walther was also a volunteer coach for the Central New York Bobcats Youth Hockey Organization.