Hall of Excellence
Honoring alumni achievements
Located in the main lobby of the Wellness/Recreation Center, the Elinor A. Crawford and William R. Thrall Hall of Excellence provides recognition of distinguished graduates of the Department of Kinesiology and Department of Health, Recreation and Community Services (and their predecessors) and captures the history of the program. Although these departments are proud of all their graduates, the Hall of Excellence was created to acknowledge its meritorious graduates and to encourage currently enrolled students to strive toward this recognition.
Tracing its roots to 1896 with the establishment of the Department of Physical Culture, the University of Northern Iowa’s School of Kinesiology, Allied Health and Human Services is one of the oldest programs in the United States. Course work in physical education dates back to 1878, two years after the opening of what was then known as Iowa State Normal School.
In 1978, the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services was established, combining men’s and women’s health, physical education and recreation programs. At the time of the merger, Elinor A. Crawford, Ph.D., was the head of the Department of Physical Education for Women and William R. Thrall, Ph.D., served as the head of the Department of Physical Education for Men. Through their generosity, the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services Hall of Excellence was developed to recognize former graduates who had distinguished themselves professionally.
In 2016, the name changed to School of Kinesiology, Allied Health and Human Services. It is now represented by the departments of Kinesiology and Health, Recreation and Community Services.
Criteria for Induction
Graduates of the Department of Kinesiology or the Department of Health, Recreation and Community Services.
Demonstrated mastery of the knowledge base within their profession.
Contributed significantly as a teacher, leader, executive and/or administrator and widely recognized for the quality of that contribution to their profession.
Demonstrated scholarly activity through publications and presentations related to their profession.
Contributed significantly to their profession while holding offices in professional organizations of state, regional, national and international scope.
Demonstrated cumulative record (including awards and honors) of effective and enthusiastic service to their profession with the intent to bring useful knowledge and pertinent information to their field.
Completed at least 10 years of service to the profession.
William R. Thrall
William R. Thrall served as the founding director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services. Thrall came to the University of Northern Iowa as an assistant professor in 1960. From 1970 to 1979 he served as professor and head of the Department of Physical Education for Men. He holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, an M.S. from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He served as president of IAHPERD. During his tenure as director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services, its basic organizational structure was created and the initial conceptual plans were established for the development of the Wellness/Recreation Center.
Elinor A. Crawford
Elinor A. Crawford served as professor and head of the Department of Physical Education for Women at the University of Northern Iowa from 1975 to 1979. Crawford came to the University of Northern Iowa in 1949 as an instructor. She received a B.A. and M.A. from University of California-Berkley and her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Active within the profession, she served as president of the Iowa Section of the American Camping Association, vice president of the General Division of IAHPERD and vice president of the American Association of University Professors. She was the first woman to be honored as chair of the University of Northern Iowa’s faculty and was coordinator of women’s athletics.