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 in fields including physical education, kinesiology, public health, recreation, tourism and nonprofit leadership 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.
The 2023 Hall of Excellence induction is scheduled for October 6 and October 7 at University of Northern Iowa.
2023 Hall of Excellence
Plan to join us at the 18th Elinor A. Crawford and William R. Thrall Hall of Excellence Induction and Celebration planned for October 6 and 7 in Cedar Falls.
This year's event honors Julianne Gassman, James G. Hall, John Robbins and Connie J. Shafar. It will kick off with a reception in the Great Reading Room from 5 to 7 p.m. in Seerley Hall. On Saturday, the four inductees will be formally inducted during ceremonies at a brunch planned in the Alumni Suite in the McLeod Center beginning at 9 a.m. The installation of inductees and their plaques will follow immediately in the Hall of Excellence at the Wellness and Recreation Center.
Inductees and two guests are admitted at no expense to all events. Tickets are available for the Saturday brunch for all others for $25 each. To register for either night, please RSVP by September 22, 2023.
A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at Hampton Inn Cedar Falls Downtown, 101 W. 1st Street., Cedar Falls, 319-242-7350. You must make reservations by September 1, 2023, for a UNI block rate of $129 per person. Transportation will be provided from the hotel to the events for inductees and their guests.
2022 Hall of Excellence inductees
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. From 2018 to 2023, it was represented by the departments of Kinesiology and Health, Recreation and Community Services. As of July 2023, the departments of Kinesiology and Athletic Training and Nursing and Public Health, in the School of Health and Human Sciences in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Health, Recreation and Community Services, in the College of Education, are included.
Criteria for Induction
Graduates of the Department of Kinesiology and Athletic Training, Nursing and Public Health or 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.