Autumn 2009: Tribute

Partin waving his baseball cap

William Clyde “Doc” Partin Sr.

Jon Rou

Clyde “Doc” Partin

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William Clyde “Doc” Partin Sr. 50C 51G, teacher, coach, athletics director, and historian, died June 16, 2009, at age eighty-four.

Partin worked for Emory for more than fifty years, serving as both athletic director and chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education.

“Emory has lost probably the single most influential person in the development of athletics at the University,” said Athletics Director Tim Downes. “But more importantly, we have all lost a dear, dear friend and our daily reminder for why we chose to be at Emory and to do the work that we do.”

During Partin’s tenure as athletics director, Emory athletics saw unprecedented growth, culminating in the construction of the Woodruff P. E. Center, which opened in 1983. He expanded the number of intercollegiate sports, particularly for female students, with women’s tennis being added in 1975 followed by women’s cross-country and track and field in the early 1980s. Partin also founded the Emory Sports Fitness Camp, now in its forty-fifth year.

From 1986 until his retirement in 2002, Partin was a professor in physical education. His book on the history of Emory athletics, Athletics for All: The History of Sports at Emory, was released in 2006.

In 2007, Deb Jackson 85C, whose friendship with Partin began on the intramural softball field while she was a student, donated $250,000 to endow the position of director of athletics and recreation in Partin’s name.

Partin is survived by his wife, Betty, three children, William Clyde Partin Jr. 78C 83M 86MR, Keith Partin, Betsy Partin Vinson, and their families.

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