Universitys first chancellor, Bishop Warren Akin Candler,
was well known for his stern disapproval of organized sports.
Once, in the 1920s, he referred to intercollegiate athletic
competition as evil, only evil, and that continually.
as Emorys reigning sports historian Clyde Partin 50C-51G
has observed, Anytime you get a bunch of boys together,
theyre going to do something. They played tag in those
days. They played anything.
should know. He has been a player on the Emory sports scene,
in one position or another, for more than half a century. A
1950 graduate of Emory College, Partin went on to teach, coach
soccer, and then to serve as chair of the Division of Physical
Education and Athletics for twenty years, from 1966 to 1986.
He presided over the move into the new George W. Woodruff Physical
Education Center in 1983, a turning point for sports at Emory.
Partins time at Emory, the athletics program has blossomed
from a few P.E. classes and games in an airplane hangar (the
old Emory gym) to a highly successful and diverse effort that
includes a first-rate facility, a coaching staff of fourteen,
and some 330 varsity student athletes. Partin continued to teach
P.E. classes while working on a book that documents Emory athletics
from the 1930s to the dawn of the twenty-first century.
officially retired from his post as professor of health and
physical education on December 31, 2002. Dozens of Emory community
members, including President William M. Chace and wife JoAn
Chace, turned out for his retirement party, heldappropriatelyon
the third floor walkway over the P.E. Center, while students
and staff in T-shirts sweated through their workouts and swigged
from water bottles on the floor just below.
been a great fifty years, Partin said. I would not
trade anything for my time here. I was lucky to come as a student,
and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be on the
faculty. I certainly never thought Id be here fifty years.
The people have been the greatest partnot just the faculty,
but the students, too.
is one of the proverbial unforgettable characters,
says Don Schroer, chair of Physical Education at Emory, whom
Partin hired as mens tennis coach in 1967. Hes
been a mentor to me all these years, and I have great respect
for what hes done for Emory and for me.
Johnson, a longtime soccer coach and professor of P.E. who also
has also served as chair of the department, calls Partin Mr.
been very enjoyable to be associated with him, says Johnson,
who has worked with Partin for thirty-seven years. He
would do anything to enhance Emory and his influence here has
been very positive. It will be different without himhes
so friendly. Hes one of the old school.
and friends already are lamenting his departure, but Partin
has an unusual definition of retirement. Hes still in
his office in the P.E. Center every day, surrounded by stacks
of old copies of the Emory Wheel, working on his book, which
he hopes to finish this semester.
take January first off, he said at his retirement party,
but Ill be back on January second. Ill be
working until I finish it. The good thing about it is, its
just been a lot of fun.P.P.P.