Emory Report
June 22, 2009
Volume 61, Number 33

Service set for June 22
A campus memorial service will be held at Glenn Memorial Church on Monday, June 22 at 3 p.m., with a reception to follow at the Woodruff P.E. Center.

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June 22, 2009
‘Doc’ Partin led way to athletics for all

Clyde “Doc” Partin ’50C–’51G, an icon at Emory through his years of devoted service to the school, passed away on June 16. He was 84 years old.

Partin served the University for over 50 years in the physical education department, including a distinguished stint as the school’s athletic director and department chair of Health and Physical Education. During his tenure, Emory athletics saw unprecedented growth culminating in the construction of the Woodruff P.E. Center that opened in 1983; and the number of intercollegiate sports expanded.

“Emory has lost probably the single most influential person in the development of athletics at the University,” says Tim Downes, athletics director. “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.”

From 1986 until his retirement in 2002, Partin was a professor in physical education. He was the original founder and driving force of the Emory Sports Fitness Camp, now in its 45th year. He also made his impact felt in the coaching ranks during his tenure as an assistant coach with the baseball and softball programs. In 2007, an endowment was established to name Emory’s athletic director’s position, the Clyde Partin Sr. Director of Athletics.

Partin arrived on campus in 1946 after service with the United States Navy during World War II, and went on to earn two degrees at Emory. An instructor in the physical education department in 1951-52, he took a similar position at Oxford College from 1953-56.

His colleagues in the athletics department remember him as a friend, mentor and true University ambassador. Notes Don Schroer, former chair of Health, Physical Education and Dance: “Few have dedicated more time and energy to Emory University and no one has loved their alma mater more than Clyde.”

Volleyball Coach Jenny McDowell says his legacy “will be engraved in my heart, and hearts of the thousands who have walked through the doors of the Woodruff P.E. Center, forever.”

Partin was the author of numerous biographical sketches of baseball Hall of Famers. And in 2007, Emory’s resident athletic historian published his first book, “Athletics for All: A History of Health, Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation at Emory University, 1836-2005.”

He is survived by his wife Betty, three children: William Clyde Partin, Jr. ’78C–’83M–’86MR (associate professor in Emory School of Medicine); Keith Partin; Betsy Partin Vinson, and many grandchildren.