HHPR Professor Honored With National Award For Distinguished Service

April 28, 2005

by Lori Fogleman

The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance presented its highest honor - the Luther Halsey Gulick Award - to Dr. Norman L. "Buddy" Gilchrest, Baylor University professor emeritus of health, human performance and recreation, during the AAHPERD national convention April 12-16 in Chicago.

AAHPERD is the largest organization of professionals supporting and assisting those involved in physical education, leisure, fitness, dance, health promotion and education and all specialties related to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

"One of the six criteria for the Gulick Medal states that is awarded to the type of person whose life and contributions inspire youth to live vigorously, courageously and freely as citizens in a free society. This statement describes Buddy's professional and personal life," the presenter read during the award presentation.

"The Gulick Medal is the highest honor given by the Alliance in recognition of long and distinguished service to the profession," said Dr. Richard B. Kreider, professor and HHPR chair. "We are honored by Dr. Gilchrest's professional accomplishments and distinguished service to Baylor."

An adventure educator, Gilchrest earned three degrees from Baylor, culminating with his doctor of education degree in 1977. He began teaching in the School of Education's department of health, human performance and recreation in 1969.

Gilchrest has served as president of four professional associations - the American Association for Leisure and Recreation, American Leisure Academy, Texas Association for HPERD and Texas Outdoor Education Association - and completed five terms on AAHPERD's board of governors. He was elected as a charter member of the North American Society and has served on its nominating committee for the last three years.

Among his numerous successes, Gilchrest said his crowning achievement was the origination and development of the Outdoor Adventure Activity program at Baylor, which he led for more than two decades.

The following paragraphs are from the award presentation:

"Buddy's professional life is a unique combination of outstanding academic accomplishments, extensive and productive professional leadership, and exceptional achievements in his professional field, adventure education. He is equally adept in classrooms or board rooms - teaching students on a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, giving the keynote address at an international conference or experiencing North America by riding a bicycle from Alaska to Florida. Along his journey, he has marshaled the time and energy to give in great measure to his family, students, colleagues, professional organizations and community, to pursue his extraordinary dreams, and to live a life of adventure on a grand scale.

"Buddy is a scholar and a much sought after speakers. He has authored 46 publications and is an accomplished photographer. He has shared his work in venues around the world. Probably his most noteworthy activities are in the wild places in our world. He has a passion for adventure and is not content to be an armchair or classroom adventurer. He walks the talk."

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