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Clark W. Hetherington: A Perspective and Some Questions

Charles M. Tipton

Within the archives of Springfield College are the unofficial minutes of the Gulick Academy of Physical Education from 1906–1909. Surprisingly, the attendance, participation, and presentations of Clark W. Hetherington were not very impressive, which raised the question, what had he accomplished to warrant the Academy designating him as its first member and president—or for making the Hetherington Award its highest honor? The answer is complex, but insights can be obtained from the results of an early association with Thomas D. Woods and from the implementation of his philosophy of play by select schools and states. By 1926, many universities had adopted his objectives and curricula for physical education, while his philosophy for physical education began to be promoted by the physical education profession. However, since 2010 the term physical education has been removed from our title and bylaws. Consequently, should we continue to have our highest honor be identified with the Hetherington Award? I sincerely hope so, but the issue should be addressed by our membership.