Nathaniel Washington retired as Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. He has been a member of the YMCA for over 60 years. Since retirement, after fifty years, he has become re-certified as a lifeguard. He volunteers at the Abington, PA YMCA where he teaches swimming, water aerobics and water exercises for the arthritic.
Other positions he has held include: Philadelphia’s Deputy Recreation Commissioner for the Program Division (1980-81); Director, Recreation and Parks Department, Newark, NJ (1972-80); Adjunct Assistant Professor Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ (1973-77); Additional positions in Philadelphia included: Deputy Recreation Commissioner (1968-72); Youth Coordinator, Mayor’s Council on Youth Opportunity, (1964-68); Recreation Planning Associate, Council for Community Advancement (1963-64); Recreation Center Supervisor (1960-63); Director, Temple University’s Community Center (1959-60); Leader in Charge (1957-59); Recreation Leader (1956-57) and Assistant Recreation Leader (1954-56).
He received his B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Temple University. Professional organizations in which he has been active include: National Recreation and Park Association of which he was the first minority president in 1980, and member of the Board of Trustees from 1974-82; American Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance Association; American Recreation and Park Society; National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society of which he was one of the founders; New Jersey Recreation and Park Association; World Leisure and Recreation Association; American Management Association; International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration; Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Association; American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration and a founder of the Recreation and Parks Roundtable Association.
Honors and awards he has received include: Certificate of Honor and Fellow, Temple University (1983); Outstanding Service as member of NRPA Board of Trustees; Outstanding Service as President of NRPA; Appreciation for Services to Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, Philadelphia (1982); Award for Services to Youth Activities, Archdiocese of Philadelphia (1981); Award for Outstanding Services to the Hispanic Community, Hispanic Recreation Association (1980); Distinguished Fellow Award, American Park and Recreation Society (1980); Community Service Award, Philadelphia Cotillion Society (1979); Award for Outstanding Service, Young Men’s and Women’s Christian Association (1979).
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