Willard C. Sutherland former director, Recreation Personnel Service, National Recreation Association, New York City, believes that recreation executives of the future will need the widest possible preparation in the arts, literature, and social sciences, and philosophy to keep ahead of the growing recreational needs of the American people.
An authority on recreation as a profession, Mr. Sutherland spends about one quarter of his time traveling in the cause of better recreation personnel. He visits many colleges and universities to discuss improved recreation curricula, and reports that 67 of these schools now offer majors in recreation.
Mr. Sutherland is the author of "Recreation Leadership" published in 1957 by the Bellman Publishing Company. He also directed a two-year study which was reported in the book "Recreation as a Profession in the Southern Region," a joint project of the Southern Regional Educational Board and the National Recreation Association. He contributes a regular page on personnel matters to RECREATION magazine and was one of the editors of "Recreation in the Age of Automation," special September, 1957, issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Born in Redfield, Iowa, near Des Moines, Mr. Sutherland was graduated from Drake University, Des Moines, where he majored in Political and Social Science. He specialized in recreation administration in New York City at the National Recreation School, forerunner of the many schools of recreation in colleges and universities today. He also studied personnel administration at New York University.
He is a member of the American Recreation Society, the National Recreation Association, the American Camping Association, the Society for Personnel Administration, and the Public Personnel Association. He is also a member of the Personnel Committee of the National Social Welfare Assembly.
In June 1927 an A.B. degree in his hand, a young man graduated from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, where he had made a name for himself not only as a student but in Varsity Football and other sports. That his interest in recreation was not confined to sports was made evident by the fact that in October of that same year the National Recreation School accepted his application for enrollment. The school, then in its second year, conducted an intensive one-year graduate course designed to develop broad executive leadership for the recreation movement.
Upon graduating from the National Recreation School in May 1928 as one of the top-rated men of his class, he was employed by the National Recreation Association beginning July 1, 1928. Thus, his professional contributions to the recreation movement have been made through the National Recreation Association and allied organizations for more than thirty-five years.
In the earlier years he was in the field promoting organized recreation in community after community and also assisting in the work of the Field Department at national headquarters. It was not long, however, until his aptitude for personnel work became apparent. In 1934, this led to his full-time assignment as Director to the Associationís recreation Personnel Service.
He has provided direct service to recreation managing authorities and worked closely with the Public Personnel Association and other national agencies concerned with personnel problems. He has had an important part to play in the broad movement of the past twenty years or more to raise the standard of professional salaries in recreation. He has helped to gain greater official recognition of the fact that recreation is a profession.
For a number of years our recipient has managed and supervised the Associationís effective internship program through which many unusually fine leaders have been developed.
Since its inception in 1951, this leader has served as Secretary of the Associationís National Advisory Committee on the Recruitment, Training, and Placement of recreation personnel. This committee has strong sub-committees on recruitment, in-service training, undergraduate education, graduate education and placement. With the encouragement and help of its Secretary, this committee has produced a number of important documents most useful to the whole field.
Most professional workers are familiar with the frequently appearing section in the magazine RECREATION under the heading of "Personnel." These sections contain timely and pertinent information for people in the recreation profession.
For the past eight years, he has been the primary force behind the series of annual National Institutes in Recreation Administration which have been conducted in connection with the National Recreation Congresses under the joint sponsorship of the American Recreation Society and the National Recreation Association.
By now, I am certain that it is no secret that the recipient of this Special Citation of the American Recreation Society, which I take great please in presenting is Willard Clayton Sutherland.
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