By Simon Bravo


George W.

Haniford passed away on June 28, 2013.


Haniford, Director Emeritus, Division of Recreational Sports at Purdue University, joined NIRSA in December of 1957.

He was a gifted leader and a passionate professional who was heavily involved in the formative years of our Association, eventually taking on the role of NIA President in 1962.

George W. Haniford, NIRSA Past President

In 1963, Dr. George W. Haniford was celebrated for his service and achievements as the first recipient of the Association’s Honor Award, the highest honor conferred by NIRSA.

Beyond his contributions to the field of collegiate recreation, he served the students of Purdue University with unprecedented dedication and enthusiasm for over 40 years. He gained national acclaim for his ability to develop innovative recreation sports programming which maximized opportunities for students. He thoughtfully evolved programs and significantly contributed to the university’s outstanding recreational facilities to meet the constantly changing recreational interests of Purdue’s student population. As the Purdue University Board of Trustees put it: “Few, if any, University staff members had greater positive impact upon the educational environment of Purdue University as George W. Haniford.”

Dr. Haniford retired from Purdue University on January 1, 1984. At the 2013 NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Exposition, Dr. Haniford was recognized for his considerable contributions to the profession; as part of NIRSA’s celebrations for a Centennial of Collegiate Recreation, Dr. Haniford was honored as a Legacy contributor, an honor reserved for those individuals whose contributions to the field of collegiate recreation have been integral to our legacy.

Purdue University Accomplishments

  • 1943: George Haniford named an instructor in Physical Education and assisted with intramural sports
  • 1948: Haniford named assistant to the Director, M.L. Clevett
  • 1957: The “CoRec” opens under the direction of M.L. Clevett and his assistant, George Hanniford
  • 1960: Haniford named director upon retirement of M.L. Clevett
  • 1963: Haniford named the inaugural recipient of the National Intramural Association’s Honor Award
  • 1983: Haniford retires and is recognized by the Board of Trustees as someone who served the students of Purdue University with unprecedented dedication and enthusiasm for over 40 years