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Stone hurdles into retirement after 40-year career at ASU


June 14, 2007

After spending most of his professional career running through the halls and campuses at ASU, William Stone, a professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Wellness, plans to call it quits at the end of June, finishing a 40-year career here.

He plans to do more of what he wants to do – spending time with his children and grandchildren, traveling, reading – and exercising.

“I won't work, serve as a consultant or be an active emeritus,” Stone says when asked about his plans.

This might seem a little abrupt for those who can't seem to turn off the work side of life, but he has earned this time well.

Before arriving at ASU, he was an assistant professor at the University of Denver. He held various academic titles at ASU, including chair of various departments and director of the Human Performance Lab, as well as the title of professor.

He directed the first cardiac rehabilitation program in the state at a time when there were only a few such programs in North America. He and a doctoral student were one of the first to conduct research on physical activity and aging, and he developed one of the first employee fitness programs for SRP in the early 1970s.

In addition to directing fitness programs for companies and municipalities, he was a conditioning consultant to the Phoenix Suns.

“My family, especially the kids, really enjoyed that relationship,” Stone says.

Over the last six years at the Polytechnic campus, Stone led the Department of Exercise and Wellness in a redesign of the undergraduate curriculum, the creation of a new doctoral degree program, designed three facilities that were renovated, joined a “health cluster” that included Nutrition and Human Health Studies, and saw enrollment mushroom.

“Although I served as a research laboratory director and chair in Tempe for many years, I have to say my most memorable management experience has to be orchestrating the move to the Polytechnic campus,” Stone says.

He has received numerous recognitions, including supervisor of the year, distinguished teacher, Scholar of the Year from the Southwest District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance (AAHPERD), and the Honor Award from the state, regional and national AAHPERD organizations. He has authored or co-authored several books, chapters and numerous research or professional articles on health and wellness for publication. He has mentored scores of graduate students, seeing many go on to be great scholars.

He says he has no regrets about his career and has no problem moving from one phase of his life to another without looking back. But he won't be completely out of the fitness field.

“The only professional responsibility I've agreed to retain is to continue to serve on the Governor's Council for Health, Physical Fitness, and Sports,” he says.

He is almost done with keeping others fit. For the most part, though, it's his turn now.

A retirement party was held for Stone in May, but he will be at the Polytechnic campus until the end of June. Those who would like to reach him before this leg of his race at ASU is up should contact him by e-mail or phone.

A replacement for Stone has not yet been named.