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ASU physical education scholar receives lifetime achievement medal

Dolly Lambdin and Bob Pangrazi
April 13, 2015

For his nearly 50-year career as a teacher, professor and physical education scholar, Arizona State University's Robert Pangrazi was recently honored with one of his field’s top honors.

The professor emeritus received the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal at the Hall of Fame Banquet during the Society of Health and Physical Educators’ (SHAPE) 130th National Convention & Expo on March 20 in Seattle.

SHAPE’s top honor is bestowed on individuals in recognition of a long and distinguished service to the physical education profession.

“Dr. Pangrazi is nationally and internationally recognized as a premier leader in physical education and physical promotion for youth,” said SHAPE America President Dolly Lambdin. “He began his career as a classroom teacher and physical education supervisor before earning his doctorate and beginning a stellar college teaching and research career.”

After starting his educational career as a 5th grade teacher and elementary school physical education specialist for seven years, Pangrazi spent 32 years as a professor of physical education in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

“This award means a lot to me because it was built on the shoulders of teachers. I was given the privilege of teaching teachers, and I learned much more than I taught them,” Pangrazi said. “Teachers are the fabric of our society, and I hope I was able to enrich their lives. We can never pay them enough for what they do for each of us.”

Throughout his career, Pangrazi has published over 60 textbooks (which have sold over 750,000 copies worldwide) and 100 research and professional articles related to youth fitness and physical education, edited physical education journals, has been a keynote speaker for 45 state and district conventions and an invited speaker at nearly 400 national and international conferences. He also serves as a motivational speaker and currently is an educational specialist for Gopher Sport.

Along with a previous SHAPE America Honor Award, Pangrazi’s other accolades include: first director of the Arizona Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sport; Distinguished Service Award from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports; National Distinguished Service Award presented by Council on Physical Education for Children; and a fellow in the American Academy of Kinesiology.

SHAPE America is the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, and its resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy to support healthy and physical educators at every level – from pre-school to university graduate programs. For more information, visit

Written by Michael Hegarty

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