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Donald B. Canham
Regent's Proceedings 286

It is with deep gratitude and admiration that the Regents of the University now salute Donald B. Canham on the occasion of his retirement as the University's Athletic Director.

For the past twenty years, Don Canham has managed what is generally regarded as one of the most successful athletic programs in the nation. In doing so he has combined a keen business sense with an equal measure of integrity in continuing Michigan's historic tradition as "Champion of the West".

He first came to the University as a student in 1937 and was himself a gifted athlete on the track team. He captured the NCAA high jump title in 1940. Following World War II, when he served in the Army Air Force, he returned to the University to coach and earn his Master's Degree. In 1948 he became head track coach and led his team to 12 Big Ten track championships over the next nineteen years. In 1968 he succeeded Fritz Crisler as Athletic Director.

His accomplishments since assuming that post are now legendary. During his tenure, over 12 million spectators have filled Michigan stadium, including 79 consecutive home crowds of 100,000 or more; Michigan teams have won nearly 70 Big Ten titles; he presided over the construction of one of the most extensive athletic physical plants on any college campus and operated the intercollegiate athletic program on a self-supporting basis. In addition, women's intercollegiate athletics have developed into a ten-sport program during this period.

The Regents commend this remarkable administrator and teacher for his unparalleled accomplishments and his exemplary penchant for 'playing by the rules." They extend their warm best wishes and deep appreciation in naming Donald B. Canham Athletic Director Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Sports Management and Communication.

Naming of Swimming and Diving Facility

In further recognition of Don Canham's contributions to the University, the Regents also hereby resolve that the University of Michigan Swimming and Diving Facility be named the Donald B. Canham Natatorium.

The motions were seconded by Regent Nielsen and adopted unanimously. Mr. Canham, who was present at the meeting, responded, "That beats a gold watch, I'll tell you that!" He said that he appreciated the support and the autonomy that the Regents have given him, because "without the autonomy, we couldn't have done what we did." President Fleming presented Mr. Canham with a framed copy of the retirement memoir. Regent Smith then told of how a program that had been initiated by Mr. Canham in the 1960s, the sale of football tickets for school children at $2.00 each, had been of great benefit for her family; it was that program that had interested her children in the University and resulted in all six of her children attending. "Academics are important," Regent Smith said, "but athletics is just as important, and for my family it was really the reason that they were all attracted to the University. I want to thank you."

Vice President Brinkerhoff noted that the name of Matt Mann Pool would be continued; the building that houses the pool is to be called the Donald B. Canham Natatorium.