The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

Intramural Sports Director's Varied Abilities Seen In Work

Elmer Dayton Mitchell
The Michigan Alumnus 159

A fine combination of talents as
 an administrator of Michigan's 
intramural program, as a teacher, 
and a writer and editor of works 
and journals in the field of physical
 education, is possessed by ELMER 
'19, Ph.D.'38, Professor of Physical
 Education and Director of Intra
mural Sports.

A member of the
 Faculty since 1917, he has been
 chiefly responsible for the launching 
and subsequent brilliant development of the University's intramural 
sports program for all men students. He is co-author of Basketball, 1922; Theory and Practice of Or
ganized Play, 1923; Theory of 
Play, 1934; and author of Social
 Games for Recreation, 1935; Active 
Games and Contests, 1935. Sports 
lore Recreation, 1936, and Intra
mural Sports, 1939.

Born at Negaunee on September 6, 1889, he 
began his teaching at Grand Rapids
 Union High School in 1912 after 
receiving his A.B. from Michigan, 
where he was Varsity baseball cap
tain, 1912, and a three-letter man. In 1915, he became Athletic Direc
tor and Assistant Director of Physi
cal Education at Michigan State 
Normal College, joining the Faculty 
at Michigan two years later to teach
 and continue graduate work started 
at the University of Wisconsin in
 1913. Subsequently, he received the 
Master's and Doctor's degrees from
 Michigan, and in 1938 was award
ed the honorary M.Ed, degree by 
Michigan State Normal College.

Dr. Mitchell's activities in educa
tion have been multifarious. He
 was a member of the Rockefeller 
Foundation committee on motor 
ability tests, 1925-1927: served as 
consultant on physical education to 
the National Congress of Parents
 and Teachers, 1935, and as special
 consultant to the Educational Poli
cies Commission of the N. E. A., 
 1936. In 1939-1941, he was Chair
man of the Committee on Research 
in Recreation of the WPA Recrea
tion Program, and has served on 
the Recreational Leadership Train
ing Committee under the Federal
 Security Agency. He has recently 
been appointed Expert Consultant
 on Recreation under the Chief of 
the Morale Branch of the U.S.
 Army, and has assisted in preparing 
an Army manual on sports and a 
handbook for Army recreation 
leaders. In addition, he is a Fel
low of the American Academy of 
Physical Education and an Honor
ary Fellow of the American Phys
ical Education Association, as well as a member of most of the leading
 societies in his field.

In 1939, he 
received a medal from the Czech 
Ministry of Physical Education in 
recognition of his work as Editor of 
the Journal of Health and Physical
 Education and Research Quarterly. 
He is also Editor of the Prentice-
Hall physical education series of 24
 volumes by such authors as Don 
Budge, Matt Mann, and Sonja
 Henie. On top of all these activi
ties and achievements, Professor
 Mitchell may lay claim to invention 
of the game of speedball, which he 
developed in 1921.