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Memorial

George A. May
Faculty Senate

Dr. George A. May, died in University Hospital on March 28. Listed on the Faculty rolls as Associate Professor Emeritus of Physical Education, he was a more familiar "Doc" to thousands upon thousands of Michigan alumni.

His death at the age of 75 came after 46 years of devoted attachment and service to the University. The wiry, agile little man-just topping five feet-was a familiar figure to generations of incoming Freshman men who passed under his supervision in the compulsory physical education classes at Waterman Gymnasium.

An enthusiastic advocate of physical fitness, "Doc" was himself a memorable exponent of his own teachings. He maintained for more than half a century a personal program of exercise that included a short, brisk workout on gymnasium equipment and a half mile jog on the track. . General admiration was invariably expressed by his Freshman students as late as 1942 -when he retired at the age of 70 as he demonstrated his facility on the parallel bars and casually completed his workout by tossing basketball field goals with his back to the hoop.

Dr. May was born in Philadelphia, July 8, 1872, and received his preparatory education in the public schools there. An excellent athlete, he accepted an offer to become an instructor of gymnastics at Yale University in 1896. Combining his work with studies at the University, he received a degree in Medicine in 1901. After his graduation he received an offer of appointment as medical examiner and gymnasium instructor from the University of Michigan. He promptly accepted, reported for work in Ann Arbor, and began a career at the University that was uninterrupted except for summer excursions to Chautauqua, New York, where he taught fencing, boxing and calisthenics. At Michigan, he gained nationwide fame as a starter for running events in track. He was among the first to fire the gun from the side instead of behind the runners. Upon his retirement six years ago, "Doc" was heaped with honors and good wishes from a legion of admirers. He was guest of honor at a dinner of the Sixth District of the Alumni Association; the Michigan-Illinois track meet that Spring was dedicated to his honor; a testimonial dinner was given for him in Ann Arbor's Barton Hills Country Club by a group of friends and associates; and he was the honored guest at the annual meeting of the University of Michigan Club of Detroit. He remained in Ann Arbor after he relinquished his official duties. "To me," he declared, "Ann Arbor is the center of the earth. I'll just stay here, keep up my physical workouts, and have a good time." The past year he was seen frequently in the Michigan Union, just resting and reminiscing but rarely was he seen at Varsity athletic events. The excitement, he felt, might be too great a strain. "I 've got to watch out for my ticker," he would tell friends. In 1927, Dr. May was married to Anna Marie Vaughn of Cleveland, who died in 1933. His only living relative is a nephew, George Fiedler, of Philadelphia.