Last Issue: Tuesday, December 18 2007
 
 
Recreation Center Receives Fitting Name

By Beth Morgen
Published on 17-Oct-06

The recreation center's new name honors advocate of physical fitness
Photo by Tony McEachern

For more than 50 years, Geary Francis "Swede" Eppley '20, M.S. '26 was a fixture at the university, touching countless lives and influencing many areas of the campus. When family, friends and former students were looking for a way to pay tribute to him, they found a good fit with the Campus Recreation Center.

This Friday, Oct. 20, the building will be dedicated as the Geary F. Eppley Recreation Center. The naming will officially launch the Eppley Fund for the Enhancement of the Student Experience, a $2 million initiative to support student recreation services.

"It's a perfect building for him, because he was so dedicated to athletics and physical fitness," says France Eppley Tobin '52, M.S. '54. Her sister, Elizabeth Eppley Danforth '48, is also an alumna. They also have a brother, Geary W. Eppley.

The senior Eppley earned a bachelor's degree from the Maryland Agricultural College after interrupting his studies to serve in World War I. He lettered in football and track. In 1922, he returned to the university as an assistant professor of agronomy, earning his master's in 1926. He also coached the track team, leading them to national championships. Eppley helped found the M Club, an organization of varsity athletic letter winners. He served as director of athletics, director of student activities and student welfare, and dean of men, a position he held until his retirement in 1964.

"Everyone who knew him loved him," says Jane McCarl '52, a member of the alumni committee that recommended the naming of the center. "The most memorable thing about him was his loyalty."
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