Claudine Sherrill (NAK Fellow #298, inducted in 1984), Professor Emerita at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), was born on July 28, 1934, in Indiana, and passed away on May 8, 2020. Professor Sherrill graduated from Logansport High School in 1952, and earned her BS in 1955 from TWU with a major in health, physical education, and recreation. Professor Sherrill completed her MA degree in physical education (1957) and her EdD in physical education and educational administration (1961) from Columbia University. She also completed post doctoral training at San Francisco State College.
Professor Sherrill spent the majority of her distinguished career at TWU where she was known for her work in adapted physical education but also taught biomechanics, research methods, and elementary school physical education. She was the first faculty member to receive a federal grant for adapted physical education, and she played a key role in the founding of the university’s specialization for the subject in 1972. She was fondly known as the “mother of adapted physical education.” Prior to accepting a faculty position at TWU in 1961, Professor Sherrill taught at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, at City College of New York, Barnard, and in the New York public schools.
Professor Sherrill’s professional career was devoted to the field of adapted physical education and to helping individuals with disabilities. She authored over 160 articles as well as a widely used textbook titled Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation, and Sport: Crossdisciplinary and Lifespan. She mentored many grateful students – overseeing 150 theses and dissertations during her career.
Professor Sherrill provided dedicated service to the field. She served as a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and the Society of Health and Physical Educators. She held leadership roles in the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity. She also served on multiple professional editorial boards, including as the issues editor for PALAESTRA and editor and associate editor for Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly.
Professor Sherrill earned many honors during her career, including the Hollis Fait Scholar Award, the Laurence Rarick Outstanding Researcher Award and the TWU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award. She was the inaugural recipient of the Elly D. Friedmann Award for Outstanding Adapted Physical Activity Contributions. She also received an honorary doctorate in 2004 from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland highlighting her stellar international reputation.
Professor Sherrill remained professionally active after her retirement from TWU in 2014. She continued to write and serve on editorial boards. Professor Sherrill is fondly remembered by her students and colleagues and has left a lasting legacy to the field of Adapted Physical Activity.