D
r. Benjamin Waddle,
professor of health, physical
education, and recreation
at Carey, was recently honored
for his 45 years of service to the
university. Waddle has served as a full
professor and chairman of the health,
physical education, and recreation
department at WCU since arriving at
the university in 1967. He continues
to teach a full class load during the
academic year and in the summer.
The east Tennessee native received
the Bachelor of Science in physical
education from East Tennessee State
University in 1949. He began his
career in education in the same year,
serving in his home state as a physical
education teacher and coach until
1953. He received the Master of Arts
in physical education in 1955 from
George Peabody College, where
he also received the Specialist in
Education in 1959. He continued
teaching in public schools throughout
the South until 1965, when he
enrolled as a doctoral student at
Florida State University while serving
there as the assistant intramurals
director.
Upon receiving the Doctor in
Education in 1967, Waddle joined
the faculty at WCU after meeting
with then-WCU President Dr. Ralph
Noonkester. Waddle said that to this
day he has no idea how Noonkester
found him.
“I don’t know how he got a hold of
me,” said Waddle. “I was on vacation
in South Carolina for two weeks and
had applied at the University of West
Florida, but somehow, Dr. Noonkester
contacted me and convinced me to
meet with him at Carey.”
After visiting the university, which
was then known as William Carey
College and had a student body of
only 1,000, Waddle accepted the
position that he would hold for the
next 45 years and counting.
“When I got here, it was a much
smaller place,” he said. “It’s amazing
how much we’ve grown in 45 years.”
Waddle’s lengthy career at WCU
has also included eight years as the
university’s interim athletic director
from 1974-1982. He also headed the
university’s intramurals program for
many years.
In addition to his service at
WCU, Waddle is also active in the
community and in academic circles,
serving as a life member of the
National Education Association, a
member of the Mississippi Association
of Health, Physical Education, and
Recreation (MAHPER), and a member
of Phi Epsilon Kappa Professional
Fraternity. He served as chairman of
MAHPER’s Eighth District from 1967-
1984 and was named to Who’s Who
Among America’s Teachers in the
2003-2004 year. He has also received
multiple other honors throughout his
career and is active in his church,
Parkway Heights United Methodist,
as a Sunday school teacher and
committee member.
Waddle said he is proud to have
served at Carey and that he looks
forward to work each day.
“I just like to work,” he said. “I
love teaching, I love working with
students, and I’m so impressed with
the rate at which WCU has grown.”
He added that even after 45 years,
he is still going strong.
“I’m not planning on retiring, but
I just go a year at time,” he said. “I’m
already working on the next school
year!”
The longtime physical education
professor also offered a bit of advice
that he shares with his students and
colleagues.
“Eat fruits, veggies, and grains and
lay off the red meat,” he said. “Oh,
and exercise daily...and you’ll be set!”
Dr. Waddle
Honored for
Years of
Service
45
24
| Carey Magazine
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