Dr. Pat Zezula retires after 37 years of service to HU

Huntington, Ind.—After 37 years of service to Huntington University, Dr. Pat Zezula has decided to retire.

“It has been a privilege to work at Huntington, and I look forward to continue teaching on a part- time basis,” said Zezula, professor of physical education. “I certainly appreciate the willingness of then President Dr. E. DeWitt Baker and Department Chair Dick Klopfenstein for their encouragement and the opportunity to begin my teaching profession at Huntington University. It has been interesting and exciting to be a part of the many changes that have taken place on campus during my tenure. I have fond memories of teaching in the ‘barn’ and remember the excitement of moving into the then new Merillat Physical Education and Recreation Complex. To students and colleagues — thanks for the great memories!”

Upon her graduation from Huntington University in 1969, the University hired Zezula as an instructor, assistant athletic director and coach. At various times during her first 15 years on staff, Zezula assumed head-coaching responsibilities of every woman’s sport the college offered. In 1982, she was promoted to athletic director, giving her the distinction of becoming the first female intercollegiate athletic director in Indiana.

“Pat has been a significant part of Huntington University for more than one-third of our history and has greatly impacted our academic community,” said Dr. G. Blair Dowden, president. “She has been a caring professor who has effectively taught and mentored thousands of students. She also has been a faculty leader and has served on most major committees, contributing to the growth and development of the institution. Most of all she has been a friend to numerous individuals in the HU family. We will miss her faithful, dedicated, and long-term service.”

Zezula has distinguished herself with 37 years of service as a member of the college’s faculty. She began as an instructor in the Department of Physical Education in 1969 and moved up through the ranks, becoming a full professor in 1990. Zezula earned her Ed.D. in educational administration from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

“In thinking about Pat, the first thing that comes to mind is her dedication to providing a good learning experience for the students and one who cares deeply for the well being of Huntington University,” said Connie Updike, assistant professor of recreation management. “Her leadership has been evident in many areas of the campus throughout her years of service. Colleagues of other colleges and universities throughout the state and Midwest have recognized her for her commitment, dedication and leadership in the promotion of the physical education profession. Former students continue to correspond with Pat and share what they are doing in their lives. An occasional campus visit or email conveys their appreciation for her and the interest that she had in their education and development. I appreciate the opportunity and friendship that I have had in being a colleague of Pat.”

In addition to serving on numerous committees within Huntington University, Zezula has served as chair of the PE Department since 1981. In 2002, Zezula received the Honor Award from the Indiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The Honor Award is the “highest recognition for outstanding service to the association.” She has published a book on children’s physical activities in elementary schools, and she is involved in state and national associations in health, physical education and recreation.

“We will certainly miss Pat’s presence, wisdom and experience and are grateful to her for all she has done at Huntington,” said Dr. Norris Friesen, vice president and dean of Huntington University.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


Heather Barkley
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Joanne Green
Sports Information Director