Go back 25 years to the football autumn of 1931, consider the seniors who won their letters that fall, examine what they have accomplished since then, and name the one from—let's say Old State—who stands forth among the rest as the best exemplar of the values in which American sport and American education are joined. Easy? No.
Yet that was the essential question SPORTS ILLUSTRATED put to more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities early this fall. Most of them accepted the challenge, went combing through their records (in many cases made fresh, canvassing investigations), reflected on the values propounded in generations of teaching and commencement addresses—and, in more than 80 cases, found they had a man to offer and nominated him to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Then it was the turn of a national board of busy and distinguished Americans (see pictures) who had agreed to serve as judges. The judges had been picked for their own demonstrated achievements and for the breadth and sensitiveness of their own philosophies of value. To each of them, a few weeks ago, went a thick dossier-book consisting of the nominating letters of the colleges (with detailed supporting citations, again by the colleges). For each judge it meant several hours of earnest concentration. Finally they made their selections—narrowing an impressive list of more than 80 men down to the Silver Anniversary All-America of 25 named in the following pages.
Let one judge speak for all. Wrote J. Edgar Hoover: "I have gained an even deeper understanding of the role of sports in developing good citizens." And the head of the FBI added: "To one who continually reviews investigative reports which reflect human failures, it is a wonderful experience to digest a collection of such fine success stories."
December 24, 1956
Pres., Denver & Rio Grande
Chairman of the Board, U.S. Steel
General of the Army
PAUL F. CLARK
Pres., John Hancock Mutual Life
Pres., Ryan Petroleum Corp.
Pres., General Motors
Vice-President, Ford Motor Co.
Boston banker and director
Chairman, Gimbel Brothers, Inc.
Pres., F.H. Peavey & Co.
J. EDGAR HOOVER
Pres., Hart Schaffner & Marx
First City Natl. Bank, Houston
Chmn., Natl. Football Foundation
President's Council on Fitness
SAMUEL F.B. MORSE
Pres., Del Monte Properties
JOHN M. OLIN
Chairman, Olin Mathieson Corp.
Chairman, Mellon Institute
JOSEPH P. SPANG
Chairman, The Gillette Co.
Chairman, Union Oil Co. of Calif.
Vice-President, Jos. Schlitz Co.
THOS. J. WATSON JR.
C.E. WOOLMAN President, Delta Airlines
For the winners, turn the page