The Steadward Centre Logo

The Board of Directors of
The Steadward Centre
for Personal & Physical Achievement

Robert Gerald (Gerry) Glassford
Board of Directors

Born in Vancouver in 1934, Gerry spent the first four years of life in Mile 34 (on the old PGE railroad) - but now better known as Whistler. He was raised in the Cariboo country (Quesnel), which is more a state of mind than a geographical location. Gerry married Alice Marie Ruhl in 1957 and together they raised four children (3 sons and 1 daughter) who, in turn, have 8 children among them. No great grandchildren as yet. He worked for five years for Western Plywood (Cariboo) Ltd. (now Weldwood) in Quesnel and during that time was a labourer, a production foreman and assistant personnel manager of the company. Gerry attended UBC and completed a BPE in 1960, a teaching certification program in 1961, and then taught high school in Quesnel and at Southern Okanagan Secondary School in Oliver. Eventually he received a Professional "A" permanent (BC) teaching certificate. He completed an MA at the U of A in 1964 and was invited onto the academic faculty in physical education in 1965. He did research, counseled graduate students, taught and coached the U of A Golden Bears basketball team until he left for the University of Illinois in 1968 to work on his PhD. He completed this program in 1970 (physical education and cultural anthropology - worked with the Canadian Inuit and helped to establish the Northern Games that are still an annual event in the Canadian North).

He shifted his focus from teaching/learning and research to university administration and became a department chair in 1972, a dean in 1981, and acting vice-president in 1990. In this latter capacity he worked with Murray Fraser (President of the University of Calgary) to establish Alberta's Universities Foundation Act (1991) and with Deputy Minister Barry Mitchelson and colleagues to create the Alberta Sport Council Act (1983). In the late 1980's Gerry worked with a small group of Canadian physical educators to create the Active Living model which has grown in national importance as a platform on which to encourage healthy, active living among Canadians. Gerry retired from the University at the end of 1993 but was invited back to help create a graduate program in the area of Health Promotion Studies (in this role he helped to craft graduate programs that are offered both on campus and on-line/distance delivery). Beginning July 1, 2001 the University invited him to assume a two-year term as acting dean of the Faculty of Extension - an interesting new challenge.

Along the way Gerry has had the good fortune to work with over 200 students pursuing masters or PhD degrees (here at the U of A as well as in several other universities in other nations). He received over $6 million in various forms of research funding including funding for Canada's National Fitness Survey that he co-chaired. He also had the good fortune to work with Canada's internationally acclaimed ParticipAction people for a number of years, to serve as an advisor to the Minister of Fitness and Amateur Sport and for five years and as a member of the Minister of National Defense Advisory Board for Canada's Military Universities. In 1993 he was awarded the Canadian Citation for Citizenship.

He continues to be an avid outdoorsman and generally does a canoe trip each year. He is involved currently in an international friendship movement called Gyro International and has found that family, friends, and health are the principal sustaining forces of a good life.

All materials copyright: The Steadward Centre, 2001.

Problems with or questions about the site? Contact the Webmaster.

These pages are located on the University of Alberta's Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation's Web Server.

Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation Logo

A Beneficiary of Lottery Fund Proceeds, through the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation

W1-67 Van Vliet Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2H9
Telephone: 780-492-3182
Telefax: 780-492-7161