MTU’s Sproule receives GLIAC’s Tom Donahue Service Award
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Tech Professor Emeritus Bill Sproule is the 28th recipient of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) “Tom Donahue Service Award.” Sproule was honored at the Fall GLIAC Management Council reception Monday (Oct. 4) in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Sproule, who worked in government, consulting, university teaching and research in Canada and the United States, served as Tech’s Faculty Athletic Representative from 2010-21. He served on numerous GLIAC committees, including Executive Committee, Awards, Constitution & Bylaws, Eligibility and Membership. He attended the NCAA FAR Fellow (2012) and Advanced Fellow (2017) Leadership Institute. Sproule has mentored many, including new GLIAC FAR appointees, and been a valuable leader to the GLIAC’s evolving membership.
The Donahue Service Award, established in 1988, is selected by administrators from around the league. It is presented to a current or former administrator at a conference school who made significant contributions to the GLIAC and intercollegiate athletics and exemplifies the highest standard of dedication to the league and its student-athletes set by former GLIAC commissioner Tom Donahue. It was last presented in 2017 to former Grand Valley State Director of Athletics Tim Selgo. Sproule is Michigan Tech’s third recipient after Rick Yeo was honored in 2006 and Ted Kearly in 1990.
“Bill has played an important role with the conference during his time as Michigan Tech’s FAR,” GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar said. “He sat on many GLIAC and NCAA committees, establishing himself as a leader among FARs while serving the league and his own program. Bill took his role seriously and advocated for student-athletes. He’s a valued member of the league and a terrific person.”
“One of the roles that I am particularly proud of is the encouragement and support of our student-athletes in applying for GLIAC, WCHA, and NCAA scholarships, and they have had good success in being awarded post-graduate and finishing scholarships,” Sproule said.
Sproule also served on numerous committees at MTU related to student-athletes and coaches.
“One cool assignment that I had was to draw cartoons for athletic department greeting cards,” he said.
Sproule, a Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, native, received a BSCE from Michigan Tech, a M.Eng. in civil engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering (transportation) from Michigan State University. He joined the faculty in civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Tech in 1996. He recently retired and is now a Professor Emeritus. His teaching and research interests included airport design, transportation planning, traffic engineering, public transit, and hockey history. He has been active in many professional associations and has received several awards including the Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award and the ASCE Robert Horonjeff Award for his work in airport engineering.
Sproule co-authored the airport textbook, “Planning and Design of Airports,” and several ASCE airport and automated people mover conference proceedings, and authored two regional interest books, “Copper Country Streetcars,” and “Houghton: The Birthplace of Professional Hockey.” His most recent book, “Michigan Tech Hockey: 100 Years of Memories,” will be available before the New Year.
The previous award recipients are:
1988George MacDonald, Grand Valley State University
1989Bob Hensee, Hillsdale College
1990Ted Kearly, Michigan Technological University
1991Barb Patrick, Northern Michigan University
1992Bud Cooper, Lake Superior State University
1993Vern Norris, Commissioner, GLIAC
1994Dorothy Dreyer, Wayne State University
1995Dr. Thomas Hendrix, Grand Valley State University
1996Jack McAvoy, Hillsdale College
1997Jack Finn, Northwood University
1999Bob Becker, Saginaw Valley State University
2000Chris Petrouleas, Wayne State University
2001Joan Boand, Grand Valley State University
2002Dr. Charles Jones, Lake Superior State University
2003Dr. Mark Kosciuszko, Ferris State University
2004Michael Corbett, Gannon University
2005Bob Wendling, Ashland University
2006Rick Yeo, Michigan Technological University
2007Bill Crawford, Lake Superior State University
2008Bob Brennan, Wayne State University
2009Tom Brown, Commissioner, GLIAC
2010George Eastland, Saginaw Valley State University
2011Tom Kirinovic, Ferris State University
2012Arend D. Lubbers, Grand Valley State University
2013Dr. Bonnie Tiel, Tiffin University
2014Bill Goldring, Ashland University
2017Tim Selgo, Grand Valley State University
2021Bill Sproule, Michigan Tech University
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