Press Release


Longtime California Educator Kathleen Cordes to be Inducted Into SHAPE America’s Hall of Fame

RESTON, VA, February 8, 2017 — SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators announced today that Kathleen Cordes, professor emerita, chair at Whittier and Miramar colleges and honors director of the San Diego Community College District, will be inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame on Friday, March 17, during its 132nd National Convention & Expo in Boston.

Joining Cordes for Hall of Fame induction will be Christine Brennan, national sports columnist for USA Today. Past Hall of Fame inductees include golfer Annika Sorenstam; University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt; tennis greats Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe; NFL Hall of Famers Nick Buoniconti and Anthony Munoz; and Olympians Tony DiCicco, Dick Fosbury, Rulon Gardner, Nancy Hogshead, Dan Jansen, Rafer Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Shannon Miller, Edwin Moses, Dot Richardson, Wilma Rudolph and Peter Vidmar. 

SHAPE America's Hall of Fame awards are given to honor outstanding individuals who 1) make significant contributions to maintaining sport, physical education and physical activity as an integral part of the total education program; 2) further the image of sport and healthy physical activity for all; 3) accentuate the integral relationships of sport, motor development and physical activity to the total educational process; 4) encourage involvement in meaningful competitive sport or physical activity programs by influential educators and citizens in all walks of life; and 5) symbolize the educational and developmental potentials of physical education and sport.

Others to be honored during the Hall of Fame Banquet will be National Physical Education Teachers of the Year for elementary, middle and high school and National Teachers of the Year for adapted physical education, dance and health. The banquet is sponsored by Human Kinetics, an employee-owned company committed to serving the physical activity field, and Sportime, featuring SPARK, a category of School Specialty, Inc.

"Kathleen Cordes has a long and distinguished career in coaching, administration and academia," says SHAPE America President Jackie Lund of Georgia State University. "In addition to teaching courses in leisure, recreation, physical education and interdisciplinary offerings, she was a trailblazer by serving as one of the nation's first female athletic directors for men's and women's athletics at Spalding College in Louisville, KY; the first female varsity coach at the University of Notre Dame and the first athletic director of Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN."

As Interim Executive Director for the American Association of Leisure/Recreation (AALR), Cordes represented AAHPERD on the White House Green Ribbon Panel and authored America's Millennium Trails Pathways for the 21st Century, an official project of the White House Millennium Council. AALR recognized her with its Outstanding Achievement Award and the Merit Service Award for Distinguished Service to Recreation. 

Cordes, also author of America's National Historic Trails and America's National Scenic Trails (University of Oklahoma Press), wrote other college textbooks including Applications in Recreation and Leisure (Sagamore Publishing) and Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Service Management with Hilmi Ibrahim (Eddie Bowers).

In 2014 the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition selected Cordes as a Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) recognized her with its national, district and state honor awards. She was inducted into the North American Society for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance Professionals (2015); elected American Leisure Academy Senior Fellow; and honored by Indiana University with the 2014 Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2016 Leanne Grotke Award, the university's highest award in women's athletics for national contributions made to women's athletics. In 2014 she received the California Legislative Assembly Recognition Award for dedication to the promotion of innovative teaching and learning in physical education across the country. The past president of California's AHPERD, Cordes is the recipient of its highest recognition, the Verne Landreth Award.

Cordes serves on the Board of Directors for California's Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation and the alumni board for the Indiana University School of Public Health; is news editor for SHAPE America's Southwest District, and is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. 

A graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education/recreation, she received a graduate assistantship to be Head Coach of the Women's Tennis Team at Ball State University in Indiana, where she graduated with her Master of Arts degree in physical education. 

For more information about SHAPE America's National Convention & Expo, visit the website and follow #SHAPEBoston.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit

Press Information

Contact SHAPE America at:
(800) 213-7193