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Distinguished Professor of Humanics: Jesse Parks 1984

Jesse Parks 1984

Title of Humanics Lecture
Lecture given by others.

Earned Degrees
Ph.D., University of Michigan (1959)
Master of Arts, University of Michigan (1950)
Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College (1949)

Final Title at Springfield College
Professor of Physical Education


Before teaching at Springfield College, Dr. Parks was very involved with the City of Springfield, holding positions such as the President of the Dunbar Community Center. He was involved with the Urban League, Springfield Health Council and the NAACP as well as being active in the Civil Rights Movement. (In 1964 he led a student group to assist the YMCA in Louisville, KY to aid in voter registration). In 1970 Dr. Parks led the students out of the administration building which they had been occupying as part of their statement of discrimination. He was dressed in his African tribal gown. He served in World War II and was a delegate to the 1972 Democratic Convention. Well loved, Dr. Parks died suddenly on March 27, 1984 during his year as Distinguished Professor of Humanics. The following is from a memo written by Paul Congdon, Academic Dean to all faculty and administration: “On May 2 at 4 pm in Marsh Chapel there will be a Memorial Humanics Presentation depicting, in part, the contributions of Dr. Jesse Parks Professor if Physical Education and the 1983-84 Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics, who died on on March 27, 1984 after a protracted illness. Past Distinguished Springfield Professors of Humanics, Dr. Ted Dunn, Dr. Walter English, and Dr. Ed Sims, with no doubt help from many others not identified at this writing, are preparing a memorial to Dr. Parks with the theme The Lengthening Shadow of Humanics. It will be an appropriate memorial to a man whose contributions to the ideals of the Humanics philosophy began decades before he ever heard of a philosophy by that name.”


Image Credit: Springfield College Archives