The tradition of the North American Society for Sport History to have Honor Addresses was begun in 1973 when the first convention was held at Ohio State University.  It was decided to have special lectures to honor individuals who have been significant in the development of sport history.  The three chosen in 1973 to be so honored and have addresses named after them were John R. Betts, Maxwell L. Howell, and Seward C. Staley.  In 1994, the Maxwell L. Howell Address was expanded to the Maxwell and Reet Howell International Address.

The John R. Betts Honor Address

John R. Betts (1917–1971) was a professor of history at Boston College and recognized as a serious cultural and intellectual historian when he died in the summer of 1971. He was also the leading historian of the cultural and social impact of American sport at that time. Among his published articles in sport history are: “The Technological Revolution and the Rise of Sport” (1953), “Agricultural Fairs and the Rise of Harness Racing” (1953), and “Mind and Body in Early American Thought” (1968). His manuscript on the cultural history of sport in America was nearing completion when he passed away. It was published posthumously as America’s Sporting Heritage, 1850-1950. John Betts devoted attention to sport history because the subject stimulated an intellectual curiosity in him and the study of sport history has benefited greatly by his reputable research in the area.

1973 David Q. Voigt, Albright College

1974 John A. Lucas, Pennsylvania State University

1975 Richard D. Mandell, University of South Carolina

1977 Betty Spears, University of Massachusetts

1978 Eliot Asinof, New York City

1981 Richard C. Crepeau, University of Central Florida

1982 Don Mrozek, Kansas State University

1983 Hal Ray, Western Michigan University

1985 Paula Welch, University of Florida

1986 William Baker, University of Maine, Orono

1987 Stephen A. Riess, Northeastern Illinois University

1989 Benjamin G. Rader, University of Nebraska

1991 Stephen H. Hardy, University of New Hampshire

1993 Richard Holt, University of Stirling

1995 Michael Oriard, Oregon State University

1998 Charles P. Korr, University of Missouri-St. Louis

1999 Jules Tygiel, San Francisco State University

2002 Dave Zang, Towson University

2003 Catriona Parratt, University of Iowa

2004 Jeffrey Hill, De Montfort University

2005 Martha Verbrugge, Bucknell University

2008 Samuel O. Regalado, California State Univ.-Stanislaus

2010 Mark Dyreson, Pennsylvania State University

2011 Sarah Fields, Ohio State University

2013 Robert Lipsyte, New York Times

2015 Susan Cahn, State University of New York at Buffalo

2016 Larry R. Gerlach, University of Utah

2017 Rob Ruck, University of Pittsburgh

2021: Elliott Gorn, Loyola University of Chicago

2022: Daniel A. Nathan, Skidmore College

The Maxwell and Reet Howell International Address

Maxwell L. Howell (1927-2014) was born in Australia and participated and coached in international sport. He retired in 1992 from the University of Queensland, where he held the first chair in Human Movement Studies in Australia. Prior to his return to Australia, he had been Director of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, Dean of the College of Professional Studies at San Diego State University, and was a faculty member at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta. Max was chosen NASSH president-elect in 1975 and also served as president and past-president. 

Reet Ann (Nurmberg) Howell (1945-1993), born in Sweden, completed her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research focused on Soviet sport, women’s sport, and Australian sport history. Before her death in 1993 from cancer, she (often with Max as co-author) had published fifteen books and more than sixty book chapters and journal articles. Max and Reet Howell were deeply committed to NASSH and their leadership in the early years of the society helped to establish and give credibility to the emerging field of sport history.

1973 Alan Metcalfe, University of Windsor

1974 S. W. Wise, Carleton University

1975 Gerald Redmond, University of Alberta

1976 Earle F. Ziegler, University of Western Ontario

1977 Frank Cosentino, University of Western Ontario

1978 Robert K. Barney, University of Western Ontario

1979 Michael A. Salter, University of Windsor

1980 R. Gerald Glassford, University of Alberta

1981 Barbara Schrodt, University of British Columbia

1984 Alexander J. Young, Dalhousie University

1986 Peter McIntosh, London, England

1988 Randy Roberts, University of Houston

1989 Maxwell L. Howell, University of Queensland

1990 Arnd Krüger, Georg-August University, Göttingen

1992 Donald G. Kyle, University of Texas-Arlington

1994 James A. Mangan, University of Strathclyde-Jordanhill

1996 Dennis Brailsford, University of Birmingham

1998 Richard W. Pound, Montreal, Quebec

1999 Grant Jarvie, University of Stirling

2000 John Bale, University of Keele

2001 Roland Renson, University of Leuven

2002 Gertrud Pfister, University of Copenhagen

2003 Doug Booth, University of Otago

2004 Thierry Terret, University of Lyon

2005 Christiane Eisenberg, Humbolt University- Berlin

2006 Jennifer Hargreaves, University of Brighton

2007 Jinxia Dong, Beijing University

2009 Wray Vamplew, University of Stirling

2011 Bruce Kidd, University of Toronto

2012 Murray Phillips, University of Queensland

2014 M. Ann Hall, University of Alberta

2016 Michael Cronin, Boston College, Dublin, Ireland

2017 Charlotte Macdonald, Victoria University

The Seward C. Staley Honor Address

Seward C. Staley (1893-1991) had a lifetime involvement in sport and for two generations promoted the study of sport and sport history. Spending most of his professional career at the University of Illinois, as early as 1935 he advocated a curriculum of sport as the basis of physical education programs. He authored numerous articles from the 1920s. It was through his efforts that in 1960 the History of Sport Section of the College Physical Education Association was developed. This is of signal importance for it was out of this History of Sport Section that the stimulus for the development of the North American Society for Sport History was started. Until his death in 1991, he worked diligently on an immense biographical project in classifying sport literature. Seward Staley truly invigorated the study of sport and sport history.

1973 Marvin H. Eyler, University of Maryland

1974 Bruce L. Bennett, Ohio State University

1975 Maxwell L. Howell, San Diego State University

1976 Ronald A. Smith, Pennsylvania State University

1977 Margaret Woodhouse, Radford College

1979 Roberta J. Park, University of California, Berkeley

1980 Allen Guttmann, Amherst College

1981 Horst Ueberhorst, Ruhr Universität

1982 Marvin Eyler, University of Maryland & Nancy Struna, University of Minnesota

1983 Alyce Cheska, University of Illinois

1984 Mary Lou Remley, Indiana University

1985 Lawrence W. Fielding, University of Louisville

1987 Melvin L. Adelman, Ohio State University

1988 Mark Harris, Arizona State University

1991 Tony Mason, Warwick University

1992 Patricia Vertinsky, University of British Columbia

1995 Joan Chandler, University of Texas‐Dallas

2000 Peter Donnelly, University of Toronto

2001 Colin Howell, St. Mary’s University

2006 Susan Birrell, University of Iowa

2007 Steven Riess, Northeastern Illinois University

2008 Jan Todd, The University of Texas at Austin

2009 Nancy B. Bouchier, McMaster University

2010 David K. Wiggins, George Mason University

2013 Susan E. Cayleff, San Diego State University

2014 Gerald Early, Washington University in St. Louis

2021: Rita Liberti, California State University, East Bay

2022: Janice Forsyth, Western University