Mary K. Beyrer, the emerita professor and retired administrator led the advancement of health education during her 40-year career. She is best remembered as the first female director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in Ohio State’s College of Education from 1977-1981.
An innovator in the field of health education from early in her career, Beyrer coordinated the Health Education 400 Television Project for Ohio State freshmen from 1959-62. As faculty in health education, she presented and published widely, including the fourth edition of the prominent textbook, School Health Education, with Ohio State Professor Delbert Oberteuffer in 1966.
She served as president of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) from 1982-83. The association consisted of seven national organizations with a membership of more than 40,000.
She received numerous awards during her career. The Association for the Advancement of Health Education presented her with its Professional Service to Health Education Award in 1976. She was known for her carefully crafted speeches, and when named Alliance Scholar, she was invited to present her ingenious lecture at numerous universities. In 1980, the Alpha Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the National Health Education Honorary, presented her with its Honor Award.
AAHPERD, now known as SHAPE America, honored her in 1988 with its highest honor, the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal, for her long and distinguished service.
In 2000, she named the Mary Beyrer Director’s Suite in the Physical Activity and Education Services Building on the Ohio State campus. (Ciccone, 2016)
Electronic Application process for the 2020 award is due by December 1, 2020