The following is the text of an email sent on October 17, 2022.
Indiana University has lost a longtime friend. Last week, Professor Emeritus Herbert "Bert" Brantley passed away at the age of 93, leaving a remarkable legacy of dedication to education, recreation, and the outdoors.
When Dr. Brantley joined IU as the chair of the SPH-B Department of Recreation and Park Administration (now Health & Wellness Design) in 1987, it was after serving more than 20 years at Clemson University. There, he was inaugural chair of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. He was also instrumental in creating partnerships with outside organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service to develop cutting-edge learning opportunities that increased student enrollment and substantially grew the department.
During his time as a chair in SPH-B, the department nearly doubled its number of available majors when it expanded to include coursework in tourism and sports management. He also oversaw considerable expansion, including partnerships with the National center for Recreation Resources, National Center on Accessibility, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, and new structures at Hilltop Gardens and Nature Center.
Always active in state, national, and international activities, his achievements included serving as president of both the National Recreation and Park Association (which awarded him their Distinguished Professional Award) and the Society of Park and Recreation Educators (which presented him with their Distinguished Fellow Award). His presentations and publications were both inspirational and instructive to fellow leisure scholars and educators.
Since his retirement from IU in 1994, he remained committed to fostering a love of outdoor recreation in people of all ages and backgrounds. "Through leisure activities we have a great opportunity to add dimensions to our lives and to the lives of those whom we serve," he once said. "It is through leisure that we experience the dynamic development of self."
Information, tributes, and service details for Dr. Brantley will be published at bit.ly/3yyPSFq. It is often difficult to distill an extraordinary life into a single composition, and that is certainly true for Dr. Brantley. His commitment to ensuring that we all have access to meaningful and healthy outdoor activity will continue to enrich the world for generations to come.
David B. Allison, Ph.D.
Dean, Distinguished Professor, Provost Professor