Texas A&M University distinguished professor receives prestigious land-grant award

COLLEGE STATION – Dr. John Crompton, distinguished professor of recreation, park and tourism sciences at Texas A&M University, has been awarded one of only two national Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities presented the award Nov. 11 at its annual meeting in Denver. The  honor includes a $5,000 award to be “disbursed to the college/university of your designation… for strengthening institutional programs.”

Texas A&M President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, who selected Crompton in 2011 for the university’s top teaching honor — designation as a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence — called him an “institutional treasure.”

“Professor Crompton is truly an institutional treasure for the students who are fortunate enough to learn from him and also for our university, which he has served with great distinction for more than three decades,” Loftin said. “So, on behalf of the entire Aggie Family, I thank him for his long and dedicated service and heartily congratulate him for this latest honor to be bestowed on him—one with special meaning because it is national in scope and awarded on a highly selective basis.”

Crompton said he was grateful the award reflected the excellence and support of the department, the College of Agriculture and Life Science and the Texas A&M University System.

“I realized a long time ago that whenever one is elevated to stand out among peers in a crowd, it is invariably because that person is hoisted on the shoulders of others,” he said. “I want to thank my colleagues and teaching assistants, as well as those students whose critical observations, constructive evaluations, and generous comments have resulted in continuous improvements in both my class content and pedagogical technique. Their support and enthusiasm have provided important reinforcement and reaffirmation that I have invested my professional life usefully.”

He added that the USDA excellence award, as with others he has received to date, “is as much a communal commendation as it is an individual recognition.”

Crompton is both a Regents Professor and a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M. He also has been selected as a Piper Professor of 2012 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, a Texas-based nonprofit supporting charitable, scientific or educational undertakings.

Crompton completed his undergraduate work at Loughborough College in England. In 1968, he earned a master’s degree in recreation and park administration from the University of Illinois. In 1970, he earned a second master’s degree in business administration from Loughborough University of Technology. He came to Texas A&M in 1974 and received his doctorate in recreation resources development in 1977.

Crompton’s area of specialty is marketing and financing public leisure and tourism services. He has authored or co-authored 16 books and numerous articles related to his field.

He also is the recipient of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Distinguished Professional Award, National Literary Award and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Research Award, as well as the Cornelius Amory Pugsley Medal. He has received Distinguished Colleague and Distinguished Teaching Awards from the Society of Park and Recreation Educators, plus the Travel and Tourism Research Association’s Travel Research Award.

During his tenure at Texas A&M, Crompton has received the Bush Excellence Award for Public Service; Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching; Texas AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow and Senior Faculty Fellow Awards; University Distinguished Achievement Award for Research; and the University Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.

Crompton also has served as a member of the board of trustees of the National Recreation and Park Association for nine years and is past president of four professional entities: the Texas Recreation and Parks Society, the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, the Society of Park and Recreation Educators and the Academy of Leisure Sciences.

His civic involvement in the city of College Station  resulted in the city naming the 16-acre John Crompton Park for him in 2006, as well as terms on the College Station City Council.

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