SI Vault
They met the challenges of a changing era
Robert Cantwell
November 11, 1963
Twenty-five college football players from the class of 1939 receive the annual Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary Award for distinguished activities and mature citizenship in the years since they graduated
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 11, 1963

They Met The Challenges Of A Changing Era

Twenty-five college football players from the class of 1939 receive the annual Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary Award for distinguished activities and mature citizenship in the years since they graduated

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

A fullback and All-America goalie on Colgate's hockey team, he spent three years as a pilot in the European Air Transport Command before returning to Colgate as a faculty member in the education department. His interest in education never diminished. He is now president of Northfield and Mt. Hermon preparatory schools in Northfield, Mass., and for the past two years has been working to help establish the first college in the Virgin Islands.

V. EARL McCALEB, Abilene Christian
Co-captain of his team in college, he became a radioman on planes carrying troops over The Hump, where he won the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. Now an insurance agent in his home town of Anson, Texas, he is mayor, hospital director, school-board member and chairman of the library committee. He has helped bring the town numerous civic improvements, including a new hospital and a new water supply system.

DONALD McNEIL, Southern California
He was the Trojan center and captain, and Duke found him a hard man to budge in the 1939 Rose Bowl, where he led his team to a 7-3 upset win. After three years in the Marine Corps, he began a remarkable career in construction. He now heads the J. A. McNeil Company, which has built such structures as atomic centers, Air Force computer facilities and a rocket sled track.

A left guard on the DePauw team, he moved on to Yale, where he received his bachelor of divinity degree. Since 1957 he has been pastor of the Christian Church in Speedway, Ind., where he has built the congregation into the 18th largest of the 8,000 Disciples of Christ Churches.

ROBERT D. O'BRIEN, Texas Christian
His passing made the Horned Frogs the country's best team in 1938. He took his talent into the pros, where, as a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, he was one of the first to make that game a wide-open aerial circus. In 1940 he joined the FBI, working as an agent and an instructor in the FBI academy. He now owns his own oil company in Fort Worth.

Nobody has worn No. 25 for the Crusaders since this famous fullback. He worked his way through Northwest-ern's dental school by playing brilliant ball for the Chicago Bears. A marine for three years, he served at an evacuation hospital in Okinawa. He now lectures at Northwestern, practices dentistry and serves on two hospital staffs.

A tough right tackle, he worked during the summers for Bethlehem Steel, an association that still continues. He is now assistant to Bethlehem's president and is active in supporting local Boy Scout camps and in alumni work on Lehigh's $22 million expansion plans.

ALLIE P. REYNOLDS, Oklahoma State
Better known as a baseball player in college, he pitched a no-hitter in his final game. On the football field he was noted for his punting. Part Indian, "The Chief" won 51 games in four years as a pitcher with Cleveland, and then rose to his greatest heights as he helped the Yankees take six pennants. Since retiring in 1954, he has established his own oil-equipment supply company, the Atlas Mud Company, in Oklahoma City.

CHARLES SPRAGUE, Southern Methodist
A track star and captain of the Mustangs, he went on to the University of Texas school of medicine, then served in the Navy with the amphibious forces and at the naval hospital in Corona, Calif. Long recognized as an authority in the field of hematology, he is now dean of Tulane University's School of Medicine.

HERMAN L. WEISS, Case Institute
A scholarship winner for four years and a student assistant in civil engineering, he played both football and baseball. He joined General Electric soon after leaving school and served as G.E.'s war production board adviser. He is now a vice-president in charge of G.E.'s consumer products division.

1 2 3