DAVID W. RANKIN
It seems unlikely that anyone weighing 150 pounds would show up for football at Purdue in the first place, but unlikely things happen to Dave Rankin. He not only played; he became an All-America end. Then there was the College All-Star Game against the Chicago Bears. Rankin went into it as the Stars' captain and came out a seaman second class (the ceremony was performed at half time.) After flying 150 fighter missions in the Pacific as a marine, he returned to Purdue to coach freshman football—and ended up as track coach. "They told me I wouldn't make a lot of money," Rankin remembers, "but they also said I'd like the job. I did. Why, I've traveled all over the world with my track teams. Name me a football coach who's done that."
JACK R. ROBINSON
There should be something passive about a cup of coffee, but when Jack Roosevelt Robinson joined Chock Full O' Nuts, blenders and restaurateurs, lively things began to happen. They always do around Jackie Robinson, whether he was exciting people as he moved in under a punt at UCLA or edging off third base as the National League's Most Valuable Player. With the same aggressiveness that made him one of the finest athletes of his time, he waded into the battle for civil rights and now, as chairman of the board of the Freedom National Bank in Harlem, has helped raise its assets from $1.5 million to almost $9 million as he worked to get more Negroes to start their own businesses.
ARTHUR H. SCHWEITZER JR.
In the office of Arthur H. Schweitzer the carpets are deep and the desk is massive, as befits a vice-president of the largest supplier of jet-engine components in the country. As with most athletes, Schweitzer sees the whole bustling complex of Thompson Ramo Wooldridge in the grand American tradition—the team. It is a point of view that derives from earning three letters in football as a running back and three more in basketball as a guard at Case. "To compete," he says, "that's the important thing."
HAROLD E. SPONBERG
The critics of Harold Sponberg call his approach to education "anti-intellectual." Dr. Sponberg responds: he just hates half measures. He still wakes up nights thinking of the time he nailed a St. Mary's back on the man's own five-yard line but let him fall forward. A safety would have won the game. "You hear people talk about giving that little extra effort," he says. "Well, I've never forgotten the time I didn't." Dr. Sponberg came to Eastern Michigan U. as president last June to find that the football staff was not even allowed to use university stationery. It does now, as Dr. Sponberg pursues what he calls a "total program." "I never met a student who didn't want to be first," he says, "in football or a chemistry lab."
Reflecting on the ungentle ways of football, Bill Tatman said recently, "It taught me to hold my head up," which may seem odd coming from a man who spent a varsity career at center keeping his head down. Only once did he ever throw his backfield into confusion—when the seat of his pants was ripped out. On the next play Tatman got over the ball, fully exposing the situation to his startled signal-caller who, after thorough assessment, called time out for necessary repairs. Tatman went into the Army peeling spuds and came out four years later a captain. He repeated the process in civilian life, entering Illinois Bell Telephone Co. as a lineman and rising to his present post as assistant general manager for the entire Chicago area.