SI Vault
December 24, 1956
First came the colleges with their nominations, then came the judging—and it was not an easy matter
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December 24, 1956

The Judges

First came the colleges with their nominations, then came the judging—and it was not an easy matter

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Go back 25 years to the football autumn of 1931, consider the seniors who won their letters that fall, examine what they have accomplished since then, and name the one from—let's say Old State—who stands forth among the rest as the best exemplar of the values in which American sport and American education are joined. Easy? No.

Yet that was the essential question SPORTS ILLUSTRATED put to more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities early this fall. Most of them accepted the challenge, went combing through their records (in many cases made fresh, canvassing investigations), reflected on the values propounded in generations of teaching and commencement addresses—and, in more than 80 cases, found they had a man to offer and nominated him to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.

Then it was the turn of a national board of busy and distinguished Americans (see pictures) who had agreed to serve as judges. The judges had been picked for their own demonstrated achievements and for the breadth and sensitiveness of their own philosophies of value. To each of them, a few weeks ago, went a thick dossier-book consisting of the nominating letters of the colleges (with detailed supporting citations, again by the colleges). For each judge it meant several hours of earnest concentration. Finally they made their selections—narrowing an impressive list of more than 80 men down to the Silver Anniversary All-America of 25 named in the following pages.

Let one judge speak for all. Wrote J. Edgar Hoover: "I have gained an even deeper understanding of the role of sports in developing good citizens." And the head of the FBI added: "To one who continually reviews investigative reports which reflect human failures, it is a wonderful experience to digest a collection of such fine success stories."

Pres., Denver & Rio Grande

Chairman of the Board, U.S. Steel

General of the Army

Pres., John Hancock Mutual Life

Pres., Ryan Petroleum Corp.

Pres., General Motors

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