Nov. 13, 2002
CLEVELAND - Cleveland State University will dedicate a lane in the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium as the Dr. John P. Wilson lane. The honor recognizes the psychology professor's major contribution to the Robert F. Busbey Endowment Fund.
The dedication ceremony will take place Friday, Nov. 15 when the men and women's teams take on Baldwin-Wallace College and Gannon University. The swimming and diving meet starts at 3 p.m.; the dedication ceremony is expected to take place about 4:30 p.m.
"For 30 years, John Wilson has been providing service and support to our swimming program and students," said Coach Wally Morton. "He is a dedicated volunteer, an avid user of the facility, and the first faculty member to be a major contributor to the Busbey Fund. We are pleased to recognize him with a lane in his honor."
Dr. Wilson was a competitive swimmer in high school and college and the captain of his Baldwin-Wallace swim team from 1967-69. He still swims at least one mile every day. He has served as the head timer or an official at NCAA national swimming and diving events and has volunteered for three decades as an announcer or timer at Viking meets. He has served as a substitute coach for workouts and often provides counseling and advice to members of the swim team.
The pool was under construction when Dr. Wilson joined the University in fall 1973. He remembers the day it opened. "Bob Busbey and I dove in together," he recalls. "I'm proud to have a lane in the Natatorium. It's a magnificent facility."
Dr. Wilson calls Busbey "an extraordinary human being and an incredibly talented person in so many aspects of life. I admire and respect him as a person, coach and athletic director. Bob Busbey instilled terrific values, like discipline, hard work and endurance, in his students and they, in turn, strived for excellence.
"Swimming is an individual sport in which you are always competing against yourself. There's always room for improvement. It's a sport that builds character and all the good qualities that Bob Busbey embodied."
Busbey, who was unanimously voted a charter member of Cleveland State's Athletic Hall of Fame when it opened in 1975, was a four-sport athlete -- swimming, baseball, track and fencing -- during his playing days at Fenn College. He was Fenn's first All-American, winning the honor in 1948 and 1949.
After graduation, he served as head swimming coach for 30 years and also coached golf and track. He served as director of athletics for 24 years and associate vice president for athletic affairs.