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Before retiring from Central as professor emeritus of physical education, Dr. Ronald Van Dam developed a reputation as one of the state’s outstanding collegiate athletic trainers.
Dr. Van Dam earned his Bachelor of Science Degree at Taylor University in Upland, Ind., in 1963; Master of Arts degree at Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., in 1966; and his Education Specialist degree at Central in 1970. He also studied at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, where he completed his doctorate in 1973.
Dr. Van Dam came to Central in 1969, and since that time served as head athletics trainer and professor of physical education. He played a key role in establishing a master’s degree program in athletics training at the university, and was instrumental in developing Central’s athletics training program into one of the finest in the nation. His mentorship played a significant role in helping many former graduate assistants and student assistants to achieve successful careers in athletics training.
Inducted into the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame in 1988, Dr. Van Dam treated thousands of Central student-athletes and helped them recover from injuries to resume their playing careers. He devoted countless hours in support of the university and its athletic teams, while serving three directors of athletics and at least 50 different coaches during his tenure.
Dr. Van Dam is being joined in retirement by his wife, Jonell, who spent many years in the Department of Music. The couple has two daughters, Rebecca Campbell and Rhonda Wichkam.