Pam (Green) Pearson ’68, G ’99
Physical Educator Has Made 42-year Habit of Giving
"It's wonderful to see the pleasure on kids’ faces when they are active,” says Pam (Green) Pearson ’68, G’99, who was smitten by the field of physical education as a high school student under Springfield College graduates in the 1960s. “It’s amazing what movement can do—not only for the body. A little exercise keeps endorphins going in the brain, which improves concentration critical to learning, and keeps the spirits up,” says the retiree who has spent her adult life in physical education in one form or another, even now.
“As a school teacher, my objective was to start kids on a path to enjoying exercise so that they would choose an active lifestyle and reap the benefits of health, happiness, and mental stimulation. I call it learning to move and moving to learn,” she says.
Pearson almost didn’t find her true calling. “I wanted to become a math teacher. But, I loved playing sports—even though there were no varsity sports for girls then—and I loved doing anything in a gym. When some Springfield College grads joined the faculty at Minnechaug Regional High School and took us students on a trip to the College, I had an epiphany,” she says. And so began her lifelong relationships with her field and Springfield College.
"I loved my years at Springfield College. In physical education it was—and is—the best. It attracts a unique type of person—[someone who is] wholesome and who wants to give back to society. There’s great camaraderie. It feels like a family with the addition of the Humanics philosophy permeating the environment. I made lifelong friends. In the ’60s, it was more of a suitcase school where students went home on weekends. My family lived on our apple farm in Wilbraham, Mass., and I was always bringing friends home. Over the years, we’ve traveled around the Pearson world visiting each other. Five of them stayed with me during our 45th reunion, and we shared pictures—the best ones were from Freshman Camp.
After graduation, Pearson taught physical education in Wilbraham for 13 years before taking 10 years to be an at-home mom to two daughters (including Sarah ’03, G’04, who is married to Doug MacDonald ’02, G’03). Pearson’s late-husband Doug was a physical education teacher who, in the ’90s, was also an assistant basketball coach at Springfield College. During Pearson’s at-home years, physical education remained in her blood. She started a kinder movement program at the Wilbraham Recreation Department and also was a substitute teacher. She returned to teaching physical education and earned her master’s degree in education administration from Springfield College. In retirement, she is an adjunct professor at the College supervising pre-practicum students.
Throughout the years, Pearson has been a dedicated Springfield College supporter. “My admiration for the College grew even stronger after I graduated. I believe that it is important to give back to the college that gave me so much, and have donated my time in many ways—even driving a golf cart at homecomings and reunions. I’m vice president of the Pioneer Valley Alumni Association and am on the Alumni Council. I made my first annual financial gift 42 years ago when all that I could afford was $15, and have increased that as I could. I’ve seen how important it is. Grantors and college ranking organizations consider the percentage of alumni donors. I’ve made an annual habit of giving—sort of like the tithing we do in church—it’s easier that way. Springfield College is part of me. I just love it, and I want to do anything I can for it,” she says.