Dr. John Howard was inducted into the hall of fame in recognition of his leadership during the developmental years of the athletic program at Rockford College.
He personally was responsible for obtaining the finances for the building of The Blanche and Frank R. Seaver Physical Education building. He was instrumental in the formation of the Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference through his efforts with his counterparts at the other liberal arts schools. He strongly influenced the philosophy of the athletic department through the Merit Scholarship Program with its emphasis upon outstanding academic achievement and leadership qualities for student-athletes.
During his tenure, the office of Sports Information was created to support the efforts of the athletic department to become more visible to the general public. He personally supported the efforts of the various teams through attendance when his busy schedule permitted. He instituted the Athletic Awards Banquet as a special forum for recognizing the contributions of the male and female student-athletes.
Dr. Howard created the President's Trophy for Sportsmanship and Spirit, two qualities that he most often mentioned when emphasizing the place that athletics should play at a liberal arts college.
He first recognized the coaches as potential ambassadors for the college in recruiting and retaining students. His one admonition was, "Never promise anything to a prospective student-athlete that the college cannot deliver."
Further evidence of his interest and support in athletics and physical education was his personal blessing on the majors program, developed by the Physical Education, Recreation and Athletic Department, within the context of a liberal education.