Category Archives: History

RecWell Rewind – First Annual BGSU Tipover for Hemophilia Competition

The first annual BGSU “Tipover for Hemophilia” competition, sponsored by Student Activities and the Northwest Ohio Hemophilia Foundation, was held in the activities area of Student Recreation Center in February 1979 on the 5th, 12th, and 19th.

According to Gregory T. DeCrane, director of Student Activities, the idea for the tipover event stemmed from a man’s an attempt to break a world record by setting up 100,000 dominoes for the HTeams Working Together to Set Dominoes Downemophilia Foundation. Dr. Paul F. Haas, president of the Northwest Ohio Hemophilia Foundation and associate professor of economics, asked DeCrane if Student Activities could set up a tipover competition to raise awareness of the serious effects of hemophilia, as well as money for the Hemophilia Foundation. DeCrane and three others developed the competition rules and promoted the event. According to Tom D. Abrahamson, graduate assistant for Student Activities, BGSU was the first university to pick up the “Tipover for Hemophilia” competition as a student program.

The competition consisted of three elimination rounds. During each round, five-mmber teams built and knocked down domino structures. Teams were awarded points according to the amount of money raised, creativity of the formations, fastest setup time, successful execution of the five required moves, and the slowest falling-down time. The four teams with the highest number of points proceeded to round two, and two teams from the second round faced off in the final round.

The event began on February 5, 1979, with six teams and 1,000 dominoes. DurinParticipants Setting Dominoes Downg the semifinals on February 12, three teams competed using 2,500 dominoes, and during the finals on February 19, the remaining two teams each set up 5,000 dominoes. During the first round of competition a category was added for the most pledges obtained by a team. However, the team was only permitted to collect 100 percent of its pledges if the formation did not have to be restarted. Each time the formation was restarted, 10 percent was deducted from the pledge. During the 1979 competition almost $550 was pledged according to DeCrane.

The Pushovers team, made of up Al Linne, hall director of Rodgers Quadrangle, and four other hall directors from the Office of Residence Life, won the first tipover competition against the John Vautier Participating in 1979 CompetitionA-B Staff team (short for Anderson-Bromfield), which consisted of John Vautier, Anderson hall director, a resident, and three resident advisors from Chapman, Anderson, and Bromfield. Referencing the hours involved and construction of extra gimmicks, Al Linne commented that he “didn’t know it was going to get this elaborate.” The Pushovers brainstormed and practiced setting up their formations the Sunday nights before the competitions.  During the final round, The Pushovers started their formation with a one-inch toy robot that pushed the first domino off a tripod located on the mezzanine (balcony). The domino then traveled down a string pulley to the main floor area. In a previous round, the team used a water pistol to start.

The A-B Staff team also experimented with various gimmicks including a high-pitched frequency device that turned on the power of an electric typewriter. The first domino was knocked over when the carriage returned. The A-B Team also used candles and pendulums to set off four mousetraps, sending dominoes flying in the air.

The competition was held annually until at least 1983, and in 1980 BGSU teams competed against teams from the University of Toledo in the first intercollegiate competition of its kind in the United States. During the 1980 competition, the BGSU Residence Life team defeated The University of Toledo team, and the competition raised more than $930 for the Hemophilia Foundation.

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RecWell Rewind – Aerobics in the 80’s


Man Exercising During the 1985 spring semester aerobics attendance averaged 200 participants an evening (excluding morning and afternoon participants).

According to Michelle Rolston, assistant director/interim of the Student Recreation Center, drop-in programs, classes, information sessions, special events, and three different free drop-in programs were available to promote good health and fitness. The drop-in programs, Fit-For-All Aerobics, Weight Room Awareness, and Water Aerobics, were free of charge.

aerobics_class5Fit-For-All Aerobics was divided into three levels of difficulty. The green/top level was a 25 minute session called “Go For It,” the yellow/intermediate level was a 15-20 minute session called “Exercise with Caution,” and the red level was an 8-10 minute program for beginners called “Easy Does It.” Rolston explained that the green workout was the most popular, but participants were advised to start at the most comfortable level and work their way up.

To ensure proper placement in one of the three different levels, participants were asked to take a fitness test in the L.I.F.E. Room. However, the testing was not required for program participation. Fitness testing was also available to participants three times throughout the semester to gauge their improvement. The testing included a cardiovascular step test, sit-ups, push-ups, a flexibility test, and a body fat test.

Aerobic Class Participants Lifting KneesWhile the majority of participants in aerobics classes were women, Rolston noted that the number of male participants had increased as the weeks progressed. To help men feel more comfortable participating, a Fitness for Men activity was also offered, which focused on calisthenics and activities such as running and basketball.

In order to accommodate the busier schedules of faculty and staff, a noon workout and a 30-Minute Workout were added to the program as well. Rolston commented, “We’re striving to get the faculty and staff into it,” and added that the noon workout is sometimes the only time available for teachers to exercise.

Water Aerobics classes were also held in the Club Pool two days a week and were taught by Rolston. The water aerobics classes followed the same format as regular aerobics, but according to Rolston they did not move as fast and excluded some of the “dancey” movements that were made more difficult in the water.

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RecWell Rewind – February 10, 1979

Sam Cooper in Cooper Pool
Sam proudly posing in “his” new pool.
University officials dedicate the Rec!

Dedication ceremonies were held on February 10, 1979 to celebrate the completion of the Student Recreation Center and to name the Samuel M. Cooper Pool.

The day’s events began shortly before noon, when guests first gathered on the balcony to enjoy a consommé appetizer followed by a luncheon in the Club Pool area. At the conclusion of the luncheon, the guests were directed to the activity center on the main level where the Student Recreation Center dedication ceremony was held at 1:30 PM.

Dr. Eakin, vice provost, began the ceremony by introducing each of the ribbon cutting participants. The ribbon cutters included University President Dr. Hollis A. Moore, Board of Trustees Chair John F. Lipaj, Board of Trustees member Albert Dyckes, and Undergraduate Student Representative Frank Aveni. Following the ribbon cutting, keys to the facility were presented to Student Recreation Center Director Ben McGuire and John F. Lipaj by Thomas T. K. Zung, architect, and Art Carter, representative of the general contractor, Mosser Construction Co. in Fremont, OH.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were directed to the Olympic-sized swimming pool area to take part in a ceremony commemorating the naming of the pool in honor of Dr. Samuel M. Cooper. During his career at BGSU, Dr. Cooper served as chairman of the Health and Physical Education Department and was also the University swim coach.

More than 100 of “Sam’s Swimmers” and divers attended the dedication ceremony, and were identified by orange signs around their necks containing their name, graduation year, and the words “here to dedicate Coach Sam Cooper Pool and real proud of it.” In addition, approximately 10 swimming coaches associated with Dr. Cooper were present.

Through the combined efforts of pledges and contributions from former swimmers and University alumni, the alumni scoreboard in the Cooper Pool area was purchased. About $28,000 in pledges and contributions were raised, allowing the University to purchase a scoreboard that was much more elaborate than what the Student Recreation Center budget would have allowed.

To begin the ceremony President Moore spoke about the importance of the pool from the standpoint of University administration. Next, Albert Dyckes shared his memories as a former student of Dr. Cooper. Tom Stubbs then spoke as a colleague and fellow swimming coach. Finally, Robert Frary spoke on behalf of the alumni and made a presentation of a facsimile of a plaque with the names of the people who donated to the Sam Cooper Scoreboard.

To conclude the ceremony Mr. Dyckes and Mr. Stubbs presented a plaque to Dr. Cooper, and Dr. Cooper gave a short speech. Known for never being at a loss for words, the planning committee noted in the event schedule that “if he [Dr. Cooper] exceeds that time [5 minutes], he will be pushed into the Pool.”

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