Spirit of the Gift Biography Project

Histories of the men and women behind WSU's endowed funds

Dr. Robert Holmer Scholarship Fund

In 1954, after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, Dr. Robert M. Holmer joined the University of Wichita as associate professor and head of the men's physical education program. He had previously directed boys physical education at the Topeka YMCA, assisted the director of Veterans Services at the University of Kansas and taught at the University of Tulsa.

Known by many as "Mr. Physical Education," Dr. Holmer was an innovative leader in the department of physical education at WSU for more than 25 years. During that time, he led the administration and development of WSU's Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Dr. Holmer directed and chaired new physical education department divisions. He received the Kansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Honor Award in 1973 and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Central District Honor Award in 1981.

Dr. Holmer was vice president and president of the Missouri Valley Athletic Conference and the WSU faculty representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He was a member of many organizations including the Boys Scouts of America, the American Red Cross Safety Services and the Wichita United Way. The Dr. Robert Holmer Scholarship Fund was established in 1986 in honor of his retirement from WSU.