Stew McDole ReD

Professor of Physical Education

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Stew McDole, ReD, serves as Professor of Physical Education at Graceland University.  Graceland has been his academic and employment home for the past 35 years.

Professor McDole always knew a return to the “Hill” was in his future. His graduating class of 1965 shared that love, as many have intertwined their lives with the University. His trail led to Indiana University Bloomington, where he completed a Master’s (1967) and a Doctorate (1977) both in Administration of Recreation and Leisure Services. 

The sponsoring church - now the Community of Christ - had been life formative in Professor McDole’s youth and became the source of his first full-time job as Director of Youth and Leisure Ministries for then Center Stake. It was a great opportunity which allowed him to sharpen his interests in organized camping, sport ministry and recreation. The year-round program structure led Professor McDole to initiate a summer ending volleyball tournament that evolved into the annual Spectacular week still held on the Graceland campus today.

Western Illinois University was Professor McDole’s first college teaching home where he taught in the recreation and leisure department for 11 years. During his time at Western, Professor McDole helped to start, then chair a graduate program in recreation which grew to 25 graduate assistants, coached a men’s club team and became involved with USA Volleyball at the national level, where he has served over 40 years as a board member and officer. 

In 1972, Professor McDole started a series of camps at several different places including Graceland, on behalf of USAV, which have become highly respected as “The Camps” in the volleyball world. His work with volleyball has earned him a place in the Graceland, NAIA, USAV and American Volleyball Coaches Association “Halls of Fame.”

Professor McDole has coached the women’s volleyball team since his arrival on campus. He is also responsible for the recreation major at Graceland and has taught most courses in that degree program. He looks forward to helping deliver the new coaching emphasis in the transitioning curriculum.

Graceland has been an excellent professional home for Professor McDole. Applied disciplines have been a comfortable environment for his teaching in the classroom and on the court. 

“Graceland embraces a seamless approach to a liberal arts education that acknowledges the unique contribution of all facets of college life as curriculum. It has been and continues to be invigorating to share in that enterprise.”

Professor McDole’s wife, Patty, and their three children - Mica, Chad and Corey - have been delighted to call Graceland and Lamoni their home. 

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