Health and wealth go hand in hand, said sport management expert Packianathan Chelladurai.
Chelladurai spoke to 504 graduates from the Faculty of Health Sciences and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the Monday, June 18 morning session of Western’s 299th Convocation.
Western conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.) upon Chelladurai in recognition of his contributions to the field of sport management.
“Graduates, you were smart to choose the Faculty of Health Sciences for your degrees. Some of you will be involved in cultivating an active lifestyle, some of you will be promoting health and wellness in the population, some of you will be creating new knowledge and applying the knowledge to solve the health issues of society. How lucky and blessed you are to be involved in this noble (profession),” Chelladurai said.
Chelladurai earned a bachelor of commerce and diploma in physical education from the University of Madras in India, after which he completed a master of arts degree from Western in 1972, followed by a master of science and PhD in management science from the University of Waterloo. He took on a faculty position at Western after graduation and retired with emeritus status in 1992. He continued his academic career at Ohio State University but maintained he was “on loan,” calling Western and London his home.
The author of seven books, Chelladurai contributed more than 130 articles and book chapters to sport management literature. He is the first recipient of three major scholastic honours – the Earle F. Zeigler Award from the North American Society for Sport Management, the Merit Award for Distinguished Service to Sport Management Education from the European Association for Sport Management and the Sport Management Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Sport Management Association.
In addition to serving as a consultant to many national sport organizations around the world, Chelladurai has helped advance the study and practice of sport management internationally.
“Your self interest can be aligned with the common interest if, and only if, (when) you generate wealth, you create wealth in proportion to the rewards you seek,” Chelladurai said, noting the monetary reward from a Health Sciences profession should not be the focus, or outweigh the good that comes out of it.
In her citation, Kinesiology professor Karen Danylchuk said wherever Chelladurai goes, he receives rave reviews from students and colleagues alike.
“The words of praise bestowed upon him by his colleagues and former students were consistent — prolific scholar, outstanding teacher and caring individual. However, one descriptor stood out amongst the accolades, and that was ‘superb mentor.’ (Chelladurai) has supervised a multitude of graduate students, including 38 PhD students, many of them from countries around the world,” she said.
Chelladurai added the promotion and maintenance of health is in itself a wealth.
“You have been trained to create wealth in the form of active lifestyles, health and happiness of those you serve. Let your motto be, ‘Doing well by doing good,’” Chelladurai said.