Support the Joseph J. Bannon Directorship in the Office of Recreation and Parks Resources (ORPR)

group of six 7-year-old kids playing soccer

To commemorate his life-long commitment to expanding the importance of recreation and park administration, we are proud to share that the Joseph J. Bannon Directorship in the Office of Recreation and Park Resources fund has been established in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

The Office of Recreation and Park Resources (ORPR) has a rich history of building healthy communities throughout the state of Illinois. For nearly 60 years ORPR has supported Illinois citizens through providing a wide range of consultation, education and training to park districts and departments. ORPR was directed by Professor Emeritus Dr. Joe Bannon, who spent his career at Illinois as a faculty member in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST). Under Dr. Bannon’s exemplary leadership ORPR flourished. Dr. Bannon built the foundation upon which we currently operate and our services grew, resulting in the expansion of community park resources for the entire state of Illinois. Today ORPR continues to serve as the public engagement arm of RST and remains a vital service to the citizens of Illinois.

Read more about the impact ORPR has had on parks and recreation in the state of Illinois.

Joe BannonClick Here to Support the Joseph J. Bannon Directorship in Recreation and Park Resources

When fully funded, the endowment will provide financial support in perpetuity for the Director’s position. The fund will not only provide sustainability for the program, but it will also allow us to recruit and retain the most talented individual and will offer immediate recognition as a distinguished professional. We are reaching out to you, alumni and friends, to help us reach our goal of $500,000 to completely fund the directorship. Please consider making a pledge to support this fund through a one-time gift or a multi-year commitment.

For more information, please contact

  • Krista Kimme
  • Office of Advancement
  • College of Applied Health Sciences
  • 110 Huff Hall
  • 1206 South Fourth Street
  • Champaign, Illinois 61820
  • Phone: 217-244-6600
  • Fax: 217-333-0404



About Joe Bannon

Dr. Joseph J. Bannon was raised in Glens Falls, New York.  He graduated cum laude from Ithaca College with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1957, and later received his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois.  In 1973 he assumed the headship of the Department of Leisure Studies.  In 1990, he retired from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Bannon is a prolific writer, and his books are used by students and educators as well as practitioners throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Bannon has been presented numerous awards for his service to the park and recreation profession, including the Pugsly Award, the most distinguished award for park and recreation conservation in the profession. Dr. Bannon has consulted extensively throughout the U.S. and in the countries of Japan, China, Korea, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Peru.


In 1974, Dr. Bannon founded the company Management Learning Laboratories (MLL).  The primary purpose of MLL is to bring a comprehensive consulting service and workshop seminar programs to park and recreation agencies.  Sagamore Publishing, a company founded by Dr. Bannon in 1983, provides professional materials to recreation educators as well as practitioners in the field.

Dr. Bannon is an avid runner and golf enthusiast.  He has run 10 marathons with his two sons, Peter and Joe Jr., over 100 10K races, and 13 half-marathons.  He has run over 60,000 miles since he turned 50.

You can see a video of an interview with Dr. Bannon here.