Distinguished Alumni 2006
Martha "Marty" Washington
Martha “Marty” Washington graduated from Winthrop in 1956 with a BS in Physical Education with a minor in science. She completed her Master of Education degree at the University of North Carolina Women’s College at Greensboro in 1961, and finished her doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1981.
Dr. Washington has spent her career at the collegiate level. She began her career at Coker in 1959, and spent 1960 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before returning to Coker from 1961-1963. In 1963, she joined the faculty at the University of Georgia and spent the next 33 years at Georgia. While at Georgia, she was active in aquatics and senior fitness. She served on the National Red Cross faculty at Aquatic School and directed the waterfront at the Rockbrook Summer Camp. She coached the first women’s swim team at Georgia in 1974 and met with immediate success. Her relay team qualified for the AIAW National Championship and Veronica Stroup qualified in an individual event. When Stroup was named the Lady Bulldog’s first All-American, she credited Dr. Washington’s coaching for her success.
Marty Washington created a number of programs to address fitness levels of seniors. In 1980, she developed a “Stay Fit’ program for individuals 55 and up. The program began with 13 seniors, but soon grew to its capacity of 50. Most of the participants were in their 60s and 70s. Tom and Inez Jackson were typical of the seniors who participated. Both joined the program a year after his open heart surgery. Mr. Jackson talked about his transformation through the program – “I learned to swim within a month and not I can swim across the pool 12 times with rest in between. The program has made a new person out of me. With all this exercise, I sleep good at night and I’ve lost 10 pounds. Now I can eat anything I want.” When funding for the program was jeopardized, Dr. Washington sought and received outside funding for the continuation of the program.
Dr. Washington is the author or co-author of eight publications, has made numerous presentations, and successfully received external funding for her senior fitness programs. Her professional service includes serving on editorial boards or as a reviewer for Georgia AAHPERD, Quest, and Therapeutic Recreation Journal. She has been active in the Southern Association for Physical Education of College Women, Georgia AAHPERD, the American Red Cross, and the AIAW. Throughout her career, Marty Washington has provided leadership and guidance to undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Georgia recognized her teaching effectiveness early in her career by naming her the Outstanding Teacher in Women Physical Education in 1965. She continued to be a mentor and teacher for generations of students at Georgia.