Honors and Awards

Six National Awards

  • 2013 NASPE Hall of Fame

    NASPE’s highest honor, Staffo joined legendary coaches Red Auerbach (Boston Celtics), Pat Summitt (Univ. of Tennessee) and Eddie Robinson (Grambling); tennis greats Arthur Ashe and Billy Jean King; golf star Annita Sorestam; NFL Hall of Famers Nick Buoniconti and Anthony Munoz; and Olympians Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Wilma Rudolph, Rafer Johnson and Shannon Miller; Harlem Globe Trotter Fred “Curley” Neal; and sports media mongul Ted Turner, among many others.

  • 2012 AAHPERD Luther Gulick Medal: Highest national honor; recognizes noteworthy national leaders who exemplify the best in teaching, research, service and/or administration and whose contributions are inspirational. Nominations come from across the country in the areas of physical education, health, recreation, dance and sport at all levels in the public school through university level as well as in the private sector. Only one Gulick Medal is awarded each year.
  • 2007 AAHPERD Honor Award: The second highest national award given by AAHPERD.
  • 2009 AAHPERD Charles Henry Award:The third highest national award given by AAHPERD; one of less that on-half of 1% of AAHPERD members to win 2 of the 3 highest AAHPERD national awards.
  • 2008 National Health & Fitness Association Edward Henderson Award: The second highest national award given by the National Health & Fitness Association
  • 2014 Cited by the United States Congress for career achievements

Inducted into Five Halls of Fame

  • 2013 NASPE Hall of Fame for Sport and Physical Education
  • 2009 Inducted into The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology Hall of Fame. Highest honor the College can bestow upon its graduates and faculty; reserved for individuals who have made such significant contributions to their professions as to be models for all others.
  • 2011 State University of New York at Brockport Hall of Heritage: Highest honor given by Brockport.
  • 2014 Greater Utica (NY) Sports Hall of Fame
  • 2000 Stillman College Zeta Phi Kappa Hall of Fame

Distinguished Alumni Awards


  • 2007 The Ohio State University School of Physical Activity and Educational Services Distinguished Alumni Award: Awarded to alumni who have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally in their field.
  • 2007 Fulton-Montgomery Community College Distinguished Alumni Award
  • SUNY Brockport Alumni in the Spotlight
  Eight State Awards
  • 2014 Citation from New York State Senate
  • 2014 Citation from New York State Assembly
  • 2013 Citation from Alabama House of Representatives
  • 2005 Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Ed., Recreation and Dance Honor Award: state’s highest award
  • 2007 Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Ed., Recreation and Dance Ethnic Leader Award

  • 2005 Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Ed., Recreation and Dance PRIDE (Professional Responsibility for Delivering Excellence) Award

  • 2003 Alabama Press Association 1st Place Award for Best Sports Story/Feature
  • 1988 Citation from New York State Senate
  • 1988 Citation from New York State Assembly

 Other Special Recognitions

  • 2014 Citation from Oneida (NY) County
  • 2014 Citation from City of Utica (NY)
  • 2014 June 6 declared "Dr. Donald F. Staffo Day", City of Utica, NY
  • 2014 June 8 declared "Sports Heroes Day", County of Oneida, NY
Stillman College Awards

2012 Presidential Citation honor as Professor and Chair Emeritus:
The only person in Stillman College history to receive this honor. In presenting the citation Stillman president Ernest McNealey stated: "Dr. Staffo, you are an outstanding educator, a trailblazer and a visionary whose contributions have been exemplary. Based on your prolific scholarship and professional activities, you have achieved unparalleled recognitions for the quality and dedication of your work...Your many voluntary activities and involvements reflect a commitment that leads to a personal "Clarion Call"...and has led to legions of awards and accomplishments...Your service has been praiseworthy."

The first and only person to receive Stillman’s top 4 awards and the only person to receive the Faculty Scholar Award twice (2003, 2000); Teacher of the Year (2002). Faculty Advising Award (2003); and Humanitarian of the Year Award (2001)


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