Donald W. Hastings ’62

Donald W. Hastings ’62, professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, died of a heart attack on December 12, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. He was born in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., on July 18, 1940, and graduated from A.B. Davis High School. A member of Chi Psi fraternity, a dean’s list student, and a Bowdoin Scholar, he was selected as a National Science Foundation Research Participant in sociology at the University of North Carolina in the summer of his junior year. He went on to earn a master’s degree in 1964 and a doctorate in sociology in 1970, both from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After a stint at the University of Utah, he moved to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1970, rising through the ranks to full professor. He served as adjunct professor in the Department of Human Performance and Sport Studies and in the College of Education’s Cultural Studies Education Unit. He was twice a visiting professor at the University of Calgary in Canada. He was the author of more than eighty journal articles and three books on a number of varied research topics. He retired as a professor emeritus in 2006. A varsity swimmer at Bowdoin, his lifelong passion was swimming; he coached children at a local swim club, leading the team in 1988 to its first Southeastern Conference championship, and served as head coach for one season of the women’s swim team at the University of Tennessee. Over the years, he assisted in coaching more than twenty Olympic swimmers at the University of Tennessee and the University of Calgary. He served as a referee at Tennessee swim meets for more than twenty years, and was known to bark “advice” at fellow swimmers, whether they asked for it or not. At the age of forty, he took up competitive swimming again, as a Master’s swimmer, and he was the author of College Swimming Coach: Social Issues, Roles and Worlds (1987). In retirement, he began poring over Latin, Greek, and Middle English dictionaries and researching the occupational structures of ancient Greece, ancient and imperial Rome, and medieval England as the basis for a book. He constructed a massive data set and sketched out a plan for a manuscript but was unable to complete the work after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in December 2010. He is survived by his wife, Sherry Cable; daughters Laura Hastings and Kate Blair; son Peter Hastings; and four grandchildren.

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