Distinguished Alumni Awards

W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award
Norman Merrifield - 2007

Dr. Norman C. Merrifield is nationally recognized for his innovative, creative and highly successful work in the field of public recreation. Since July 2, 2007, he has served as Director/Chief Administration Officer for the Cincinnati, Ohio Recreation Commission. In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall direction and leadership of the Commission.

From 2004 until July 2007, Merrifield served as Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in El Paso, Texas, an international city of nearly 700,000 in population. During his tenure there, the department’s general operation budget increased over 35% in three years, over 75 million dollars (bond issue) was spent on new recreation facilities and development, professional staff were added for greater service capacity, and in early May 2007, the department received the top Park & Recreation Master Plan awarded from the National Recreation Resources and Planning Association.

Prior to El Paso, Merrifield served as Assistant Superintendent for Administration, Recreation and Park Police for the international award winning Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His experience also includes directing the Bloomington/Monroe County Indiana Park & Recreation Departments, while also serving as an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University. He has also enjoyed affiliations with Vincennes University, Fort Wayne, Indiana Department of Parks and Recreation, and Evanston, Illinois Parks.

Merrifield received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University in Recreation and Park Administration. He also holds an Indiana University doctorate in Adult Education.