William M. Partington, Class of 1950

Known as Central Florida’s original environmentalist, you have labored for 30 years to bring ecological considerations to bear on the planning of economic growth in one of the most rapidly developing regions of our country. Director of the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, founding chairman of the Federated Conservation Council of Palm Beach County, assistant director of the Florida Audubon Society, president of the Florida Defenders of the Environment, director of the Florida Conservation Foundation—in all these roles you have exhibited a rare combination of pluck, common sense and an impressive capacity to explain environmental concepts to both decision mak­ers and the general public. You helped win Congressional wilderness designation for lands that in­clude Everglades National Park, and you formed the group that halted the poaching of alligators at a time when they were on the verge of extinction. But you are most vigorously acclaimed in the envi­ronmental community for leading the effort to block construction of the planned Cross-Florida Barge Canal, which when halted by executive order of President Nixon, marked the first time that an ongoing project of the Army Corps of Engineers had been successfully opposed in Florida. Also lauded as part of your extraordinary success has been your sense of humor, both refreshing and irreverent, which has resulted in the popular Florida Calamity Calendar, with its 365 ridiculous but real events­—”enough,” you have said wryly, “to discourage the next mindless wave of [Florida] overpopulation.”