CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After 33 years of service to MIT and the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER), Professor Candace Royer has announced her decision to retire from the Institute in mid-August. Currently the Associate Director of Development/Athletics, Royer spent six years as the Director of Athletics and Department Head of DAPER from 2001 to 2006. She was the first woman to hold that role at MIT and in the Ivy Plus group.
“My 33 years at MIT have been filled with outstanding people,” reflected Royer. “Our terrific students, inspirational faculty colleagues, dedicated staff, as well as our loyal alumni, are truly the ingredients of MIT's "secret sauce." I am very grateful for the opportunities that I've had at MIT and to the colleagues and students who have made my life here so satisfying and enjoyable. It's been a privilege to serve this community and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the Institute in the future.”
During Royer's tenure as DAPER Department Head, she was vitally involved in shaping policy and procedure for one of the largest athletic programs in the nation; one that featured 41 intercollegiate varsity teams and 35 club sports programs. One of the most visible accomplishments during her time as department head was the opening in 2002 of the Al '51 and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center, a facility that is the hub of the DAPER operations and a true "center" for the MIT community.
"Candace’s career has touched on every element of DAPER”, remarked Julie Soriero, the current Director of Athletics and Department Head of DAPER. “Her distinguished service as a professor, coach, athletic director and department head, and most recently as a gift officer has touched many lives at MIT, DAPER and beyond. The wonderful Z Center is a tribute to her vision. She has served DAPER with dedication and will be missed. I speak for many people when I say thank you and wish her the best. "
Royer started at MIT in 1981 as an Assistant Professor in Physical Education and head coach of women’s tennis. Named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Division III Coach of the year in 1985, she led the Engineers from 1981 to 1995, compiling a 124-104 record and guiding the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in and a national ranking of No. 11 in 1993. In 1995 she was named the Assistant Department Head for Sports Administration, then, and two years later, was appointed to Associate Department Head and Director of Physical Education. In 1996, Professor Royer was awarded MIT’s prized James Everett Baker Award for outstanding teaching.