In the News

Manchester University mourns Professor Emerita Lana Groombridge

The following is an email sent to members of the University community Tuesday by President Dave McFadden:

Dear friends,

It is with deep sorrow that I share the news that Lana Lawver ’66 Groombridge, professor emerita of exercise and sport sciences, has died. She was 74.
Lana left an indelible mark on this University as a professor, coach, athletic director, mentor, colleague and friend. She retired in 2008.

Born Aug. 29, 1945, in Huntington, Ind., she studied secondary education physical education at Manchester and played volleyball, basketball and softball. She also participated in A Cappella Choir, the Student Education Association and the Women’s Recreation Association.

Lana GroombridgeAfter graduating in 1966, Lana taught physical education for a year in the Fort Wayne Community Schools. From there she joined the Peace Corps, serving in Western Samoa, teaching physical education to children from kindergarten through 12th grade, and coaching a variety of their teams. After the Peace Corps, she taught in New Zealand for four years. 

Lana joined Manchester’s faculty in 1976 and set about elevating the status of our women student-athletes, coaching volleyball, basketball and track and field and serving as associate athletic director. Her head coaching tenure included five 10-plus win seasons as volleyball coach. 

As a professor, Lana strengthened her department, improving the curriculum and inspiring a number of Manchester students to become physical educators and coaches in schools across Indiana and beyond.

As department chair, she led the transformation of the physical education program into the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, adding a new fitness and sport management major with three concentrations – fitness, sport management, and recreation and youth sport. Each year, an outstanding student in the field is chosen for the Lana Groombridge Award.

Among her many honors, Lana was named to the MU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013, served on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 21 Executive Committee, and won the Leadership Recognition Award from the Indiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, an organization in which she was involved for years.

Lana earned her master’s degree in recreation from Indiana University in 1972 and her Doctor of Education in adult and community education from Ball State University in 1998. She was a scholar in gerontology and did her dissertation on exercise and strength training among senior citizens. As a longtime resident of North Manchester, she put her expertise to work establishing “65 Alive,” a strength training program designed to improve the physical fitness of the area’s senior citizens.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the memorial service at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Manchester Church of the Brethren. There also will be time to visit with Lana’s family after the service. 

Please keep Lana’s husband, Graham, their children Greg and Erin (Eberly), and their entire family in your thoughts in the days and weeks ahead. 


Dave McFadden
Manchester University

Sept. 10. 2019