Joseph L. DeWalt began the University’s Division of Sports Medicine ― one of the nation’s first sports medicine programs ― in 1971. An associate director of the Student Health Service, he taught internal medicine and orthopedic surgery at the School of Medicine and UNC hospitals.
The award citation called DeWalt a national pioneer and praised him for giving “all his working time and most of his leisure to make life healthier and more enjoyable for students engaged in sports.” DeWalt is “a team physician, good colleague, compassionate counselor [and] kindly exemplar of the persistent personal concern that marks the best of humane medicine.”
DeWalt earned bachelor’s and medical degrees at the University. His postgraduate work included internships at UNC Hospitals, where he was a fellow in metabolism, and Charlotte Memorial Hospital. After postgraduate work and being in private practice for five years, he returned to the University as an assistant physician at the Student Health Service in 1963.