On her summer afternoons, Ann Burrows would hike over to the McKay Ranch to hear the spellbinding stories told by David O. McKay. During his mid-day break, McKay would entertain children like Ann and her friends with stories such as how their parents had settled Utah Valley or what he saw in the future for those who would be faithful and dedicate their lives to service.
To be faithful and to dedicate your life to service is an ideal that Ann passed down to her children, including her son Fred A. Brooks. He has applied it by spending his life serving the community and his students.
Brooks graduated from BYU’s McKay School in 1978 with his EdD in educational administration. He has spent his life teaching parks and recreation courses while also planning and directing parks projects. Through his experience, he has received a myriad of certificates and several awards.
In 2012 Brooks was elected by students to the California State University (CSU), Chico Hall of Honor as a “Legacy Faculty” member, a recognition given only to the “best of the best” of all retired CSU Chico faculty. On March 7, 2013 he will be awarded a lifetime honorary membership for his service on the California Parks and Recreation Commissioners Association Board of Directors. “As an alum, I have done my best to honor and bring significant credit to the School of Education,” Brooks said.
Brooks’ efforts have not only reflected well on the McKay School, but have also positively impacted many communities. Brooks developed more than 100 master plans for parks and recreation facilities of Northern California. However, his most challenging project was designing the master plan for Utah County’s Provo Canyon.
Throughout his career Brooks showed his interest and concern for his students. Former student David Ammermen said, “Fred took great interest in his students’ success in park projects and in future academic endeavors. He had a wonderful sense of humor, which reminded us to keep things on the light side.” While working at CSU Chico, Brooks also invested interest in his students by averaging more than $1 million a year in grants and contracts, which were used to further his students’ learning experiences. He also headed the California Parks and Recreation Scholarship Foundation for 20 years to help students receive an education in the parks and recreation field. “It has been my greatest satisfaction to watch the development of my students as individuals and in their skills and competencies to obtain and move up in their professional careers,” Brooks said.
As shown in his accomplishments, Brooks has answered President McKay’s call to be faithful and to dedicate life to service. He has used his time and talents to build up his students and his communities. He has worked diligently in the parks and recreation field because he believes in it. “Many youth now damage or destroy themselves and others because they are not educated or experienced in using their leisure time wisely,” Brooks said. “For the first half of the century, ‘education for the worthy use of leisure’ was a nationwide principle of education. I hope that there will be a way in my lifetime to get this reinstated. Leisure provides the time when each individual can achieve his/her positive and creative potential. Recreation makes life better.”
Fred A. Brooks and his wife, Terry, have four children and 16 grandchildren. They currently reside in Springville, Utah. Since his retirement in 2000, Brooks has been elected to professional, local and state boards, commissions, and associations.
April 2, 2013