John R. DeCamp

In memory of
John R. DeCamp

presented by
Mauri Williamson
December 16, 2003

I will always remember, when I was a delegate to the 4-H Roundup in about 1941, the awe inspiring beauty of that new Purdue University Hall of Music. Likewise, when I returned from World War II and enrolled in Purdue as a freshman, I was indelibly impressed by the resonant voice of another young man as he announced football and basketball games - John DeCamp was his name. Somehow, the unique quality of that voice became a Purdue trademark for me, and for thousands of others as the years went by.

John DeCamp was one of those rare individuals whose life fell into an orderly pattern and progressed steadily without noticeable diversion or setback. It would seem that he was ordered by some "captain" of human endeavor to follow a definitive pattern of useful service to his University, his community, and his fellow man.

John was unique. His distinctive voice must have been the envy of broadcasters everywhere. His demeanor at the microphone was a wonder to behold. His commentary was brutally honest, easily understood, and impeccable to a fault (except for those numerous occasions when referees went into lapses of sight and good judgement). There was no doubt of his loyalty. Purdue was number one and all others existed at some lower level.

John DeCamp was good! He could have moved into the big time broadcasting business. He chose, however, to stay with his friends and his alma mater. He became a Purdue legend. John was absolutely honest in all that he said and did. You never had to wonder "what he meant by that".

When all is said and done, Purdue athletics was his professional obsession, and everything that he did established him as the true voice of Purdue University. It would be safe to say that his unique voice was recognizable by more people than any other at the University

The man who is born with a talent
which he was meant to use finds
his greatest happiness in using it.

-- Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe