Thomas Henricks honored by Association for the Study of Play/American Association for the Child's Right to Play

Thomas Henricks, a Distinguished University Professor at Elon University, has been honored by the Association for the Study of Play/American Association for the Child’s Right to Play for his scholarly contributions to the study of play.

Henricks received the Brian Sutton-Smith Play Scholar Award in March at the two organizations’ annual meeting, hosted this year by Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The award is named for one of the world’s leading researchers on the study of play, who died in 2015 at the age of 90. Henricks spoke on Sutton-Smith’s legacy as part of the conference.

“Play and the Human Condition,” published by the University of Illinois Press, is Henrick’s latest work on identifying conditions that instigate playful behavior and activities. “Play and the Human Condition” was released at the same time as “The Handbook of the Study of Play,” a compilation of essays and another work in which Henricks served as co-editor.

The two titles bring the number of books Henricks has now published to five, including “Play Reconsidered: Sociological Perspectives on Human Expression” and “Disputed Pleasures: Sport and Society in Pre-industrial England.”

Henricks joined the Elon faculty in 1977 and is regarded as one of the university’s finest teachers and scholar. He received Elon’s highest award for teaching, the Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 1990.

He has also held administrative and leadership roles on campus, serving as chair of the sociology department from 1986-1991 and associate dean of academic affairs and dean of the division of social sciences from 1991-1997.