Anniversary Celebration

Mixing work and family obligations is not recommended for marital bliss; and I’ve done pretty well over the years at not taking my work home to the extent that my family felt like the second team. However, once a year I insist that my wife comes to work with me. That was last Saturday night.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Officials Awards & Alumni Banquet occurs each May, just about the time I should be considering a nice night out for my wife as we celebrate our wedding anniversary and Mother’s Day. So, one might think I am asking for trouble by making this event our big night out.

Yet it works. For if there is one thing the Officials Banquet demonstrates, it’s the power of partners and family.

Time after time last Saturday evening, officials thanked spouses for their support. For keeping late dinners hot and uniforms clean, of course; but also for savoring the stories that sports officials have so many of and share so vividly.

Officials know what it means to have a partner, and to have his or her back in good times and bad.

Officials are a part of a big family of people with affinity for one another that often grows into deep and abiding, lifelong affection.

It wasn’t just longevity that was applauded last Saturday; partners and extended families were honored as well. Not a bad way to celebrate a 45th wedding anniversary.

Posted in: Officials


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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.