|Sport:||Football, Basketball, Baseball|
Donald Watkins graduated from Denison in 1938 with a B.A. in history. During his four years at Denison, Watkins became a three-sport athlete, competing on the Big Red football, basketball and baseball teams. Watkins was a two-year member of the Denison football squad, which won the Ohio Athletic Conference championship his senior year. He also participated on the varsity basketball and baseball teams for three years, captaining both squads his senior year. For athletes of this era, varsity experience was limited to three years, as freshmen were not permitted to participate on varsity teams at Denison until 1946. Watkins is a member of the Denison chapter Sigma Chi fraternity.
After graduation, Watkins continued his athletic career, playing on several amateur baseball teams between 1938 and 1941. At the same time, he was participating in semi-professional basketball. In 1941, Watkins played semi-pro baseball in the Indiana-Ohio League while employed at the Frigidaire Division of the General Motors Corporation in Dayton.
The advent of World War II ended Watkins’ athletic career. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in August of 1941 and was later commissioned in the Army Ordinance Corps, serving in the southwest Pacific theater for two and a half years. This marked the beginning of a 35 year military career as a reserve officer, which included a two and a half year stint of active duty during the Korean crisis. He retired from the reserves as a Lt. Colonel in 1976 at the age of 60.