Born May 19, 1896 on a farm in Saskatchewan, Hulda Crooks achieved a level of physical health in her later years that many of us never attain at a younger age.
At the age of 64 she began mountaineering. Ms. Crooks climbed every major peak in California. She climbed to the 14,495 foot summit of Mt. Whitney 23 times. Her backpack is decorated with 97 decals of mountain peaks she scaled, and she holds 8 world records for women over the age of 80, including Senior Special Olympic events in the marathon and road races. A public park at the base of the South Hills in Loma Linda is named in her honor. An alumnus of Loma Linda University with a degree in dietetics, Ms. Crooks’ career at Loma Linda included being Assistant Dean of Nurses and a Research Assistant for Dr. Mervyn Hardinge, a position she held for 20 years. Her keen insights on diet and health as well as her enjoyment of hiking and the outdoors caught the attention of the media. She has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles and on television in news feature stories.
An award has been established in her honor. Each year, one master's and one doctoral candidate who best exemplify the ideals Hulda Crooks modeled are selected for the award. In addition, there are Hulda Crooks Research and Public Health Practice Grants available to all current School of Public Health students.