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University of Iowa. Department of Physical Education for Women

 Organization

In 1900 the Department of Physical Culture and Athletics had only one woman member, an assistant in charge of physical training for women. By 1924 the Department of Physical Education was established with four departments: inter-collegiate athletics, physical education for men, physical education for women, and intramural games. By that year every member of the women's staff was a graduate of a physical education school and a major field of study in Women's Physical Education was established. The women's physical education program became a pioneer in the development of graduate study and professional training. Elizabeth Halsey headed the department from 1924-1955. M.Gladys Scott, who received the first Ph.D. in women's physical education from the University of Iowa in 1937, succeeded Halsey as department chair from 1955-1974. Margaret Fox (1974-1978), N. Peggy Burke (1978-1987), Yvonne (Bonnie Slatton (1987-2000), and Susan Birrell (2000- ) followed in succession as department chairpersons. The athletic/physical education departments were later reorganized in a variety of configurations including the Department of Physical Education and Dance (1976-1987), Physical Education and Sport Studies (housed within the Division of Physical Education) (1987-1993), the Department of Sport, Health, Leisure and Physical Studies (1993-2000), the Department of Health, Leisure and Sport Studies (2000-2001) and the Department of Health and Sport Studies (2001- ). Physical education is no longer offered as a field of study. The Women's Athletic Association (WAA), an intramural organization with both an athletic and social focus, was organized in 1911 to "promote a spirit of fair play and sportsmanship among girls." The Association was comprised of various clubs, including Orchesis (dance), Seals (swimming) and others for outing, hockey, canoeing, archery, badminton, tennis, basketball, and handicrafts. The group sponsored tournaments, play days, classes in social dancing, and all-freshmen parties. In 1941, the name of the organization changed to the Women's Recreation Association (WRA). The WAA/WRA provided college women opportunities to participate in sports, either intramural or as a member of a sport club, as there were no varsity sport teams available for women at The University of Iowa until the late 1960s and early 1970s. Intercollegiate athletics for women at The University of Iowa originated in the Department of Physical Education for Women in the late 1960s and early 1970s and maintained that association until 2000. This relationship stemmed from the philosophy of the women physical educators and the value they placed on education and women-centered and controlled sport.Begin text here:» In 1973, Christine Grant was appointed Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, a position she held until her retirement in August 2000. Following Grant's retirement, the women's and men's athletic departments were merged, ending Iowa's tenure as one of the few NCAA Division I schools to maintain a separate department and director of athletics for women. Department Chairperson 1924-1955 Elizabeth Halsey 1955-1974 M. Gladys Scott 1974-1978 Margaret Fox 1978-1987 N. Peggy Burke 1987-2000* Yvonne (Bonnie) Slatton 2000- Susan Birrell Department Name 1924-1975 Physical Education for Women 1976-1987 Physical Education and Dance 1987-1993 Physical Education and Sport Studies** 1993-2000 Sport, Health, Leisure and Physical Studies 2000-2001 Health, Leisure and Sport Studies 2002- Health and Sport Studies * The Division of Physical Education was served by several different chairpersons, including Arnold Small, Alicia Brown, and Benjamin Hunnicutt. Bonnie Slatton's leadership began as chair of the Physical Education and Sport Studies Department within this division. ** The Department of Physical Education and Sport Studies was located within the Division of Physical Education. Other departments in this division were Exercise Science, Leisure Studies, and Dance.

Citation

Author: Shelley Lucas, 2001.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Geraldine Greenlee papers

 Collection
Identifier: IWA0474
Abstract Received her master's degree from the Department of Physical Education for Women at the State University of Iowa in 1952.

Marcia Thayer papers

 Collection
Identifier: IWA0689
Abstract Dancer, choreographer and educator who worked in Iowa, Massachussetts, Oregon and New York.

University of Iowa Department of Physical Education for Women records

 Collection
Identifier: IWA0106
Abstract The department was established in 1924 and was a pioneer in the development of graduate study and professional training. The department existed until 2010 under a variety of names and organizations.