The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


PHYSICAL education as such was given no recognition by the University until 1890. In the 1870's there were no gymnasiums nor recreation halls either for men or for women. President Angell stated in 1883: "How earnestly the students desire a gymnasium is shown by their zealous efforts to raise money for its erection. They have already secured a considerable sum." He said, in 1886, that more space was needed for ball grounds and tennis courts and added: "The expediency of acquiring more land before the growth of the city carries the price still higher … seems to me well worthy of consideration." At this time forty acres of land still constituted the entire campus. In 1890 he again recommended:

We still need an ample field for the athletic exercises of the students. Ten or fifteen acres should be secured… It is superfluous Page  1995to say in this connection that a spacious gymnasium would also conduce greatly to the health of our students… A structure too small or unsuitably equipped would be worse than none. It must also be remembered that a considerable annual expense, at least three thousand dollars, possibly four thousand, will be needed to pay the salary of a suitable director, and to meet the cost of maintenance.

(R.P., 1886-91, p. 454.)
In October, 1890, the Board of Regents authorized the purchase of ten acres of land on South State Street for an athletic field. This, of course was intended only for the use of the men.

E. W. Arnold, architect, in 1891, estimated that a gymnasium would cost $60,000 if a wing for the women were added and $48,000 if it were omitted (R.P., 1886-91, p. 603). At this time Joshua W. Waterman offered $20,000 toward the project if friends of the University would raise an equal amount (see Part VIII: Waterman Gymnasium). This generous gift was accepted by the Regents, but it was not enough for the entire building, and plans for the women's wing had to be abandoned. Waterman Gymnasium was completed in 1894 at a total cost of more than $65,000.

The first reference to physical education for women probably occurred in 1893 during the construction of the building, when President Angell referred to the contemplated "wing" for the use of the women "who need the privileges of a gymnasium quite as much as the young men" (R.P., 1891-96, p. 125). At this time the only physical activities for women were walking through the Arboretum, tennis on the part of the more daring, and rowing on the Huron. Physical education for men was as yet in an experimental stage, and the women had to wait for some time before their need of a gymnasium was even recognized.

By 1894 the women were permitted the use of Waterman Gymnasium on certain mornings and were given some instruction. Thus, classes in physical education for women at the University were first conducted, in 1894-96, by Keene Fitzpatrick, the newly appointed instructor for the men, who set aside morning hours several days a week for this work. It is reported that 250 women availed themselves of the opportunity to attend these classes during the school year of 1894-95. This number represents almost a 50 per cent response as the total enrollment of women at the time was approximately 550. Of 800 physical examinations given in that year, 176 were of women and were given by Dr. Annie Ives ('94m). The purpose of the program carried on by Fitzpatrick was to discipline the body through exercise and to counteract the strain placed upon the women by intensive study. To accomplish his purpose, marching, calisthenics, and simple running and throwing games were introduced — a typical physical training program for this period. Strenuous activity had to be avoided since many of the women were unaccustomed to physical exercise. There were no organized team sports nor individual sports of any kind.

For this instruction the women wore no special costume. They dressed as freely as they dared, which for the "gay nineties" meant ankle-length full skirts, tight waists, large puffed sleeves, and high-button shoes. The windows of Waterman Gymnasium were blinded, and no man save Mr. Fitzpatrick was allowed in the building during the mornings when the women were taking their exercises. There were no showers but, in 1895, the Board of Regents voted to place eighty lockers in the building "for the use of the women."

By 1896 a gymnasium for the girls had long been considered one of the most urgent needs of the University, and several attempts to provide one had been Page  1996made. The Detroit Branch of the Collegiate Alumnae organized the first effort to secure such a building. Octavia W. Bates ('77, LL.M. '97) devoted much time to soliciting gifts and interesting people in the project, and $2,000 was contributed. In the meantime the enrollment of women was increasing. The organization of the Women's League, in 1890, proved the need, not only of a gymnasium, but of a building for social occasions. Great was the rejoicing, therefore, in 1895, when President Angell announced that Regent Charles Hebard had secured $10,000 — a large part his own gift — and that Regent Barbour had given $25,000 to erect a women's building. A "movement" was "set on foot to raise fifteen thousand dollars more, to meet the estimated cost of the building, fifty thousand dollars" (R.P., 1891-96, p. 517). Students, alumnae, faculty women, and townspeople labored unceasingly, and although all of the $15,000 had not yet been secured, in the fall of 1895 plans for the building were adopted. Mr. John Canfield, of Manistee, gave $5,000, and the additional gift of another lot from Regent Barbour, in 1897, intended originally for an art building (R.P., 1896-1901, pp. 178-79), again served the interests of the women. This second property was not sold until years later and apparently was incorporated in the property used to form the endowment of the Barbour scholarships. Nevertheless, in 1898 it was moved "that in view of the generosity of Ex-Regent Barbour in giving property valued at $25,000 to aid in the erection of the Women's Building on the campus, that hereafter the building be known as the Barbour Gymnasium" (R.P., 1896-1901, p. 185). It was, therefore, named for the Honorable Levi L. Barbour ('63, '65l), of Detroit, who served as Regent from 1892 to 1898 and again from 1902 to 1908. The final cost of construction was $41,341. The building was attached to the north side of Waterman Gymnasium and contained, in addition to the gymnasium and necessary bath and dressing rooms, two parlors, consulting rooms for the dean, and an auditorium with seating capacity for 600. Apparatus was purchased for $200, and a piano was rented for $25. Although not yet completed, the building was used for the first time in 1896. The Regents appropriated $250 for eight tennis courts to be built between the Gymnasium and the Medical Building. Two of these courts were to be used exclusively by the young ladies of the University.

The expected completion of the building emphasized the necessity for a director of physical training for women. In 1896, it was resolved "that Eliza M. Mosher, M.D., be elected Professor of Hygiene and Women's Dean in the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts, at a salary of $2,000 a year, if she chooses to practice her profession of medicine, or of $2,500 a year if she does not so choose, her duties to begin October 1, next" (R.P., 1891-96, p. 577).

Eliza Maria Mosher ('75m) had held various administrative and professional positions, and it was expected that by her instruction in hygiene and her personal contact with the women students she would be of great service to them. Her duties as professor were to give instruction in hygiene, to take charge of the Women's Gymnasium after it was erected, and to "discharge the same duties in relation to the women in the Literary Department as the Dean now discharges in relation to all the students of that department" (R.P., 1891-96, p. 577). Her duties as dean included, in addition to those which ordinarily belonged to that office, a general physical examination of each new woman student and a recording of her physical history and condition upon beginning her course of study in the University. This examination, in addition to the incidental use that it served Page  1997in connection with the granting of excuses for absences, enabled the instructor to decide as to the advisability of gymnasium work for each student. It also brought her into close relation with the women in the early months of their college course, thus giving them an opportunity for personal counsel at a time when it was often much needed.

During the year 1896-97, 153 women were enrolled for gymnasium work. Careful physical measurements were made, and a chart was prepared for each. In this way the instructor was able to estimate at the close of the year the degree of development attained. The course for women, which extended over three years, the work of each year being more difficult and demanding greater skill and self-control than that of the previous year, was, however, entirely voluntary, a condition which, owing to irregular attendance, proved unsatisfactory. Dr. Mosher suggested that the highest success could be attained only by including the work in that required by the University or by placing it upon the credit basis. To meet the attendance problem the Regents, in 1898, made the work in gymnasium compulsory for the freshman class in the Literary and Engineering departments. This applied to both men and women. The responsibility for carrying out this measure was delegated to the deans of the respective departments and to the Director of the Gymnasium. President Angell's report for 1898 stated:

It has been decided to require of the first year students in the literary and engineering departments attendance for two hours a week on instruction in the gymnasium. It has been found that often those who are most in need of physical exercise do not take it… It is hoped that they will by trial see the benefits of it and acquire the habit of taking systematic and regular exercise.

(R.P., 1896-1901, p. 310.)

The program of physical training followed the line of that given by Fitzpatrick in 1894-96 and included calisthenics, marching, apparatus work, basketball, and track. Gymnastics were characterized by preciseness and formality as well as by lack of rhythm. Formality was the keynote of all the instruction. Calisthenics, in particular, was done in quick jerky movements with the body held rigid and well disciplined. The idea of drill in exercises was strongly supported. Not until 1903 was the first indoor meet for women held. The instruction in hygiene was also elective, but was generally well attended. There were three divisions: Personal Hygiene, Household "Economics," and Domestic and Municipal Hygiene (Catalogue, 1899-1900, pp. 98-99).

A significant change in administration occurred with the resignation of Dr. Mosher in 1902. Up to this time the office of dean of women and professor of hygiene had been vested in one person who was also closely associated with the physical education instruction and activities. Myra B. Jordan ('93) succeeded Dr. Mosher as Dean of Women, but the responsibility for hygiene lectures and physical examinations was taken over by Dr. Alice Snyder ('00m), the Director of Barbour Gymnasium, who had come to the University as Instructor in 1897. Upon Dr. Snyder's resignation in 1904, her place was filled by Dr. Helen E. Brooks, who for two years had assisted in the teaching of physical education. Dr. Brooks was Director of Physical Training until 1907. By this time the staff had increased to five members, a director, two instructors, one assistant instructor, and one instructor in swimming.

Additions made in the curriculum during this time and the organization of the Women's Athletic Association reflected to a limited degree the drastic changes which were to take place in the department. Although the gymnastic program was strictly adhered to in fulfilling the requirements set up by the Board of Page  1998Regents, certain "additions" to the women's program were significant in the light of future developments. Basketball and baseball were added to the instruction, and swimming was taught under the direction of Mrs. C. H. Georg. For instruction in swimming, a wooden rack was constructed in the pool so that a beginner could be strapped to a long pole and held afloat without any danger of sinking as she paddled in the water. The Women's Athletic Association, organized in 1905, sponsored competitive basketball, baseball, and tennis. Indoor meets, held under the direction of the Women's Athletic Association, initiated worthwhile ideas leading to sports organization in women's athletics.

With the turn of the century interest in the unlimited possibilities for out-of-door exercise increased, and in 1902 Dexter M. Ferry gave seventeen acres for an athletic field for the men. Physical education was as yet unheard of. Instruction in the gymnasium was spoken of either as "gymnasium work" or as "physical training," and physical training was referred to in terms of exercises. Individual sports, rhythms, and competitive athletics for women, staged outdoors, were as yet unknown. Nevertheless, with the passing of the years, the attitude toward athletics for women students had changed from skepticism to acceptance. Consequently, a proposal for an outdoor athletic field for the girls was met with interest rather than by opposition. Arguments for such a field were numerous. Although men's outdoor athletics had prospered at Ferry Field, tennis was still the only outdoor sport for women, and even this became impossible after the Chemistry Building crowded the last tennis courts off the campus in 1910.

In the summer of 1908 a seven-acre tract of land known as "Sleepy Hollow" was bought. This purchase was made possible by an initial gift of $1,500 from Regent Peter White, of Marquette (R.P., 1906-10, p. 348). The land, within easy reach of Barbour Gymnasium, was effectively wooded with huge oaks which screened the girls from curious passersby. In 1909 Senator Thomas W. Palmer gave $3,000 to the University to be used for the new playing field. In honor of this timely generosity the women's athletic field was named Palmer Field. A Field Day for women, held on the new recreation field on May 26, 1910, included the dedication of the grounds and the installation of the new League officers.

Dr. Bertha Stuart ('03, '08m), who had been on the teaching staff under Dr. Brooks, was appointed Director in 1908. She was succeeded the following year by Catherine L. Bigelow, who held the position until 1914 and under whose guidance great advancement took place in the physical education program. The curriculum was enlarged, and more modern methods were introduced; calisthenics was decreased, and interpretive dancing was introduced; track and field work were added.

In 1910, under the combined efforts of Dean Jordan and Miss Bigelow, in order to provide a fund for the maintenance of Palmer Field and to open it to all University women, the following proposal was submitted to the Board of Regents:

We do petition that an 'incidental' fee of one dollar shall be paid annually by every women along with her annual fees, for which a ticket shall be given in receipt. This ticket shall entitle her to the use of the field, the club-house, and a locker, when lockers shall have been provided. We further request that the Barbour Gymnasium fee be reduced to one dollar.

(R.P., 1906-10, p. 694.)

Meanwhile, the costume changed again. White cotton middy blouses with high necks and colored ties were worn with pleated boxlike bloomers bloused Page  1999over the knees. Long black stockings and low slippers completed this dashing outfit. For swimming the women wore high-necked suits of brown denim which came half way between the knees and the ankles.

In 1914 women's athletics were controlled by the director of physical education, the dean of women, and an athletic chairman appointed by the president of the Women's League. Miss Bigelow resigned as Director of the Gymnasium in 1914 and was succeeded by Alice Evans (Smith College '05), who held the position until 1919.

The following resolution concerning additional compulsory physical training was passed by the Board of Regents in 1915:

All first and second year women are required to take and complete satisfactorily, without credit, a course in Physical Education to be given twice each week during the college year under the conditions determined by the Physical Director for women.

Women students shall also be required to take, during their first year of residence, a course of six lectures in Hygiene to be given by the Women's Physician.

Students will be excused from these requirements only by permission of the Dean of Women or the Physician for Women.

(R.P., 1914-17, p. 175.)
Because of the increasing interest in physical education, owing, in part, to World War I, there were few objections to this requirement. Organized class work during the war was somewhat curtailed, however, because of the demands of the Army on buildings and facilities.

In 1917 approximately 1,000 girls were enrolled in gymnasium classes. After the war, emergency measures were discarded, and the program was reorganized. Miss Marion Wood (Columbia '26, M.S. '28), now Mrs. Edward M. Bragg, who had been on the staff under Miss Evans, became Director of Barbour Gymnasium in 1919 upon Miss Evans' resignation, and the staff was increased from two instructors in 1914 to four in 1920.

Miss Wood's interpretation of the objectives of physical education were: health as an ideal, good fun in physical activity, sportsmanship in playing games, elimination of overemphasis on athletic attitude, and participation in some activity by every girl. A physical examination was given each student. Of the six required lectures in hygiene, Miss Wood gave one dealing with correct posture. She also did the first experimental work with motor-ability tests. She resigned in 1923 after ten years of loyal service.

There were at this time no extramural matches for girls, but interclass contests and intramural play were stressed. The point system, developed through the Women's Athletic Association, served as a motivating device for more general participation in these extracurricular activities (see Part IX: The Women's Athletic Association).

In February, 1921, an important advance was made in physical education when the Regents passed the following measure:

There is hereby created and established a University Department of Physical Education.

This Department shall be put in charge of some person to be chosen by the Board of Regents who shall have the rank, privileges, and duties of a full professor and hold the title of Director of Physical Education …

The Director of Physical Education shall be in primary charge of all athletic fields for men and women, of both gymnasiums (the men's gymnasium and the women's gymnasium), of all sports, indoor, outdoor, intercollegiate, and intramural. He shall have entire charge of the athletic office as now or hereafter constituted, and, by virtue of his position, shall be a member of, and Chairman of the present Board in Control of Outdoor Athletics, whose powers and duties shall notPage  2000be affected by this resolution except as expressly provided herein…

It is hoped and expected that by the adoption of this program a method will be speedily found whereby every student on the campus will become actively interested in his or her physical well being, and to that end the so-called intramural athletics in some proper form, it is expected, will be further enlarged and developed upon the campus.

(R.P., 1920-23, pp. 120-21.)

In June of the same year the Regents passed a resolution establishing a Division of Hygiene and Public Health, which included the departments of Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics. The Health Service and all gymnasiums and intramural activities, including women's physical education, were placed under the Division of Hygiene and Public Health. The aims of the new Division were the promotion of the physical welfare of the students, the dissemination of knowledge concerning the application of hygiene and sanitation as affecting both the individual and the community, and co-operation in the training of experts in these fields (Hubbard, p. 70).

Dr. John M. Sundwall was appointed Director. President Burton, in announcing his appointment, emphasized his responsibility to the teacher-training program in physical education in the School of Education, which, in 1921, became an independent unit rather than a department in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

The major change in the Department of Physical Education for Women after Miss Wood's resignation in 1923 was the appointment of Dr. Margaret Bell (Chicago '15, M.D. Rush Medical College '21) as Associate Professor of Physical Education, Director of Physical Education for Women, and Physician in the Health Service. She had charge of all physical education for women, including that in the University High School, and of the education of teachers under the Division of Hygiene and Public Health. With her appointment it was planned to have close co-operation between the developmental and recreational fields of physical education and the remedial and health-promoting aspects which were conducted in co-operation with the Health Service. In addition to serving as chairman of the department, Dr. Bell taught professional courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs until 1946, when the pressure of increasing responsibilities forced her to give up teaching. She was promoted to Professor in the School of Education and subsequently in the School of Public Health in 1924. Since her appointment in 1923 many changes have taken place in facilities, equipment, program, staff, scheduling, and research.

The staff, which in 1924 consisted of five instructors and one fellow, by 1956 included fourteen full-time instructors, four part-time assistants, and four teaching fellows. Over the years a number of staff members have been of much service in the development of the program and deserve particular mention. B. Louise Patterson (Wisconsin '17, M.S. Michigan '26) was appointed Assistant Professor of Physical Education in the School of Education and Director of Physical Education for Girls in the University High School in 1924. She was in charge of the program in Teacher Education and adviser to the Women's Athletic Association. Miss Ethel McCormick, who had been promoted to Assistant Professor in 1926, was in immediate charge of the required program of the department. Dorothy Beise Miller (Minnesota '26, M.A. Ohio State '31) was appointed Instructor in Physical Education in 1930 and was promoted to Associate Supervisor with the rank of Assistant Professor in 1942. She specialized Page  2001in corrective physical education and made valuable studies in curriculum construction with special emphasis on the physical education program for women. She resigned in 1945. Mabel E. Rugen (Wisconsin '25, Ph.D. New York University '31) was appointed Assistant Professor of Physical Education in 1930. Later, she became Associate Professor of Physical Education in the School of Education and Health Co-ordinator for University High School. She was promoted to Professor of Health Education in 1946 and has been associated primarily with the professional education program for teachers of physical education on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Laurie E. Campbell ('28, Ed.D. New York University '43) was appointed Assistant Professor in 1929-30. She became Supervisor in Physical Education in 1942 and Professor of Physical Education for Women in the School of Education in 1953. Professor Campbell has been directly responsible for the development of the program in teacher education. Under her direction great advancement has taken place in both the graduate and undergraduate curriculums. Currently, she is engaged in research on the development of the elementary school program. Marie Hartwig ('29, M.A. '38), who has been in immediate charge of the Recreational Program since 1930, acts also as adviser to the Women's Athletic Association, which is sponsored by the Department of Physical Education. She is Supervisor in the department, as well as Lecturer in the School of Education, and also directs the Counselor Education Program at Interlochen, the National Music Camp. Her contribution to the Recreational Program and to the department as a whole has been invaluable.

In addition to those already mentioned, the staff by 1955-56 included Fritzie Gareis (Sargent '41, M.S. Michigan '49), Ruth W. Harris (Pembroke '41, M.S. Wellesley '43), Elizabeth Ludwig (Milwaukee-Downer '30, Ph.D. New York University '54), and Esther E. Pease (California '31, Ph.D. Michigan '53).

The work of the department was completely reorganized in 1924-25. The interests of the students were ascertained by questionnaire and conference. Their criticisms, likes, and dislikes in sports were considered as well as their physical and recreational requirements. Because of the implication of physical defect, the term "remedial gymnastics" was discarded for "individual gymnastics." The elective work flourished. Included in the program at that time were hockey, tennis, archery, track, basketball, baseball, natural dancing, clog and folk dancing, horseback riding, swimming for beginners, games, individual gymnastics, fencing, golf, and outing activities. Although only two physical education periods a week were required of the freshmen and sophomores, an extra period was added in the fall for the checking and correction of defects. Students were classified according to the results of the preliminary medical examinations on the basis of unlimited activity, slightly modified activity, limited activity, corrective activity, and no activity.

Medical examinations for women, which until the 1920's had been given almost entirely by medical students, had been inadequate. In 1924, however, these were put on a sound medical basis and by 1925 were conducted in a thorough and scientific manner.

In 1925, as the result of a request for a new football stadium, a committee headed by Dean Edmund E. Day was appointed by Acting President Alfred H. Lloyd to study the athletic situation at Michigan and report to the Senate Council. This report was significant because it reopened for discussion the entire Page  2002problem of athletics (see Part I: The Little Administration). As a result, the program for both men and women was placed under the direct control of a newly created Board in Control of Athletics. The Day Report was important in the development of physical education for women because it drew attention to the fact that outdoor facilities for them should be increased to provide adequate recreation opportunities. Palmer Field and the University land in the block immediately south were developed by the Board in Control of Athletics. In 1926 a rifle range was constructed in the old Engineering Building, and permission was obtained for the use of the swimming pools in the Y.M.C.A. Building and in the Michigan Union. Students majoring in physical education, together with the members of the Women's Athletic Association, prompted the organization of many clubs for specific sports.

The new impetus for better facilities for women brought into focus the need of an adequate recreation building on Palmer Field. Early estimates of the prospective building totaled approximately $150,000, but through the efforts of the Board in Control of Athletics twice this amount was raised. Total construction costs for the development of Palmer Field and the construction of the Women's Athletic Building amounted to more than $350,000. The red brick, two-story, colonial-type structure with white pillars and trim, situated on the south end of Palmer Field at the intersection of Forest and North University avenues, was formally opened in May, 1928. The basement contains complete athletic equipment, including four bowling alleys and rifle and archery ranges.

The original women's athletic field comprises almost seven acres. It affords facilities for outdoor track, including two cinder tracks and jumping pits; a hockey field used also for soccer, lacrosse, and golf practice; an outdoor picnic site with fireplace; sixteen tennis courts; a putting green with an adjacent court for volleyball or croquet; space for horseshoes and quoits; and an elevated terrace for instruction in the various sports.

In 1933 the physical education requirement for women, which until this time had been two hours a week for two years, was changed from two years to one. Increases in staff and facilities resulted in a greater variety of activities together with smaller classes and better instruction. Scheduling was improved so that a student had two consecutive hours free for a class in physical education. Students are now encouraged to become proficient in two or more activities in order that a "carry-over" into adult life may be realized. The curriculum offerings in the department are broad enough to provide for a variety of interests.

After thirty years of work and planning, the Women's Swimming Pool was opened in 1954 (see Part VIII: The Women's Swimming Pool). The pool, costing more than a million dollars exclusive of the land, was financed by the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics. The W.A.A. Pool Fund of some $30,000, which had grown as the result of campus-wide endeavor on the part of many groups, both men's and women's, was turned over to the Board in Control of Athletics for the furnishing of the pool. Many campus organizations, in addition to the Women's Athletic Association and the Alumnae Association, had contributed to this fund. Without Dr. Bell's tireless effort and continued drive the Swimming Pool would never have been built. Her portrait, a gift of the alumnae, hangs in the lower lobby. The pool serves many University groups, in addition to the growing needs of the Department of Physical Education for Women. The scheduling of a large number Page  2003of classes in aquatics has solved some of the problems which had been created by a lack of adequate facilities for the growing enrollment in the required program. The interest in swimming, diving, water safety, and synchronized swimming has been marked.

With the steady increase in the enrollment of women, the program of the department has expanded and changed to take care of the individual needs of the student in the required program and to offer every possible opportunity to those interested in electing activities in the instructional program. The department is so organized that there is fine co-operation among the three units (required, professional, and recreation). The members of the staff share in planning and directing the activities of all three units, and the educational objectives of the department serve as guideposts to unity of purpose and action.

In addition to the increased enrollment in swimming, there has been great interest in the ballet and modern dance. A choreographer's workshop, which meets regularly on a voluntary basis, is largely responsible for the dance programs presented on campus, in other communities at the request of the Extension Service, and on television.

A noteworthy development in 1955-56 was the use of television for informal instruction in women's sports and in the dance. The department co-operated with the University television studios in the production of kinescopes on badminton, archery, hockey, and modern dance. The use of television is being studied as a medium to acquaint the public with the work in physical education and to give some idea of the value of sports activities for women. Continuous effort is made to provide a physical education program geared to the present-day needs of women students in their role as future wives and mothers. The program, which is constantly evaluated and revised to conform to the latest advances in the field, has grown and developed accordingly.

There is also increasing interest in the therapeutic effects of exercise. Special exercise clinics are held for students with functional defects, weak feet, lack of muscle tone and co-ordination, dysmenorrhea, and similar difficulties. Students are sent by the Health Service or are selfreferred. The fine co-operation between the Health Service and the Physical Education Department has always operated to the advantage of both students and staff.

The Recreation Program includes all elective sports and dancing sponsored by the department, the Intramural Program, and the Women's Athletic Association clubs; campus tournaments, and activities during open hours on the field, tennis courts, in Barbour Gymnasium, the Women's Athletic Building, and the Women's Pool. The department provides advisers and leaders for out-of-door programs and camp weekends, and for such activities as square dances and splash parties. Four to five thousand individuals participate yearly in the Recreation Program. In 1955-56 forty-eight teams in the Intramural leagues competed in volleyball, forty-five in basketball, thirty-eight in softball, and forty-two in bowling. It is the aim of the department to encourage and train students to plan for and to conduct their own recreation, using the facilities and services of the department when necessary. Activities, for the most part, however, are student managed under the direction of a faculty sponsor. The Women's Athletic Association has a threefold program carried on through tournaments, social and sports events, and sports and dance clubs, in which 415 persons were enrolled in 1955-56. Clubs operating under the W.A.A. Board are modern dance, ballet, fencing, Page  2004tennis, golf, bowling, badminton, riding, figure skating, rifle, Michifish, speed swimming, diving, basketball, and hockey. Many of these clubs sponsored special events during the year, such as the synchronized swimming show, games with area colleges and schools, and the dance concerts. The Women's Athletic Association sponsors the traditional Lantern Night, Michigras, Spring Weekend, which includes Skit Night and the Wolverine Derby, and Sports Days held in co-operation with other colleges.

The Professional Program. — The professional program in physical education was authorized by the Regents in June, 1921, when the four-year curriculum leading to a bachelor of science degree was established (R.P., 1921-22, p. 244). Although the program was not begun until the fall of 1921, a number of transfer students were graduated in 1924 with a major in physical education.

Dr. Margaret Bell, chairman of the Department of Physical Education for Women, and Dr. Elmer Mitchell, chairman of the Department of Physical Education for Men, were both active in the development of the professional curriculum. With Dr. John Sundwall, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fielding H. Yost, Associate Professor George A. May, and Assistant Professor Louise Patterson, they planned a curriculum which prepared the student in the areas of health education, physical education, and to a limited degree, in recreation.

Certain events stand out as milestones in the steady growth of the program, some of which presaged similar developments at other colleges and universities. As early as 1922, a summer school for coaches was inaugurated for those who were interested, not primarily in an academic degree, but in obtaining practical instruction from specialists in their respective fields (R.P., 1921-22, p. 244). Impetus for securing this type of training undoubtedly was due in part to the passage of the compulsory physical education laws in Michigan and other states, which necessitated the drafting of teachers with little previous experience. With the increase in the number of physical education graduates of the four-year degree programs, the need of summer session offerings for undergraduates diminished, and a contrasting demand arose for graduate work leading to the master's degree. Before the opening of the summer session in 1932, the Department of Physical Education for Women introduced two short term sports' institutes of one week each, offering instruction in tennis, swimming, golf, hockey, archery, dance, and riding. No credit was given, the object being primarily to aid teachers in the field who wished to increase their own knowledge and proficiency in individual sports and dance as opposed to gymnastics and team sports, which still largely dominated high school and college programs.

The graduate curriculum leading to a master's degree in physical education became effective during the summer session of 1931. Three sequences of study were offered, administration of physical education, supervision, and teaching. Three new sequences have been added since, camping, outdoor education, and recreation, bringing the current total to six. The doctoral program established in 1938 has continued to expand since the first two candidates received the Ph.D. degree in 1940.

With the development of the professional curriculum, which meant a corresponding growth in enrollment, co-ordination of the services of the Department of Physical Education for Men and the Department of Physical Education for Women became a necessity. Therefore, a committee of staff members teaching Department "F" (physical education and recreation) courses was organized, Page  2005with a chairman serving for a three-year term. The following individuals have acted in this capacity: Dean Allen S. Whitney (1922-27), Dr. John Sundwall (1927-30), Dean James B. Edmonson (1930-36), Dr. Margaret Bell (1942-45; 1951-54), Professor Laurie Campbell (1945-48), and Professor Elmer D. Mitchell (1936-42; 1948-51; 1954-57).

The undergraduate professional curriculum, under the School of Education, prepares women students to become instructors, with limited work in health education and in recreation. The undergraduate enrollment of students from other departments minoring in physical education averages approximately 100 men and 80 women a semester.

A camp counselor education program was introduced in the summer of 1944 at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, under the leadership of Professor Campbell and Miss Hartwig. This work supplements the undergraduate curriculum and prepares students for camp counseling and camp leadership. Emphasis is upon outdoor education, and the program for women has been most successful.

In 1949 a recommendation was approved that all students in the elementary school curriculum take a teaching course in physical education. This action reflects a national trend of the self-contained classroom, as well as a growing recognition that many elementary school children would be deprived of education through motor activities if the elementary school teacher were not prepared to offer work in this area. The responsibility for developing and presenting the course was assigned to Professor Campbell. Because of the increased enrollment of prospective elementary school teachers, the course has become a major area of professional work. At the present time three sections are offered each semester, enrollment approximating 250 to 275 students a year. In the past five years the course has also been given during the summer session.

Students in the professional curriculum are prepared to teach elementary as well as high-school students. After completion of content and methods courses at each level, they are assigned to student teaching for a full year, one semester in the elementary schools and one semester in the junior and senior high schools of the city. The department takes the responsibility for the supervision of these students in the elementary schools. Supervision in the secondary schools is assigned to a member of the staff who is assisted by the critic teachers in the various schools to which the students are assigned.

While the undergraduate program is generalized with a broad overview of all aspects of physical education, specialization is provided on the graduate level. The decade since the close of World War II has witnessed an over-all expansion of the graduate program in physical education. The number of courses offered has increased to fifteen. During the postwar years from 1946 to 1950, the graduate enrollment in physical education reached a peak of 125 students a semester, with 220 in the summer session. Of late years the enrollment has averaged seventy students a semester, with approximately 120 in the summer session. Including undergraduate and extension students, approximately 325 students are enrolled in physical education courses each semester. The number of doctoral graduates has steadily increased, with a total of thirty-five having received either the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree by June, 1955.

Present departmental facilities and staff do not permit extensive research in women's physical education, but a number of studies have been undertaken during the past year, one supported by the Horace H. Rackham research grant Page  2006funds. Two projects conducted in cooperation with the Research Section of the Midwest Association for Physical Education of College Women are concerned with the contribution of women's sports to the development of strength. Two studies, "The Relationship between Abdominal Strength, and the Incidence of Dysmenorrhea in College Women" by Dr. Margaret Bell, and "A Study of Arm and Shoulder Girdle Strength of College Women," by Ruth Harris and Dr. C. Etta Walters, completed in 1953-54, were published in the Research Quarterly of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in March and May, 1955.

Over the years there has been a shift of emphasis on the various objectives of physical education, which has been reflected to some extent in the activity offerings on the University level. Whereas health as an important outcome was emphasized at the turn of the century, and physical fitness was an issue as a result of World War I rejections, the pendulum gradually swung to recreation and sociological objectives during the depression period of the 1930's. The need for recreation skills to offset the strains of unemployment and economic and social pressures gave rise to the introduction of individual sports and similar "carry-over" activities. For a short period between 1940 and 1945 physical fitness again became an issue because of the pressures of World War II. Exercise for its conditioning value per se was again stressed in the schools, particularly in the boys' and men's programs. It should be noted, however, that the emphasis on recreation skills, particularly for their therapeutic value in the maintenance of good mental health did not diminish during the war period. The postwar swing back to a decreased interest in physical fitness within past years has been questioned and challenged as a direct outcome of recent studies on the lack of muscular fitness of American boys and girls as compared with European children. The President's Conference on Fitness, held in June, 1956, has again brought into focus the individual's biological and physiological needs for activity, and recent meetings of physical educators have resulted in recommendations for a reevaluation of the physical education program in the light of basic fitness needs.


Announcement, School of Education; Univ. Mich., 1921-40.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich. 1890-1914.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Hubbard, Lucius L., Comp. Organization and Aims of the University of Michigan as Reflected in Its By-Laws …, 1922. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. 1923.
Laws, Ordinances, By-laws and Regulations …, University of Michigan. Detroit, 1861.
Michiganensian, 15:262.
Michigan Alumnus, 1890-1956.
MS, "Minutes of the Women's League" ("Women's League History"), Univ. Mich., 1890-1923.
MS, "Minutes of the Women's Athletic Association," Univ. Mich., 1905-56.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1870-90, 1920-55.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, Univ. Mich., 1870-1954.