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Department of Kinesiology Records

Identifier: UA 007.4

Scope and Contents

This collection contains annual reports, faculty meeting papers (agendas, minutes, and working papers), handbooks, syllabi, self studies, newsletters, an archive of the department's website, and VHS tapes with recorded lectures.


  • 1917 - 2004
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical / Historical

The Kinesiology Department began as the Physical Education Division, then morphed into a department under Mary Channing Coleman. She became department head in1921, launched a physical education major program, and developed the department into a leading training program for female physical education teachers. Ethel Martus Lawthur took over as department head after Coleman’s death in 1947. She helped continue the department’s evolution by helping to develop graduate programs. The doctoral program in the currently named kinesiology department began 1966.

At first, the program just involved the college’s resident physician teaching hygiene and physiology. In 1900, the school temporarily stopped teaching physical education when the campus was left without a designated space for a gymnasium (the space previously used as a gym became the library). Student's physical activity was limited to extracurricular, intracollegiate athletics and a mandatory campus walking period.

Formal instruction in what was then called physical training resumed in 1907 when a new gym space was established in the basement of South Spencer Dormitory. That year also saw physical education gaining its first professional director. All students were required to take the subject, which continued for a time to exmphasize calistenics and gymnastics. But following national trends, dance and sports were added to the physical education program.“Physical education” was not adopted until 1917.

During the time of Coleman and Lawther, the program expanded to meet the expanding interests of graduates who pursued careers in dance, recreation, and corrective work. Eventually the program established an MFA in dance in 1947, master of education in physical education in 1951, and master of science in 1959. Celeste Ulrich, Rosemary McGee and Gail Hennis -- noted faculty of the department -- served as key players in these programs’ implementation.

The Physical Education and Health Departments combined into the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1963. The School of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (HPERD) launched in 1971 with Lawther as the dean. Lawther served as dean until retiring in 1974. Margaret Mordy succeeded her, then Mordy retired in 1979. She was replaced by Richard Swanson in 1979. His tenure was followed in 1992 by Robert Christina, at the time president of the American Academy of Physical Education.

Physical Education was only a concentration in HPERD. 1985 saw the rebirth of the Physical Education Department, and the name changed in 1989 to the Department of Exercise and Sport Science. The change to the Department of Kinesiology happened in 2009 as a result of the need to show the various subject matters within the department. The new name also aligns with similar departments at other universities.


2.08 Linear Feet (3 Boxes)

Language of Materials



The Kinesiology Department collection contains files pertaining to the department’s operations created and gathered by members of the department (previously known as the Department of Physical Education and Department of Exercise and Sport Science). Files include annual reports, meeting materials, correspondence documents, newsletters, student handbooks, orientation manuals, curricula documents, program proposals, and syllabi. Many of these documents date back to the 1940’s and 1950’s. The collection also includes video cassette tapes of the Ethel Martus Lawther Lecture and Alumni Awards and other notable events in the department’s history between the 1980’s and the early 2000’s.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged by format, topic, then year. Box 1 contains Series 1: an assortment of textual-based documents, such as booklets and papers. Box 2 and 3 contains the video cassette tapes, which constitutes Series 2. Each box’s contents are organized according to topic in alphabetical order, then chronological order.

Method of Acquisition

Materials were transferred from the department.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Shelbi Webb, May, 2021

Department of Kinesiology Records
Archives staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US