Department of Kinesiology Records
Scope and Contents
- 1918 - 2021
- Department of Physical Education (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
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.
2.71 Linear Feet (8 boxes)
Language of Materials
The materials document the department now known as Kinesiology (previously Department of Physical Education and Department of Exercise and Sport Science).
Method of Acquisition
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