Gymnasium

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essay

In her report "Women at Dickinson College," Dean Josaphine B. Meredith discusses women's health in a section entitled "Health." She explained that there had not been a single serious illness in years as she is sure to send any sick women home or to the doctor as soon as she saw symptoms. Moreover, Dean Meredith advocated for a Women's Hygiene Program at Dickinson College. She wrote that "The girls need a course in Hygiene to supplement their physical training. The Physical  Tr. teacher has plenty of time for it.

Date: c1935
Photo

This series of five photographs depicts early female Dickinsonians in a physical education class. The women use various forms of equipment in the photos. The photo pictured on this page lists the names of the women and it appears that the same women are in each image.

Date: circa 1888
Letter

In a letter to Dean Meredith dated April 6, 1920, President Morgan informed the Dean of Women that many female students have been absent from gym class. He wrote that "many of the young women are evading physical exercise. Professor Sellers, for the Absence Committee, says that he gets altogether too many excuses for sickness, but in most cases he feels some hesitation about probing too closely." Thus, President Morgan decided that excuses for gym class must be approved by Dean Meredith before being accepted.

Date: April 6, 1920
dermottc5.jpg

Shown here in the alumni gymnasium is one of the many formal dances that took place on campus.  From the looks of the decor and garb, the photo is most likely from one of the spring formals, and perhaps circa 1935.

Date: c. 1935
Barbara Maletz's Survey Response on Physical Education

A female graduate of the class of 1969 elaborated about her physical education experiences at Dickinson in her "Women as Leaders" survey. While at Dickinson, she participated in Field Hockey out on Biddle Field, which she commented that it seemed much too far away for them. The graduate also had a squash class that was in the courts that were attached to the math building that "had a lump in the floor. She had a square dancing class in the gymnasium and golf on the lawn near Drayer.

Date: March, 1979
dg coeds.jpg

As the year of 1925-1926 came to an end, most of the women on the Co-Ed Varsity squad graduated. There were only two women left: Jessie Poticher and Leona Barkalow. Their positions in the team were forwards. The rest of the team for that year would consist mostly of underclasswomen.
Coach Jeanette R. Packard, Director of Physical Education for women at the College, remained positive about the season, for as many as 35 girls expressed interest and attended tryouts.

Date: November 1926
Winners of the Blazers

According to the Microcosm, Helen Kretschmar, Elinor Derr, and Catherine Stern were awarded blazers for being the three junior women with the highest score in competitions hosted by the Women's Athletic Association Council. Competitions included badminton, ping-pong, interclass volleyball, interfraternity basketball, interclass basketball, bowling, softball, and tennis. The women's sports program also offered non-competitive hockey, equestrianism, badminton, and swimming, among other sports.

Date: 1944