Department of Physical Education

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Oration

In his senior oration "Co-education in American Colleges," Frank Moore (class of 1891) argued in favor of co-education in America. He first contended that women's college's were not up to par with their male counterparts. Instead of improving the women's institutions, he believed that Americans should send women to coeducational institutions.  This would allow for the further improvement of formerly male institutions.  Secondly, Moore asserted that coeducation would better prepare women for living in a man's world.

Date: June 18, 1891
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 President Morgan while on the S. S. Arabic in 1927, Dean Meredith explains her plans for the new female physical training program. She and Miss Frances Janney, instructor in physical culture, discussed the equipment needed as well as the text books required for the program. Dean Meredith ends the letter and proclaims that "physical education will progress next semester."
 
 

Date: June 24, 1927
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
Chairman Watkins Supports Women's Track and Field Team

After the Women's Track and Field Club's first petition in 1981, David L. Watkins, the chairman of the Department of Physical Education, wrote to Comptroller Robert W. Belyea in 1982 urging the club's elevation to intercollegiate team status. He writes that women students have participated in the Track and Field Club for five years and have conducted "a quality program." He argues that creating this women's team would allow the college to offer nine intercollegiate sports for women in comparison to the ten for men.

Date: February 26, 1982
Play Day 1938 program

This Saturday event was sponsored by the Department of Physical Education for the Women and Athletic Council.  The program included photo opportunities and three games of an identified sport in the morning, followed by a luncheon at the Argonne Hotel, a Round Table Discussion of some type in the Alumni Gymnasium, a swimming event, and a concluding tea in the Women's Apartments in Denny Hall.  Participating colleges included Lebanon Valley, Bucknell, Susquehanna, Juniata, and Dickinson Colleges.  Several students served as "chairmen" of various committees, including Margaret Brinham '38 (Gen

Date: March 5, 1938