Department of Athletics Records, 1940-2014
- State University of New York at Albany. Department of Athletics
- Records of the University at Albany Athletics Department, including adminsitrative records, photographs, and other memorobilia.
- 45.75 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Department of Athletics Records, 1940-2014. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Department of Athletics Records).
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- Scope and Content:
Included in the departmental records are administrative papers including correspondence, bulletins, memoranda, minutes, paper clippings, photos, and reports, 1950–78; papers of the Athletic Advisory Board, including budgets, minutes, correspondence, reports, and memoranda, 1952, 1955–77; files called "Men's Sports" containing correspondence, memoranda, sports information, sports schedules, publicity forms, and sports statistics books, 1954–79; papers of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics, including annual reports, budget requests, team score books, seasonal sports' schedules, team rosters, and publications dealing with sports, 1966–79; and sports publications and booklets, 1960–79, 1985–86.
- Biographical / Historical:
The first mention of physical education at the State Normal School at Albany is the authorization to develop physical training of the students. They authorized the principal to hire an instructor to "give a course of instruction to the pupils of the School in Calisthenics and Gymnastics." The Annual Report of the Executive Committee, January 19, 1859, outlines the course of study in Physical Education. The school gave two reasons for the need to adopt a course in physical education. A quotation from the annual report has evidenced the first reason, "the laudable ambition of students to excel in scholarship, often leads them to disregard the ordinary rules of health, so that not unfrequently the disciplining of the mind, preparatory to future usefulness, is completed at the expense of both the physical health and mental vigor necessary to a true efficiency and ultimate success." In addition to the sound mind and body rationale, the report mentions the proliference of physical exercise in schools of large towns and cities. This presents the need for teachers capable in instruction of physical training.
The Program of Exercises, which was the schedule of classes, showed Calisthenics and Sub-Lectures from 12:40 - 1:15. This time was the same until 1863 when the annual report listed Calisthenics and Sub-Lectures between 1:00 - 1:15. Perhaps because of the disappearance of men from the school during the Civil War, the fall 1863 semester had Calisthenics replaced by Rest and Recess. The school barely mentioned Physical Education or activity until the 1880s.
Physical training disappeared from official documents until 1890 when the Circular of the New York Normal College lists the availability of the YMCA gymnasium to college students for improving the physical health and strength as needed. In 1891 there is mention of an attempt to develop athletic activity at the school. The Normal College Executive Committee requested Mrs. Mooney, a faculty member, to qualify herself to give instruction in "Physical Culture."There is no evidence that she qualified herself or ever taught Physical Education. The Circulars of the New York Normal College lists requirements for successful completion of course work. They required Physical Culture for all English, Classical, Kindergarten, and Provisional majors. The requirement of Physical Culture continued throughout the 1890s. By 1909, The school established a program of Physical Training, headed by Fanny A. Dunsford. They required Physical Training for all students three periods a week during the first two years of study. Elective courses in theory and practice of Physical Training were in the developmental stages. The requirement for physical education remained until 1973.
The Department of Physical Training maintained its structure until the 1914-15 school year. They divided the curriculum between men and women. Dunsford became the Director of Physical Education for Women and Arch Swaim became the Director of Physical Education for Men. The only difference in the course descriptions is that they offered a course for only men that emphasized coaching basketball, track and baseball. The women's courses concentrated on gymnastics and methods of teaching gymnastics.
In response to a growing shortage of physical education teachers in high schools, the 1917- 1918 school year saw the creation of a major in Physical Education for students wishing to become supervisors or high school teachers of physical education. Jeanne M. Gray and Arthur circa Maroney were the instructors. It is probably the only period in which they offered a major in physical education at the College. The major was cancelled in 1920 when the crisis passed. The 1920-21 school year saw the Physical Education department changed to Physical Education and Hygiene. The department consisted of five instructors and nineteen courses. Course work concentrated on instruction in hygiene, physiology, anatomy, physical educational theory, and practice work in the gymnasium. The Department dropped the distinction between men and women's courses, but they established a "gymnasium costume." The women's dress consisted of black bloomers, all white middy, black tie, black stockings, and white sneakers. The Men's dress consisted of gray Y.M.C.A. trousers, black belt, white sleeveless jersey, and white sneakers. However the number of courses offered declined and it is believed the physical education major was short-lived.
Beginning with the 1924-25 school year Physical Education and Hygiene became Hygiene and Gymnastics. The 1925-26 annual catalog lists the department as Hygiene and Physical Training with only four courses. The focus of the school was to improve the physical condition of all students. The 1929-30 school saw the addition of coaching and dancing courses and a change to Hygiene and Physical Education that remained the title until 1947.
From 1929 until 1947, the Hygiene and Physical Education department remained concerned with students' physical condition and fostering athletic activity. They offered new courses, such as Horseback Riding, Swimming, Bowling, and First Aid, throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Most majors required students to attend two class hours a week for one year. In the 1947-48 school year the department became Health and Physical Education. The Department required that each student complete a course in personal and community hygiene and a course in physical education. Also, all intramural and intercollegiate athletics and activities were consolidated under this department. Another name change in 1948 created the Health Education department. Accompanying the name change were new courses, including Safety and Driver Education, Teaching Driver Education, Officiating at Competitive Sports, and Recreational Leadership. Health Education became Health and Physical Education in 1952.
In the spring of 1951, the Athletics Advisory Board was created. The A.A. Board was a joint board consisting of students and faculty which was "charged with a threefold purpose: First, the development of athletic policy for the college; second, the recommendation of athletic tax levy; and third, with the supervision of both policy and budget." The A.A. Board was primarily responsible for inter-collegiate athletics. By the 1953 school year, they divided the courses into separate headings in the course catalogs. Physical Education covered courses required for all students, whereas Safety and Health Education dealt with theoretical aspects of teaching health and safety. This structure remained intact until 1963. The 1963-64 catalog separated disciplines into Health Education and Physical Education and Safety with the substantive nature of the courses remaining intact.
In 1964-65 the State University of New York at Albany created the Department of Physical Education and Safety. The Department offered many of the same courses in physical education, recreation, and driver education. In addition, the Intercollegiate Athletic program and College Intramural and Recreation programs were facilitated through this department. The catalog lists two courses under "Health Education" and a separate section for physical education. In 1966, the Department divided into separate departments for men and women and reduced the courses to physical education requirements and intercollegiate and intramural sports. By 1969-70 physical education courses coupled with safety and driver education classes were placed under the auspices of the Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Safety. In addition, the university abolished the short-lived gender division, maintained theoretical courses in teaching physical education and coaching.and created more than fifty athletic courses to satisfy their physical education requirement. By 1973, they dropped the requirement, but continued the courses to be available. The creation of Title IX in 1972, which establisehd gender equality in college sports,led to an increased focus on women's activities, fitness, and social health issues. This is evidenced by the courses offered in the catalog. The department changed names frequently throughout the `1970s, 1980s, and 1990s (see an attached list of department names) but the courses remained relatively intact. The main courses dealing with coaching techniques, athletic activities, and physical education continued. The 1996-97 school year is the final year for classes given by the Department of Physical Education. While the school will eliminate some courses, others will shift to related departments. The Department will be responsible for university athletics and recreation.
Department of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation TimelineTitles of the Department, as found in college catalogs:
1909-14 Physical Training (Miss Dunsford, first director)1914-18 Physical Training (Courses for Women; Courses for Men)1918-19 Physical Education1920-24 Physical Education and Hygiene1924-25 Hygiene and Gymnastics1925-29 Hygiene and Physical Training1929-47 Hygiene and Physical Education1947-48 Health and Physical Education (includes intramural, clubs, athletics and recreation 1947-present)1948-55 Health Education1955-56 Safety and Health Education1956-63 Physical Education (Safety and Health Education separate)1963-64 Physical Education and Safety (Health Education separate)1964-66 Department of Physical Education and Safety (includes Health Education)1966-69 Department of Physical Education for Men; Department of Physical Education for Women1969-74 Departments of Physical Education, Athletics and Safety1974-79 Departments of Health, Physical Education and Recreation1979-81 Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation1981-89 Division of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation1990-97 Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation (1990-97)
Physical education was a two-year requirement for all students from 1909 to 1973.
- Acquisition information:
These records were donated to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2016 by Brian Keough.
- Athletics and Sports
Education, Higher--United States--Administration
- State University of New York at Albany.
State University of New York at Albany. Department of Athletics.
State University of New York at Albany. Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation.