The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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A new team

UNCG partners with national association to promote athletic opportunities for women

A new partnership between UNCG and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) positions the university as a flagship for research into girls and women in sport and physical activity.

NAGWS, a 112-year-old organization that promotes equal and quality sports opportunities for girls and women, began a national search for an academic partner in the fall of 2009. UNCG was chosen from five finalists, gaining an edge based on the institution's strong historical legacy in physical education, athletics and coaching dating back to its Woman's College days, says Dr. Donna Duffy, an assistant professor of kinesiology who co-wrote the proposal to collaborate with the organization with Dr. Paige Hall Smith.

Another draw for the organization was the Center for Women's Health and Wellness, an established source of evidence-based academic research housed in UNCG's School of Health and Human Sciences, and a strong base of alumni and stakeholders committed to creating and advancing opportunities for girls and women. Smith serves as the center's director.

The collaboration with NAGWS also gives the university access to nationally recognized figures in the field and other resources, Duffy says.

“It is an exciting time in the history of NAGWS to have established the collaboration with UNCG,” says Dr. Shawn Ladda, past president of the organization. “NAGWS members and leaders are impressed with the UNCG tradition and commitment to equity and look forward to working to strengthen our shared missions.”

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Looking back

A brief timeline of physical education and athletics at UNCG

  • 1891 - The State Normal & Industrial School was founded.
  • 1892 - When the school opened in October 1892, Physical Culture or Physical Education was taught in a room in the Main (now Foust) Building.
  • 1890s - Many early sports such as basketball and tennis were played outdoors on the flat area where the Petty Building is now located.
  • ca. 1900 - Campus physician Dr. Anna Gove required students to walk for an hour in Peabody Park for their daily exercise.
  • 1900 - The Athletics Association was formed.
  • 1920 - Mary Channing Coleman hired as head of the physical education department. Under her, the department became nationally known.
  • 1925 - Rosenthal Gym opened. When it was built, it was considered the best of its type in the nation. It was especially noted for its indoor pool.
  • 1952 - Coleman Gym, named in honor of Mary Channing Coleman, opened.
  • 1964 - Undergraduate men arrive on campus.
  • 1965 - Frank Pleasants was the first male physical education faculty member hired.
  • 1967 - In the fall, the nickname “Spartans” was adopted.
  • 1967/68 - The intercollegiate program for men and women received formal recognition from the university.
  • 1973 - The women's golf team became the first UNCG team to bring home a national championship.
  • 1987 - The men's soccer team became the first in NCAA history to bring home three consecutive national championships, in 1985, 1986 and 1987.
  • 1991 - UNCG joined NCAA Division I — just five years after joining NCAA Division III.

Source: UNCG University Archives

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The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Location: 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Mailing Address: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Telephone: 336.334.5000
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Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
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