“Health and Fun Shall Walk Hand in Hand”: The First 100 Years of Women’s Athletics at UW-Madison


Archery (S04623)
Archery (S04623)

In 2004 the University of Wisconsin-Madison celebrated the 30th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics. But women’s sports at Wisconsin enjoy a much older and richer tradition than this milestone suggests.

This narrative traces the history of Wisconsin women’s athletics back to the nineteenth century.

By Chris Hartman for the UW-Madison Archives (2004).



  1. Introduction

    Blanche Trilling (S05513)
    Blanche Trilling (S05513)

  2. The Early Days
  3. Calisthenics and Drills
  4. Women’s Athletic Association (WAA)
  5. Facilities: Expansion in the 1910s
  6. Blanche Trilling and the Evils of Competition
  7. The Effects of “Play for Plays Sake”
  8. From Culture to Education: The P.E. Department
  9. Margaret H’Doubler and the Wisconsin Dance Idea
  10. The Quiet Years: 1930s-1950s
  11. Epilogue: The Sea Change of Title IX
  12. Notes (see pdf for exhibit footnotes)
  13. Bibliography

“Health and Fun Shall Walk Hand in Hand” by Chris Hartman [pdf] (2004)

Women's Phys. Ed. group (S024627)
Women’s Phys. Ed. group (S04627)

Phys. Ed. students (S04628)
Women’s Phys. Ed. students (S04628)

Dancers (S04657)
Dancers (S04657)