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Ruth Hunt Conrow (1917-1921)

Ruth Conrow, Junior Class Photo 1918-19

Ruth Conrow (Center), Junior Class Photo 1918-19

After Berenice Wikoff departed in 1916,  Miss Ruth Stanwood took the position of Director of Physical Education for Women.  A Vasar graduate, she also completed a program at the Sargent's School  of Physical Education.  At this time, it was very unusual to have a college graduate in charge of the physical education program.  Wooster was fortunate to have had both Wikoff and Stanwood come in with four year degrees.  It is also interesting that both completed programs with Dr. Dudley Sargent in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Standwood was only at Wooster from 1916 to 1917.

In 1917, yet another Sargent School graduate, Ruth Hunt Conrow, arrived at Wooster for a four year tenure as Instructor of Physical Education for Women. Once at Wooster, she also enrolled to complete a 4 year degree at the college while she oversaw the Department of Physical Education for Women.  During this time, Conrow began to develop a structure for running women's recreation and athletics at Wooster, and the program expanded considerably under her leadership.  Before Conrow's arrival, the physical education program had primarily been focused around the Gymnasium Aides and the Gymnastics Exhibitions. There was also some interclass competition in women's basketball.

 

Women's Athletic Board, 1919-1920

Women's Athletic Council, 1919-1920; Ruth Conrow in Center of Bottom Row

Ruth Conrow put in place and oversaw a Women's Athletic Council, which consisted of six female students.  Each woman served as a manager for a sport, and the program consisted of the following six sports: basketball, field hockey, hiking, swiming, tennis, and track.  Under each of the six sport managers were four class manages (freshmen, sophmores, juniors, and seniors.)  The class managers ran practices and tryouts for their class, chose the women who would represent them for that sport, oversaw the practices of the class team, officiated games, and managed their team during the class tournaments.  Hiking managers organized walks, and students worked to attain 100 miles to achieve their chevron. 

Women accumulated points for participation in practices, tryouts, and teams.  In 1918-1919, if a woman accumulated 500 points, she was awarded a "W".  If she accumulated 900 points, she got a silver Loving Cup.  If she earned 150 points in any one sport, she got a chevron.  As the years progressed, point total values were raised for the "W" and the Loving Cup.

 

Sophomore Hockey Team, 1917-1918

Sophomore Field Hockey Team, 1917-1918; Ruth Conrow in Center Top Row.

This photo of the field hockey team is the first to be found in the Index. There are no references to field hockey being played prior to this in the Index.  Class competition most likely started during the 1917-1918 academic year, since several seniors listed participation on a class hockey team with their photos.  However, field hockey may have been taught under Wikoff and Stanwood given their training at the Sargent School.  In addition, a diagram of the proposed new L. H. Severance Athletic Field in the 1915 Index (1913-1914 academic year) had a spot identified for a girls field hockey field.

 Ruth Conrow completed her A. B. at Wooster in 1920; however, she became ill in February of 1921.  She spent the rest of that academic year convalesing in Pittsburgh, PA.  While she had hoped to return to the college in the fall, Wooster hired Kathleen Lowrie to replace her. Conrow then enrolled at the Thomas Wistar Brown Graduate School at Haverford College from 1921-1922, where she completed a master's thesis in 1923.