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Department of Kinesiology

    Department of Kinesiology
    Kansas State University
    1A Natatorium
    920 Denison Ave.
    Manhattan, KS 66506

    785-532-6486 fax

    Department of Kinesiology - History 1926-2017

    Scientists in Lab

    The Department of Kinesiology has a long tradition at Kansas State University. The first mention of the study and promotion of physical activity can be traced back to 1863 when students enrolled in Kansas State Agricultural College were "put through inhalations and exhalations of air from the lungs." In the early 1920's the department offered a few coaching classes along with basic physical activity classes. The department in 1926 introduced a four-year professional curriculum for the training of physical education teachers. The basic program of activities expanded and eventually every undergraduate student enrolled in the university completed two years of courses in the basic physical activities program. Separate male and female physical education departments existed until the fall of 1972 when the two units combined and all programs became co-educational. During the 1980's the department experienced considerable programmatic change involving the movement in and out of the department of several smaller professional units (health, recreation, dance, and athletic training). The department name changed several times during these years to reflect the program changes. Kinesiology was adopted in 1992, focusing on the study and application of physical activity for optimal health. We currently have over 600 undergraduate students majoring in kinesiology - the scientific study of physical activity. This is more majors than at any time during the history of the department. The names of the department heads over the past 90 years as well as the programmatic and name changes during this time are listed below in chronological order. We are confident that we have the faculty and curriculum to prepare students to enter a wide variety of careers related to our mission (the study and promotion of exercise, fitness, and health) and to be successful and productive members of our society as we move into the 21st century.

    A listing of the programmatic and department name changes follows


    1926-46  B.S. in Physical Education and Training initiated with first  graduates anticipated in 1929


    1946-50 Department of Physical Education and Athletics


    1950-52 Department of Physical Education and Athletics


    1952-70 Department of Physical Education


    1970-71 Department of Physical Education.  M.S. Degree initiated.


    1971-84 Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation 
    Health moved to the Department of Secondary Education in the College of Education in 10978, then to the College of Human Ecology in 1982.


    1984-88 Department of Physical Education, Dance, and Leisure Studies

    Dance moved to Dept of Speech Communication, Theatre, and Dance in 1987 and remains there today.

    Dual degree (B.S.) in Nutrirtion and Exercise Sciences established in 1986.


    1988-91 Department of Physical Education and Leisure Studies 
    Athletic Training Curriculum Approved by NATA in 1989. Leisure Studies moved to Dept of Horiculture,

    Forestry, and Recreation in College of Agriculture in 1991 and remains there today; Teacher and Coaching Preparation moved to Department of Secondary Education, College of Education; the teacher preparation program moved to the Department of Secondary Education in, College of Education in 1991 and was  

    discontinued in 1996..


    1992-2013  Department of Kinesiology, College of Arts and Sciences

    Athletic Training moved to the Department of Secondary Education, College of Education
    in 1995 and is now in the Dept of Human Nutrition, College of Human Ecology.


    2013-present  Department of Kinesiology, College of Human Ecology

    A listing of the department or unit heads follows.


    1926-46                 Head of Men PT and Athletics:  Louis P. Washburn

                                    Coordinator of courses for women PT: Ruth Morris

    1946-50                 Head and director: Mike Ahearn

    1950-51                 Head and director: Thurlo McCrady

    1951-52                 Head of Physical Education:  Mickey Evans

                                    Director of Athletics; Laurence W. Mullins

    1952-70                 Head of Physical Education:  Mickey Evans

                                    Coordinator of courses for Women: Katherine Geyer

    1970-71                 Head of Physical Education:  Mickey Evans

    Coordinator of courses for Women:  Barbara Gench

    1971-75                 Charles B. Corbin
    1975-76                 Barbara Gench
    1976-86                 Don Kirkendall
    1986-95                 Larry Noble
    1995-2002            David Dzewaltowski
    2002-07                 Tom Barstow
    2007-114              David Dzewaltowski

    2014-Present        Craig Harms


    Compiled and edited by Larry Noble, April 14, 2017.