By Jessica McPherson, Bicentennial Intern, Class of 2020, History
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, women were still considered second-class citizens and were often given unequal opportunities in comparison to their male counterparts. Juliette Maxwell—the first director of the Department of Physical Training for Women at IU—would have certainly experienced this treatment during her time as a student at Indiana University.
From 1883-1928, Maxwell worked to fully develop her department and even helped to create the Women's Athletic Association (WAA) eight years before it was formed at the national level. In 1922, she became one of two women appointed with the title of professor at IU. By the end of her tenure, the department was a well-oiled machine that would continue to grow.
The Department of Physical Training for Women grew in class size, hired new professors and faculty, began offering a Bachelor of Science, opened a new gymnasium, and even had students to break world records in their sports. Professor Maxwell, with the help of her staff and IU president William Lowe Bryan, bettered the lives of women who sought recognition as an athlete while at IU. To learn more about her achievements, read through the timeline below.