Ruth H. Alexander

Last updated
Ruth H. Alexander
Born
Wanda Ruth Hammack

(1938-04-17) April 17, 1938 (age 80)
Education Milligan College
University of Kentucky
Known forDistinguished professor of physical education
Lady Gators program
Founding member of the Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport
Spouse(s)
Kern Alexander
(m. 1961,divorced)
Children4, including F. King Alexander
AwardsPresident's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Lifetime Achievement Award (2013)
Honors Florida Women's Hall of Fame
National Association of Sport and Physical Education’s Hall of Fame (1987)
Milligan College Athletics Hall of Fame (1998)

Ruth Hammack Alexander (born April 17, 1938) [1] established the "Lady Gator Athletic" program at the University of Florida to allow women to participate in intercollegiate athletics for the first time.

University of Florida Public research university in Gainesville, Florida, United States

The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida, United States. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. The university traces its origins to 1853 and has operated continuously on its Gainesville campus since September 1906.

Contents

Alexander earned her master’s degree and a doctorate before joining the faculty of the University of Florida where she earned the title of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences. From there, she spearheaded a campaign to allow equal opportunities for female athletes to compete at the University of Florida in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. President Richard Nixon appointed her to sit on the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition and she founded the Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Non-profit organization that regulates many American college athletes and programs

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization which regulates athletes of 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Richard Nixon 37th president of the United States

Richard Milhous Nixon was an American politician who served as the 37th president of the United States from 1969 to 1974. He had previously served as the 36th vice president of the United States from 1953 to 1961, and prior to that as both a U.S. representative and senator from California.

Presidents Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition American government organization that aims to "promote, encourage and motivate Americans of all ages to become physically active and participate in sport."

The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) is an American government organization that aims to "promote, encourage and motivate Americans of all ages to become physically active and participate in sports." It is part of the Office of Public Health and Science, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to June 2010, it was called the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

She was inducted into the National Association of Sport and Physical Education’s Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Milligan College Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2012, Alexander was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame.

Florida Womens Hall of Fame

The Florida Women's Hall of Fame is an honor roll of women who have contributed to life for citizens of Florida. An awards ceremony for the hall of fame was first held in 1982 and recipient names are displayed in the Florida State Capitol. The program was created by an act of the Florida Legislature and is overseen by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women (FCSW), a nonpartisan board created in 1991 to study and "make recommendations to the Governor, Cabinet and Legislature on issues affecting women". The FCSW also manages the Florida Achievement Award for those who have improved the lives of women and girls in Florida, an award is focused on outstanding volunteerism. FCSW members serve by appointment and the commission is housed at the Office of the Attorney General of Florida.

Personal life

Alexander was born in Madison County, Kentucky with an older sister Jacqueline and two older brothers, Larry and Denny. They were all raised as Methodists. [1] Although her mother died when she was young, Alexander says both of her parents inspired her to become involved in sports. [2]

Madison County, Kentucky County in the United States

Madison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 82,916. Its county seat is Richmond. The county is named for Virginia statesman James Madison, who later became the fourth President of the United States.

Alexander and her former husband Kern Alexander had four children together. [1] [3] Her son, F. King Alexander, is the president of Louisiana State University. [4]

Samuel Kern Alexander Jr. is Professor of Excellence at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is endowed by the O'Leary Endowment and Editor of the Journal of Education Finance, published by the University of Illinois Press and Project MUSE of Johns Hopkins University.

F. King Alexander American university administrator and, as of 17 April 2013, President of California State University, Long Beach

Fieldon King Alexander is the president of Louisiana State University and former president of California State University, Long Beach and of Murray State University, in Murray, Kentucky.

Career

After graduating from Milligan College in 1960 with a degree in religious education and physical education, [5] Alexander earned a Master’s degree at the University of Kentucky. [1] She married in 1961 and moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky where she worked at the State Street Methodist Church. After her first son was born, the family moved to Louisville, Kentucky where she worked at Valley High School and earned her doctorate. [1] She then taught at Indiana University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Maryland before joining the University of Florida faculty. [6] Alexander stated that she earned her job as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland because of her degree in educational psychology. As an assistant professor, she also taught nursing courses at the Walter Reed Hospital School of Nursing. Alexander eventually left the University of Maryland because her husband wanted to move and gained employment at the University of Florida. [1] She eventually earned the title of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Florida [5] and was named Chairman of the Department of Physical Education for Women. [7]

Milligan College Christian liberal arts college in Tennessee

Milligan College is a private Christian liberal arts college in the town of Milligan College, Tennessee. Founded in 1866, the school has a student population of more than 1,200 students, most of whom reside and study on its 235-acre (0.95 km2) campus. Milligan was named a "College of Distinction" in 2011. Milligan College is historically related to the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, the Christian Church, and the a cappella Churches of Christ, with about 35 percent of the student body coming from these religious groups. While the college maintains close ties with the churches which founded it, the school enrolls students from all backgrounds. The college offers over 30 undergraduate programs of study and four graduate programs.

University of Kentucky Public research university in Lexington, KY, USA

The University of Kentucky (UK) is a public co-educational university in Lexington, Kentucky. Founded in 1865 by John Bryan Bowman as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky, the university is one of the state's two land-grant universities, the largest college or university in the state, with 30,720 students as of Fall 2015, and the highest ranked research university in the state according to U.S. News and World Report.

Bowling Green, Kentucky City in Kentucky, United States

Bowling Green is a home rule-class city and the county seat of Warren County, Kentucky, United States. As of 2017, its population of 67,067 made it the third most-populous city in the state after Louisville and Lexington; its metropolitan area had an estimated population of 165,732; and the combined statistical area it shares with Glasgow has an estimated population of 218,870.

After receiving encouragement from several female teachers, Alexander and other female coaches approached Florida University athletic director Ray Graves with a request to fund women's sports. They then brought their proposal to the Faculty Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics who approved their budgeting plan. [8] This marked the first time a Southeastern Conference school would fund women's sports. [7] Starting in 1972, the women's intercollegiate athletic programs at the University of Florida (dubbed the “Lady Gator Athletic” program) [9] received a budget of $16,000 to start golf, tennis, swimming, track and gymnastics teams. After they proved to be successful, the following year they received $36,000. [7] During the 1973–1974 season, every female team finished within the top of their respective sport in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Florida female golf team finished fifth, the swimming team was eighth, and the tennis team ranked 10th. [10] After that season, the budget was raised to $65,000. [7] Alexander stated that while there was backlash from some male coaches who did not like sharing their budget and facilities with women teams, others were supportive and offered to coach. [2]

Alexander was not only active in female participation and equality in athletics at the University of Florida. She was also recruited to testify in front of the United States Congress about the importance of funding for female sports to help push Title IX. [11] Title IX was a proposed federal civil rights law that stated no person should be excluded on the basis of sex. Even before the implementation of Title IX, Alexander served as the coordinator of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women until 1981. Although she continued her job as a professor, she eventually decided to concentrate on fitness. [7] President Richard Nixon took notice of her work and appointed Alexander to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, making her the first woman ever to be appointed to the council; she was subsequently reappointed by the three following presidents. [12]

Alexander was a founding member of the Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and served as its governor four times. [9] She was inducted into the National Association of Sport and Physical Education’s Hall of Fame in 1987 [13] and into the Milligan College Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. [5] She retired from the University of Florida in June 2004 [7] and was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame in 2012,. [14]

Publications

List of publications: [15]

Awards and honors

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Interviewee: Ruth Alexander" (PDF). ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  2. 1 2 Rockwell, Lilly (February 14, 2013). "Ruth Alexander is a Florida Icon". floridatrend.com. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  3. "UA3/7/5 Inauguration of Samuel Kern Alexander, Jr". digitalcommons.wku.edu. December 13, 1986. Retrieved March 17, 2019. He is married to Dr. Ruth Hammack Alexander and they have (our sons, Samuel Kern III. Fieldon King, Klinton West and Wesley Kane.
  4. Kleinpeter, Jim (August 24, 2013). "Q and A with LSU President/Chancellor F. King Alexander". nola.com. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "RUTH ALEXANDER". milliganbuffs.com. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  6. "DR. RUTH ALEXANDER". flasportshof.org. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Norm Carlson Looks Back.. – Dr. Ruth Alexander". floridagators.com. June 1, 2004. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  8. Harry, Chris (June 22, 2012). "Title IX at 40: the Road to Championships Has Been Paved with Adversity". floridagators.com. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  9. 1 2 "Dr. Ruth Alexander". flwomenshalloffame.com. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  10. "Norm Carlson Looks Back.. – Women's Athletics (PT II)". floridagators.com. February 25, 2004. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  11. Klinton W. Alexander; Kern Alexander (December 14, 2010). Higher Education Law: Policy and Perspectives. Routledge. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  12. "UF's Ruth Alexander named to Women's Hall of Fame". gainesville.com. February 8, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  13. 1 2 "PCSFN Lifetime Achievement Award". hhs.gov. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  14. "UF women's sports pioneer Ruth Alexander being inducted into Florida Women's Hall of Fame". floridagators.com. February 10, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  15. "Alexander, Ruth Hammack". worldcat.org. Retrieved March 18, 2019.