Site 8: School of Physical Education/Natatorium (PE)
901 W. New York St.

Natatorium Exterior, 1982, UA24-004069
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives

Formerly known as the Normal College of the American Gymnastics Union, the Indiana University School of Physical Education and Tourism Management is the oldest academic program at IUPUI and the oldest physical education training school in the country.

Normal College opened in 1866 in New York to train instructors for the Turners Gymnastics societies. Established by German immigrants, Turner clubs had previously obtained their instructors from Germany and Switzerland, but by the turn-of-the-century, a shortage in trained instructors resulted from a shift in immigration towards southern and eastern European arrivals. In 1871, Normal College relocated to Chicago, but quickly returned to New York after their building burned during Chicago's great fire. They moved again in 1875, this time to Milwaukee, but eventually settled in Indianapolis in 1907. They were accredited by the state of Indiana in 1910. From 1907 to 1970, Normal College operated at the Athenaeum Building in downtown Indianapolis, at 401 E. Michigan St. 1

"Athenaeum Building Exterior, n.d.," UA24-003525,
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives

In 1932, Normal College partnered with Indiana University to allow a fourth year of instruction to be taught at Bloomington for a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. In 1941, due to financial difficulties, Normal College merged with Indiana University. Under the new arrangement, the first two years of courses were taught in Indianapolis, and the final two years in Bloomington. In 1970, Normal College moved to a larger location at 1010 W. 64th St., and in 1971 the Trustees of Indiana University voted to recognize Normal College as a separate school within the IU System, thus allowing degrees to be awarded in Indianapolis. In 1972, the school's name changed to the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management. The school's current building on New York Street opened in 1982. 2

As Normal College sought to adjust to a variety of changes between its merger with Indiana University in 1941 and its recognition as a school within the Indiana University system in 1971, two influential women worked to maintain excellence in physical education training.

Clara Hester
First Director Indiana University Normal College

"Clara Hester, 1958," UA24-006730,
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives

When she died in 1987, Clara Hester's obituary noted, "She had a substantial influence on the field of physical education." 3 Indeed, in her forty-six years at Normal College, Hester earned a national reputation for excellence in the preparation of physical education teachers. A graduate of Normal College, Hester also earned bachelors and masters degrees from Indiana University. She taught in the Indianapolis Public School System before joining the staff of Normal College in 1922. She became a full-time professor in 1924. From 1934 until 1941, Hester oversaw the school's activities as vice-president of Normal College. When the school merged with IU in 1941, she remained actively involved in its administration, first as assistant to the dean of the Indiana University physical education school and later as director of the IU Normal College. 4

As director, Hester worked to maintain the school's national reputation of excellence. She infused course curriculum with innovative methods of teaching physical education, and began to offer teaching experience to sophomore students. She also continued to teach summer classes at Camp Brosius on Lake Elkhart in Wisconsin. Hester had pioneered camping as a part of physical education training in 1933. 5 Hester taught many of the school's physical education courses, and was loved by her students. When she retired, numerous students wrote letters expressing their gratitude for her years of service. One former student recalled, "Each year I appreciate a little more the fact that you would not accept mediocrity from your students – although at the time I would have been glad to get by with a little less work." 6

In her spare time, Hester participated in many physical education organizations. She was a charter member of the Indiana section of the American Camping Association and served a term as president of the Indiana State Physical Education Association. She also chaired the National Committee on Preparation of Elementary Education Classroom Teachers for the Teaching of Physical Education, sponsored by the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. 7

Hester retired as director in 1963, after successfully maintaining Normal College's high standards and contributing to the continued development of physical education training at IUPUI. She retired from teaching in 1968. Hester loved her job, and once recalled, "It has been a privilege to work with young people for such a long time. It makes me feel very humble and at all times grateful for the rare opportunity to influence so many young teachers." 8

Lola Lohse
First Dean of the IUPUI School of Physical Education and Tourism Management

"Lola Lohse, 1963," Taken by News Bureau,
IU Medical Center, UA24-007321,
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives

Lola Lohse once recalled that in 1943, she began teaching at the Normal College, in part, because the cost of her apartment rent was more money than the allotment check sent to her by her soldier husband. 9 Over the years, she became a highly respected member of the IUPUI faculty. Lohse served as director of the Normal College from 1963 to 1971, and as the first dean of the newly formed School of Physical Education and Tourism Management after the IU Board of Trustees voted to recognize Normal College as its own separate academic school within the IU system. When she retired in 1977, Edward Moore, executive vice chancellor and dean of the faculties declared, "Her record and testimony from students and colleagues prove that she is an excellent teacher and a nationally recognized leader in physical education." 10

Before coming to the Normal College, Lohse taught at Indianapolis Public Schools and Marian College. She graduated from Normal College in 1935, and earned her bachelors and masters degree for Indiana University. She later also completed her doctorate at Indiana University. 11

When Lohse became dean in 1971, few women at IUPUI held the title of dean of an academic school. The only other female dean noted in an article printed in the Indiana Alumni Magazine was Dr. Emily Holmquist, dean of the School of Nursing. In fact, women deans of physical education programs were uncommon in United States universities and colleges, although opportunities for women in physical education were beginning to open. When Lohse was in high school, she was a runner, but found that there were no opportunities for female runners after graduation. Since then, she witnessed a change in attitudes towards women in sports. By 1971, she declared, "There is no image of masculinity attached to this career anymore. The fair and the pretty can be just as naturally athletic." 12

Lohse made many contributions to the development of physical education at IUPUI. As director, Lohse spent incredible time and energy working to obtain recognition for the Normal College as its own school within the Indiana University system. Under her supervision, the first four-year degrees from the Normal College (by now renamed the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management) were awarded in the spring of 1972. 13

Lohse also developed many community outreach programs. She established relationships with the Indiana School for the Blind, the Indiana Central Hospital, the Indianapolis Parks Department, and the Indianapolis Public Schools. She sent students to teach physical education classes to these children. For her many efforts to improve physical education training at IUPUI, and to extend fitness opportunities to young students, Lohse became the first recipient of the outstanding alumni award of Delta Psi Kappa, the national professional fraternity in physical education. 14

Besides working to improve physical education training at IUPUI, Lohse also provided free services to grade schools wishing to establish or improve their physical education programs. She served as a consultant for numerous schools, including St. Mary Child Care Center and the Indianapolis Hebrew Academy. 15

In 1968, Lohse became a founding member of IUPUI's University Women's Club. The club provided a network for members of the faculty and staff. It offered speakers, trips, and parties. Lohse served as the club's first treasurer and chair of its finance committee. Other officers were president Alice Duncan of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, vice-president Florence McMaster of the Law School, and secretary Mrs. Stanley Buford of the Herron School of Art. 16

Lohse retired in April 1977 and died 4 December 1999. Her dedication to the university was recognized in 2004 when Lohse House, a student apartment complex on the canal, was dedicated in her honor.

"Lola Lohse and Clara Hester, 1964," UA24-004735,
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives


1 "A Woman Dean? It's Normal!," Indiana Alumni Magazine (November 1971), 18-19.

2 Ibid.

3 "Services Set for Clara Hester, Ex-Director of Normal College," Indianapolis Star, 11 January 1987.

4 Ibid; "Clara Ledig Hester Retires After 40-Year Normal College Service," Indianapolis News, 6 August 1963, p20; "Mrs. Clara Hester," The Reporter, 6 no. 5, p3.

5 "Services Set for Clara Hester, Ex-Director of Normal College."

6 School of Physical Education Records, UA 036, Box 8.

7 "Clara Ledig Hester Retires After 40-Year Normal College Service;" "Lohse is Director," The Reporter (October 1963), p1; Untitled, The Reporter, 5 no. 1.

8 "Mrs. Hester Feted by Normal College," The Reporter, 12 no. 3 (December 1968), p1, 4

9 "Mrs. Lohse is New Dean at Normal," Indianapolis News, 20 September 1971, p17.

10 "Lola Lohse to Retire as University Dean," Indianapolis News, 22 June 1977, p21.

11 "Lohse is Director," The Reporter (October 1963), p1.

12 ""Mrs. Lohse is New Dean at Normal"; "Lola Lohse to Retire as University Dean"; "A Woman Dean? It's Normal!," Indiana Alumni Magazine (November 1971), p18-19.

13 "A Woman Dean? It's Normal!"

14 Ibid; "Lola Lennox Lohse Had Been Dean, Physical Education Professor at IUPUI," Indianapolis Star, 8 December 1999, pD9; News Release, 18 July 1972, UA 064, Box 5, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI; Green Sheet, 6 no. 17 (2 May 1976), p4.

15 "Lola Lennox Lohse Had Been Dean, Physical Education Professor at IUPUI."

16 "Women's Club Announces Plan," The Reporter, 16 no. 1 (October 1972); "Club Planned for Women," The Reporter, 11 no. 4 (February 1968); "Women's University Club of IU Holds Spring Luncheon at Marott," The Reporter, 11 no. 5 (March-April 1968).


List of Sites


Site 1: Robert Long Hospital (LO) 1110 W. Michigan St.


Site 2: William H. Coleman Hospital for Women (CF)
1140 W. Michigan St.


Site 3: Ball Nurses’ Residence (BR)
1226 W. Michigan St.


Site 4: Riley Hospital for Children (RI)
702 Barnhill Dr.


Site 5: Fesler Hall (FH)
1120 South Dr.


* Site 6: Bobbs Merrill Company Building
122 E Michigan St


Site 7: Cavanaugh Hall (CA)
425 University Blvd.


Site 8: Natatorium (PE)
901 W. New York St.


Site 9: Eskenazi Hall (HR) (Herron School of Art)
735 W. New York St.


Site 10: Education/Social Work Building (ES)
902 W. New York St.


Site 11: University Library (UL)
755 W. Michigan St.


* Site 12: IUPUI Center for Women
1317 W Michigan St


Site 13: Lawrence W. Inlow Hall (IH) (School of Law)
530 W. New York St.


Site 14: Administrative Building (AO)
355 N. Lansing St.



(* former sites)


© Website Copyright 2007, Amy Schramm
© Content Copyright 2007, Mary Owen
For educational use only