AHS History

Huff Hall in 1958, black and white photo

The College can trace its roots back to 1895 with the establishment of the department of physical training. The following history and timeline summarizes the evolution of the College of Applied Health Sciences. Please visit the following pages to see past distinguished Deans, Directors and Faculty.

Service, and Research Milestones

Community Health

  • Established in 1957 as Department of Health and Safety Information, later called Health and Safety Studies
  • Renamed Department of Community Health in 1992
  • Merged with Department of Kinesiology in 2005

Kinesiology

  • Established in 1895 as Department of Physical Training for Men and Department of Physical Training for Women
  • Department included the Athletic Association
  • PE for Men and PE for Women merged in 1972
  • Renamed Kinesiology in 1987
  • Merged with Department of Community Health in 2005

Recreation, Sport and Tourism

  • Established in 1957 as Department of Recreation, later called Department of Recreation and Park Administration
  • Renamed Department of Leisure Studies in 1975
  • Renamed Recreation, Sport and Tourism in 2004

Speech and Hearing Science

  • Originally Department of Speech Correction in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; renamed Speech and Hearing Science; joined College of Applied Life Studies in 1991

Rehabilitation-Education Services

  • Rehabilitation-Education Services established in 1948; joined College of Applied Life Studies in 1962. Rehabilitation academic program moved to Department of Community Health in 1994.
  • The Division of Rehabilitation Education Services is renamed the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services in 2004.

Center on Health, Aging, & Disability

  • Established in 2006 to promote health and wellness across the lifespan through interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach with special emphasis placed on healthy aging and disability issues.

AHS Timeline

weird machine examining open mouth of a man crouching
  • 1867 First year of the University, called the Illinois Industrial University. Manual labor required of all students for, among other things, "physical health and development". Three hours a day, five days per week, students were paid 7.5 cents per hour.
  • 1884 Illinois Industrial University renamed University of Illinois
  • 1895 Separate Departments of Physical Training for men and women were established
  • 1901 George A. Huff appointed Director of Physical Training
  • 1914 Establishment of "The University of Illinois School for Athletic Coaches" by George Huff, the first program of this type in the nation. Louise Freer is appointed director of physical training for women.
  • 1919 First four-year curriculum for men in physical education and athletic coaching approved as part of the College of Education
  • 1922 First male graduated with a B.S. in education under the major of Physical Education
  • 1924 First female graduated with a B.S. in education under the major of Physical Education
  • 1924 Establishment of the Department of Physical Welfare and Athletics
  • 1924 Dedication of Huff Gymnasium
  • 1932 School of Physical Education established, consisting of three Departments: Physical Education for Women, Physical Education for Men, and Health Service
  • 1937 The Athletic Association (currently Division of Intercollegiate Athletics) splits from the School of Physical Education
  • 1944 Organization of the Physical Fitness Research laboratory under the directorship of Thomas K. Cureton
  • 1948 Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program in Physical Education introduced, Rehabilitation Program for disabled students was established in Galesburg, IL
  • 1949 Rehabilitation Program moves to University of Illinois, Timothy Nugent director. Students can earn a degree in Health and Safety or Recreation
  • 1952 Sports Psychology Laboratory and Outdoor Education and Recreation Program started
  • 1957 Official beginning of the College of Physical Education. Steward C. Staley is appointed first Dean of the College. Departments of Health and Safety Information (later Community Health) and Recreation (later Leisure Studies) are formed.
  • 1961 University approves construction of the Rehabilitation Education Center.
  • 1962 Men's and Women's Intramural Athletics programs merge and become a division of the College of Physical Education. Rehabilitation-Education Services becomes a division of the College of Physical Education.
  • 1965 Rehabilitation Education Center opened, College of Physical Education Library opens
  • 1969 Dedication of Freer Gymnasium, Speech and Hearing Science becomes a separate Department in the College of LAS.
  • 1972 Intramural-Physical Education Building opens, the Department of Physical Education for Men and Department of Physical Education for Women merge.
  • 1974 Division of Intramural Activities becomes the Division of Campus Recreation
  • 1975 College of Physical Education is renamed the College of Applied Life Studies. Department of Recreation and Park Administration’s name changed to Department of Leisure Studies.
  • 1981 Beckwith Living Center opened, serving physically disabled students
  • 1985 Illinois Governor James Thompson declares September 7, 1985 to be Tim Nugent Day in honor of his numerous achievements with the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services.
  • 1986 The Institute for Child Behavior and Development’s name changed to Institute for Research on Human Development (and included the Office of Gerontology and Aging Studies).
  • 1987 The Department of Physical Education is renamed the Department of Kinesiology
  • 1991 Department of Speech and Hearing Science was transferred from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to the College of Applied Life Studies.
  • 1992 Department of Health and Safety Studies was renamed Department of Community Health.
  • 1995 The Department of Kinesiology celebrates its 100 year anniversary.
  • 1996 The Graduate Program in Rehabilitation-Education was consolidated with the Department of Community Health; the Office of Gerontology and Aging Studies was transferred from the Institute for Research on Human Development to the Department of Community Health.
  • 2004 Department of Leisure Studies is renamed Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism
  • 2004 The Division of Rehabilitation Education Services is renamed the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services.
  • 2005 Department of Kinesiology and Department of Community Health merge to become Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.
  • 2006 College of Applied Life Studies is renamed The College of Applied Health Sciences.