Women's Athletic Association records
Scope and Contents
The collection is composed of materials related to the administration, operation, and the various athletic-related activities of the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA). It is divided in five series based on content type and subject matter, and each series is arranged in alphabetical order. It consists of subject files, including materials such as correspondence, reports, programs, handbooks, memorandums, meetings and minutes, notes, newsletters, pamphlets, articles, bylaws, and other items; elective activity files related to the various electives sponsored by the association, including records of attendance, awards, and scores; financial records; a large number of photographic materials, mainly black and white photographs depicting women participating in the various activities sponsored by the association; and ephemera and printed materials, including a black and gold banner with the embroidered letters of W.A.A.
- Creation: 1926-1971
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.
Conditions Governing Use
Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.
Biographical / Historical
The Women’s Athletic Association (WAA), originally called the Athletic Association, started at the Maryland State Normal School in 1922. It was a campus organization made up of the entire female student body that planned and participated in the program of recreational sports and activities offered to all women students. It operated in cooperation with the Women’s Physical Education Department, and was created to sponsor extracurricular activities for women students and to promote interest in women’s athletics. It was governed by an Executive Board, consisting of officers elected by the women of the student body and managers appointed by the Board, whose main functions included determining the organization’s budget and acting in an administrative capacity over all of the organization’s activities.
The association sponsored an elective program of physical education activities, which was entirely voluntary and informal, and available to every female student. Each student was a member of the association by payment of the athletic fee, but only participation made them an active member. A variety of athletic-related activities were offered, including team sports and/or individual activities. All activities were informal, with a student manager supervising those activities with the aid of a faculty member, usually from the Physical Education Department. Some of those activities included soccer, field hockey, badminton, swimming, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, softball, and dancing.
These activities, which included intramural and extramural games, offered an opportunity for those women wishing to learn the basic skills of the chosen sport(s). A point system of awards was offered for attendance, and participants could earn class numerals, letters, and stars. The WAA was an active member of the Maryland Athletic and Recreation Federation of College Women (MARFCW), an organization that followed the national model (ARFCW), in which governance was primarily the responsibility of student leaders with the chief purpose of furthering athletic interests and activities for women.
In 1968, a Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics was proposed to serve as the official interpreter of the men’s and women’s intercollegiate program, and the WAA strongly opposed the adoption of the committee, citing that it would lead to the demise of the association by removing the responsibilities for women’s athletics from the Physical Education Department, as well as the WAA. By the early 1970s, the new name of Women’s Athletic and Recreation Association (WARA) had been adopted. As well, around this time, the organization appears to have experienced a decrease in interest by the student population.
By the mid-1970s, experimental changes took place concerning the operational structure of the association with the appointment of a coordinator, who working in cooperation with the coordinator of Men’s Intramurals, was to assist women interested in participating in intramurals, recreational and co-educational activities. It is unclear when and why the organization ceased to operate, but it appears that around the mid-1970s, the WAA becomes defunct possibly due to the new education amendments of Title IX. At Towson State College, the new regulations brought forth structural and organization changes to the Physical Education Department, which became one single department, instead of the previously separate men’s and women’s departments.
6.0 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The Women’s Athletic Association (WAA), working in cooperation with the Women’s Physical Education Department, was a campus organization created to sponsor extracurricular activities for women students and to promote interest in women’s athletics at the Maryland State Normal School. It was governed by an Executive Board, consisting of officers elected by the women of the student body and managers appointed by the Board, whose main functions included determining the organization’s budget and acting in an administrative capacity over all of the organization’s activities.
The association sponsored an elective program of physical education activities, which was entirely voluntary and informal. A variety of athletic-related activities were offered, including soccer, field hockey, badminton, swimming, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, softball, and dancing. The collection is composed of materials related to the administration, operation, and the various athletic-related activities of the WAA. Included are correspondence, reports, programs, handbooks, memorandums, meetings and minutes, newsletters, pamphlets, articles, bylaws, attendance records, account books, receipts, newspaper clippings, and other items. The collection also includes a considerable amount of photographs, chiefly depicting students participating in the various extracurricular activities sponsored by the student organization.
Series 1. Subject Files, ca. 1926-1970
This series consists of subject files of the Women’s Athletic Association, including correspondence, reports, programs, handbooks, memorandums, meetings and minutes, notes, newsletters, pamphlets, articles, bylaws, and other items.
Series 2. Elective Activity Files, 1930-1971
This series consists of materials related to the various electives sponsored by the Women’s Athletic Association, including attendance, award, and score records. Some of the electives documented in the series include basketball, bowling, archery, volleyball, field hockey, and dance. Other materials include index cards dating from 1957 to 1968, each one listing the name of a particular student, along with information regarding their class year, as well as when and which electives each participated on.
Series 3. Financial Records, 1948-1969 This series consists of materials related to the financial records of the Women’s Athletic Association. Materials include account books, and the records of receipts and disbursements.
Series 4. Photographic Materials, ca. 1930s-1960s This series contains a large number of chiefly black and white photographs, depicting women participating in the various activities sponsored by the Women’s Athletic Association. Some of activities highly represented include basketball, modern dance, swimming, and archery. Other themes include photographs relating to the visit of the Danish gymnastic team as part of their tour through the United States in 1963; and the award presented in 1968-1969 to Nancy Cox for Miss Physical Fitness. Other notable photographs include depictions of the May Day Celebration and a photograph with the inscription on the back: “W.A.A. Board at Frostburg.”
Series 5. Ephemera and Printed Materials, 1937; 1939; 1941-1943; 1957-1958; undated This series consists of items such as class numerals, letters, stars, a towel, and a black and gold banner with the embroidered letters of W.A.A. Also included are newspapers, clippings, and other materials chiefly relating to women’s athletics. There is also a blueprint of “The Maryland State Normal School at Towson, Schedule Semester I, 1942-43.”
A number of the notebooks contained little or no information, therefore the handwritten or typed pages within, were either photocopied onto acid-free paper, or removed from the notebook for preservation, as well as space-saving reasons. In the cases whereby the notebooks were discarded, the front cover was photocopied onto acid-free paper, as well as any other section containing relevant information.
Several photographs were removed from their respective frames. The written information contained in the back of the frames was photocopied onto acid-free paper, and the frames discarded. Other photographs were also removed from the photo albums in which they arrived, and those albums were disposed of.
Genre / Form
- College Sports
- College Sports for Women
- Maryland State Normal School (Towson, Md.)
- Student life and customs
- Women's Athletic Association
- Women's Athletic and Recreation Association
- Guide to the Women's Athletic Association records
- Armando Suarez, revised and transferred to ArchivesSpace by John Esh
- May 2013, 2020
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description