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Luther Gulick

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Luther Gulick

?One of the most remarkable personalities to leave an imprint upon YMCA physical
education was Luther Gulick? (Johnson, 1979, 55). Gulick, whose parents were missionaries,
was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1865. For fifteen years he traveled extensively because of
his background as a child of missionaries. Finally, in 1880, he was able to slow his travels
and go to Oberlin College until 1884. While at Oberlin, he suffered from headaches caused by
poor eyesight.Also during his stay at Oberlin, he roomed with another prominent physical
educator, Thomas Wood who later made a name for himself at Stanford and Columbia and
encountered Dr. Delphine Hanna, who was a leading pioneer in women's physical education. In
the fall of 1885, Gulick entered a middle preparatory class, but also took some college
classes to further his education. Shortly after his stay at Oberlin, he went to Sargent
School of Physical Training in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a period of six months. In April
of 1886, he became the physical director of the YMCA in Jackson, Michigan, but later
resigned to enter the Medical School of New York University. Gulick managed to pursue his
medical training program and also perform his duties as an instructor at the YMCA in
Springfield, Massachusetts. In October 1887 Gulick was employed by the International
Committee on a part-time basis to serve as the international secretary for physical work. He
held this position for thirteen years. Finally in March of 1889, he completed his medical
program. In the same year, he was named the superintendent of the Springfield YMCA. In May
1891 a paper read before the secretariat at a convention in Kansas City, clearly stated the
role that physical education could play within the framework of accepted theological
procedure. Gulick said, ?Our physical education should be all around; have reference to
spiritual and mental growth; be educative and ...

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