Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Bouve-Boston School of Physical Education, 1942-1964
|The Bouve-Boston School of Physical Education was affiliated with Tufts in 1942, and continued as an undergraduate professional program in the College of Special Studies until it was affiliated with Northeastern University in 1964.
The Bouve-Boston School of Physical Education was founded in 1913 with Marjorie Bouve as co-director. The school was for women with a secondary school education who wanted to teach or supervise physical education classes. From 1931 until 1942, the school was affiliated with Simmons College. A physical therapy curriculum added in the early 1920s was accredited by the national physical therapy organization in 1928.
In 1942 Bouve-Boston was affiliated with Tufts through the Division of University Extension and subsequently through the College of Special Studies. At the time, Tufts, feeling the pinch of losing enrollments to the war effort, sought programs to enroll women in order to generate income in that difficult time. Students in the school could work toward a B.S. in education with additional coursework in psychology and education. At first only qualified students, comprising those in the top one-third of their class, were permitted this option, though by 1948 most of the Bouve-Boston students were enrolled in the degree program. In 1961 a B.S. in physical therapy was added.
The school was originally located in quarters on Huntington Avenue in Boston. In the years immediately following its affiliation with Tufts, Bouve students had to commute between Boston and Medford to complete their coursework. However, in 1950 the school constructed a building with a gymnasium and classrooms on the Medford campus. In 1956 it added a dormitory for its students, named Ruth Page Sweet Hall, also in Medford. When the school disaffiliated in 1964 both of these buildings were transferred to Tufts. The gym became Lane Hall and the dormitory was renamed Hill Hall.
Throughout its affiliation with Tufts, the Bouve-Boston School struggled to find a place for itself in the Tufts community. Despite the administration's desire to place greater emphasis on the liberal arts curriculum in the program, students were segregated from the general Jackson population in separate course sections until after 1956. Bouve students were excluded from Jackson athletic teams on the grounds that their avocation would render them too competitive and exclude Jackson students from athletic opportunities. While Bouve students were permitted to participate in other student organizations in theory, it was left to the individual organizations to decide if Bouve students would be admitted.
When Nils Wessell became president of Tufts he voiced a general concern about the affiliated professional schools, including Bouve, and the lack of emphasis on liberal arts in their curricula. Following the university's self-study in 1958 he strongly advocated that Bouve restructure its course of study to a five-year plan, with four years devoted to liberal arts and the fifth providing the professional training necessary for licensure in physical education. In 1962, with the support of the trustees, Wessell presented Bouve and the other affiliated schools with the option of either adapting their curriculum to Tufts requirements and integrating fully with the university or disaffiliating from the university entirely. Bouve chose the latter option and in July of 1964 officially ceased its affiliation with Tufts and moved to Northeastern University in Boston. Students currently enrolled in the program were given the option of receiving either Tufts or Northeastern degrees, and the last student to receive a Tufts degree did so in June, 1968.
Source: LOH1; LOH2