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Barbara Ellen Forker papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 10/7/13

Scope and Content

This collection (1947-2011, undated) documents Professor Forker’s professional life and includes correspondence, news clippings, published articles, and photographs. The papers contain biographical material and correspondence with professional colleagues. The range of Professor Forker’s activities is illustrated by materials relating to her professional writings, as well as by teaching files and files about professional organizations. Of interest are the materials relating to Dr. Forker’s tenure on the United States President’s Commission on Olympic Sports, which include notes, newsclippings and congressional proceedings. The collection also contains artifacts donated by Dr. Forker, including several awards and plaques presented to her.

Dates

  • 1947-2011, undated

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

Barbara Ellen Forker was born August 28, 1920 in Kendallville, Indiana. She received a B.S. (1942) from Eastern Michigan University, a M.S. (1950) from Iowa State College (University), and a Ph.D. (1957) from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Forker started her career as a physical education instructor at Garfield Elementary School (1942-1944) and Roosevelt High School (1944-1945) in Wyandotte, Michigan. During World War II, Dr. Forker left teaching to work for the American Red Cross (1945-1947) in the European Theater.

Dr. Forker began her career at Iowa State College (University) as a temporary six-month instructor (1948-1949). She was promoted to Assistant Professor (1949-1952), Associate Professor (1952-1957), Professor (1957-1990), and Head of the Women’s Physical Education Department (1958-1974). When the men’s and women’s physical education department were combined to create the Department of Physical Education, Dr. Forker became the first Head (1974-1986). She was named Distinguished Professor in 1986. In 1990, she retired and became Emeritus Professor.

Dr. Forker was instrumental in several student groups on campus, including advisor for NAIADS (synchronized swimming), and “I” Fraternity (honorary for outstanding women athletes). She also taught tennis, golf, swimming, badminton, and bowling.

Dr. Forker actively participated in numerous professional organizations. On the regional level, Dr. Forker was the president (1958-1959) of the Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (IAHPER); president (1965-1966) of the Central District Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (CDAHPER); and vice president (1962-1964) of the Central Association for Physical Education of College Women (CAPECW). On the national level, Dr.. Forker was involved in several organizations, including the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (AAHPER), where she was both the vice president (1970-1971) and the president (1972-1973). She was secretary (1966-1968) for the National Association for Physical Education of College Women (NAPECW). Dr. Forker belonged to three professional fraternities: Phi Kappa Phi (1957), Pi Lambda Theta (1954), and Delta Kappa Gamma (1955).

Perhaps her greatest achievement was her work with the United States Olympics (1975-1984). Dr. Forker was appointed a member of the President’s Commission on Olympic Sports (1975-1977). In 1977, she was a United States Delegate in the Second Educationists Session at the International Olympic Academy, in Olympia, Greece. Dr. Forker was also a member (1980-1984) of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Executive Board and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Education Council. In 1984, she was Chairman of the United States Olympic Committee Symposium at the Pre-Olympic Scientific Congress in Eugene, Oregon.

Dr. Forker presented over one hundred major speeches, and wrote for more than a dozen publications. Her emphasis was on introduction to physical education, diversity, changing philosophies, administration of physical education programs, and the history of physical education. Major speeches include: “The Historical Development of Intercollegiate Sports for Women”, “Title IX, The First Year”, Why Our Graduate Programs Need Accreditation”, and “Sports Governance: Women in the USOC Political Structure”. Among the publications are “What We Want Our Students To Know, To Be, To Do, Unity Through Diversity;” “Changing Philosophies in Intercollegiate Sports for Women;” “Olympism and Amateurism;” and “Leadership: The Key Ingredient.”

Dr. Forker was honored for her many achievements including the IAHPER Honor Award (1961); Professor of the Year, Iowa State University — Outstanding Teaching Voted By Students (1963); CDAHPER Honor Award (1964); Faculty Citation by Alumni (1966); and the AAHPER National Honor Award (1971). She is listed in several biographical sources including: Who’s Who of American Women, The Two Thousand Women of Achievement,; The World’s Who’s Who of Women, Outstanding Educators of America, and Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century. In 1997, Iowa State University renamed the Physical Education for Women (PEW) Building the Barbara E. Forker Building in her honor.

She died May 31, 2010 in Green Valley, Arizona.

Extent

10.59 Linear Feet (26 document boxes, 1 half-document box, and 1 map case folder)

Abstract

Barbara Ellen Forker received a B.S. (1942) from Eastern Michigan University, a M.S. (1950) from Iowa State College (University), and a Ph.D. (1957) from the University of Michigan. Before coming to Iowa State, Forker was a physical education instructor in Michigan (1942-1945) and during World War II worked for the American Red Cross (1945-1947) in Europe. Forker began her career at Iowa State College (University) in 1948 and retired as Emeritus Professor in 1990. When the men’s and women's physical education department combined to create the Department of Physical Education, Forker became the first Head (1974-1986). Forker also worked in various capacities with the Olympics including as a member of the President’s Commission on Olympic Sports (1975-1977) and Chairman (1984) of the United States Olympic Committee Symposium at the Pre-Olympic Scientific Congress (Eugene, Oregon). This collection contains correspondence, news clippings, published articles, photographs documenting Forker's professional life, and artifacts. The papers contain biographical material and correspondence with professional colleagues. The range of Professor Forkers's activities is illustrated by materials relating to her professional writings, as well as by teaching files and files about professional organizations. Included are materials relating to Dr. Forker’s tenure on the United States President’s Commission on Olympic Sports, which include notes, news clippings and congressional proceedings.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into eight series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1949-2011, undated (arranged chronologically)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1958-1986, undated (arranged chronologically)

Series 3: Panel Discussions, Papers and Speeches, 1948-1986, undated

(arranged chronologically)

Series 4: Coursework and Teaching Materials, 1947-1974, undated

(arranged chronologically)

Series 5: Professional Organizations, 1953-1980, undated (arranged chronologically)

Series 6: Olympics, 1974-1986, undated (arranged chronologically)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1947-1978 (arranged chronologically)

Series 8: Photographs, 1975-1997, undated (arranged chronologically)

Series 9: Artifacts, 1966-1997, undated (arranged by object number)

Items in related collections

RS 10/7. Iowa State University. Department of Kinesiology records, 1902-2013

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
RS 10/7/13. Barbara Ellen Forker papers, 1947-2011, undated
Date
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672