Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Hazelton, Helen W.



  • Existence: September 8, 1894 - July 20, 1990

Biographical Information

Hazelton came to Purdue as the head of the Department of Women's Physical Education when it was established in 1929. Prior to arriving at Purdue, Hazelton had received her BA from Mount Holyoke College in 1916. She then earned professional training in the Department of Hygiene at Wellesley College. Hazelton began teaching at Northwestern University for four years, followed by a five-year stint at Minnesota University. While working, Hazelton returned to school and received a Master's degree from the Teachers College at Columbia University in 1929. Once she came to Purdue, Hazelton worked to expand and improve the fledgling Department of Women's Physical Education. Starting out with two instructors, the program soon had five. In addition, Hazelton expanded the number of sports classes that were offered for credit and emphasized the importance of well-roundedness by teaching both physical education classes and supervising extracurricular sports. By the early 1930s, Purdue coeds were able to earn a state teacher's license in the field of physical education. As one student wrote, Professor Hazelton "has won the respect and admiration of all women, whether interested in physical education or not. As the director of this department she has been associated with every women of the University." In addition to her responsibilities as an educator, Hazelton was also the Chairman of the National Section on Women's Athletics of the American Physical Education Association.