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David Ernst ’61

The UW’s swimming requirement was phased out in the 1960s.

According to the 1963-65 university catalog, to complete the basic instruction in physical education requirement, “all entering freshman men, except those who are exempt, will take tests in swimming, physical fitness and development, and a written examination regarding the knowledge of the human organism and its care.” By the late 1960s, specific mention of swimming tests was dropped but first-year female student received clarification on their PE requirement: “all freshman women are required to take a one-semester course in physical education … a series of proficiency tests will be given to women who wish to be considered for exemption from the basic course. These tests include motor ability tests, movement knowledge tests, and a posture silhouette.”

The university-wide PE requirement was eliminated in 1976.

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