Building an Institution

The seven founders established the Boston School of Physical Education as an academy to train young women in the principles of self-comportment and efficiency and to advocate the importance of physical education for societal well-being. The development of physiotherapy curriculum, which revolved around the study of biology and anatomy in its earliest form, expanded the scope of the School. Leaders and students promoted the School's offerings through typical publication venues and regional mailing campaigns.  Open to the general public as well as students from area colleges and universities, demonstrations gave physical therapy students the opportunity to demonstrate treatments and physical education students to demonstrate the teaching of sports or games. These events began as forms of evening entertainment and transformed into a means of School promotion by mid-century.


Developing Educational Programs

Bouvé expanded its course offerings throughout the early twentieth century. When the Boston School of Physical Education opened, the School only granted a diploma in physical education. With students returning from service as reconstruction aides in WWI, physiotherapy courses quickly became an optional component of the curriculum. Although physiotherapy did not become a separate course of study until the 1950s, students increasingly enrolled at Bouvé because of its reputation as a leader in the movement to professionalize the discipline. In the 1960s, Boston-Bouvé College implemented a new major in recreation education, which trained students to guide people of all ages through relaxing and creative leisure-time activities. Throughout each period of curricular expansion, Bouvé has maintained high enrollment standards.

Gallery Image Captions
Senior party, group portrait of six women in dance formation, Marblehead, Maine, May 1915.
Archery class, ca. 1934.
Physical therapy students practice using rehabilitation equipment, 1964.
Boston-Bouvé College field hockey team, ca. 1965.