Florida Women's Hall of Fame inducts Ruth Alexander
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ruth H. Alexander, retired distinguished professor of physical education at the University of Florida, was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame today in Tallahassee.
Alexander is a pioneer in the field of women’s sports. She served as chair of the department of physical education for women at UF where she established the “Lady Gator Athletic” program in 1972. Before this no opportunities existed for women to participate in intercollegiate athletics. This program is ranked in the top 10 in America annually.
Under her leadership, the Southeastern Conference women’s competition and championships were organized. In 1987, she was promoted to Distinguished Professor, an elite ranking that fewer than 10 women have ever received at UF.
Alexander was the first woman appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by President Nixon, and then reappointed by Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan. In 1987, the National Association of Sport and Physical Education inducted her to its Hall of Fame.
She is a founding member of the Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and was appointed and reappointed to the Council by four governors. She developed an exchange degree program in Sport Management between UF and the University of Loughborough in England.
She retired from UF after 36 years with the rank of emeritus and is the author of eight books.