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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 59, Number 5 (Nov. 1957)

Chatterton, Grace
Wisconsin women,   p. 23

Page 23

. . . with Grace Chatterton
  Many of you remember Gladys Bassett '30, professor of
physical education. Two generations of Wisconsin
co-eds have learned skills and sportsmanship from this
small, efficient, vigorous woman. Now Gladys B., as she
is affectionately known, has retired after 32 years of teaching.
In 1925, when she first joined the University of Wisconsin
staff, she recalled, "girls wore black serge middies and
were very sports minded. They often walked several
miles every day, thought nothing of bicycling to the
country for a week-end and played tennis in
stockings and bloomers."
  Professor Bassett thinks today's young women can nat-
urally do more things than their mothers. But they lack
endurance and stamina. And she believes physical educa-
tion in a student's program more important than ever.
  What does a University professor do when she retires?
Gladys B. is resolved to go on with her brisk activities.
She'll have more time for golf, bowling, and curling. And
she plans to go back to school to study more history, art,
perhaps home economics.
  The question has been "raised by some experts," of
whether the proportionate number of women students
seeking a higher education should be reduced in view of
the swelling tide of college enrollments expected to
reach its crest by 1960. Such a ridiculous idea certainly
would be dismissed after reading "Investment in Creative
Scholarship: A History of the Fellowship Program of
the American Association of University Women 1890-
1956". This new book by Ruth Wilson Tryon, former
editor of the Journal of the American Association of Uni-
versity Women records the personal and professional accom-
plishments of 1121 women who have received A.A.U.W.
fellowship awards and international grants.
  "This history which Mrs. Tryon so ably sums up is the
history not only of women's education through sixty years,
"but of the changing circumstances of women's lives, and
of the changing conditions in which they found themselves."
writes Prof. Helen C. White, chairman of the Department
of English at Wisconsin and a distinguished author in her
own right, in her introduction to this book.
  In 1940 Helen Stratman-Thomas Blotz, '19, began a
Wisconsin folksong recording project. Under the sponsorship
Wisconsin Alumnus, November, 1957
of a University research committee and the Library of
Congress she traveled up and down the state seeking out
old original songs of various nationality groups never before
written down or recorded.
   A collection of more than 800 songs representing the
music and lyrics of over twenty different nationalities was
the result.
   The lumberjacks, the early French settlers, the Cornish
immigrants who mined the southwestern part of the state,
all had folk songs of their own and these are part of the
record. The actual recordings were sent on to the archives
of American folk songs in the Library of Congress music
division and some have already been released in printed
form. We are fortunate that duplicates of the originals have
been kept in our University Music School Library.
   This fascinating and valuable work is only one facet of
Helene Blotz's life. She has been bringing music to others
for many years as a public school teacher and University
music school professor. As manager of the Pro Arte Quartet
she has helped to bring the finest music of this type into
many Wisconsin communities and bring inspiration and joy
to many people young and old.
  Helen Stratman-Thomas Blotz, like Gladys Bassett, de-
serves the public recognition given her.
   Some months ago we told something about the seven-
year global tour of Lillian Mueller. Well, she recently
got back to Milwaukee, and reported the following:
   "I am concentrating on readjusting to the American
way of life and Milwaukee in particular. I'm becoming
slowly aware of this city's status as the home of the
Braves, after my foolish remark on arrival: 'Oh, are the
Boston Braves playing the Brewers now?' "
   We'll wager that slow awakening became a rapid one
when the Braves got themselves into the World Series,
and Milwaukee couldn't talk about anything else for
  A lovely southern garden framed by a red 'brick wall in
Winston-Salem, North Carolina is the pride and joy of Edna
Magnus Sprunt who attended the University from 1914 to
1916. World War I and the need for nurses inspired her to
become a member of that profession. Her first job after re-
ceiving a bachelor's degree in nursing was in Rochester,
Minnesota, where she met her husband, now a prominent
surgeon. Four children and nine grandchildren, "life's
extras", would keep the average woman busy enough but
Edna Sprunt has found the time to make many outstanding
contributions to her community. She has been active, of
course, in nursing and hospital circles, has long been a
worker in the Junior League, always has a church job of some
kind (she is presently a trustee of the Presbyterian Home
for the Aged), is a duplicate bridge expert, and loves

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