Dr. Clyde E. Ehinger and Ella Long Ehinger

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Dr. Clyde E. Ehinger and Ella Long Ehinger
Sports Science • West Chester

Dr. Clyde E. Ehinger and his wife Ella Long Ehinger built the foundation for the Physical Education Department that has evolved in today’s College of Health Sciences at West Chester University.

Early in the spring of 1890, Dr. George M. Phillips led a Normal School contingent to the Brooklyn Normal School of Physical Education. Their purpose was to hire a Director of Physical Training. Instead, they hired both Dr. Ehinger and his wife Ella to joint positions. They would serve at West Chester from 1890 to 1921. Dr. Ehinger was a practicing physician before he and his wife switched to the field of hygiene and physical training.

The Normal School’s new gymnasium was opened on August 1, 1890 (it is no longer standing). Dr. Ehinger put on his first boys’ gymnastic exhibition on December 16, 1892. This was followed by the first girls’ exhibition on February 11, 1893. Team sports for boys would develop prior to 1900. They included track & field, baseball, and basketball.

Dr. and Mrs. Ehinger were highly recognized in their field and often spoke at conferences and wrote articles. By the time they retired in 1921 men’s sports were firmly established and the foundation for women’s sports had been started.

During the late 1920s plans were developed for a new gymnasium. This new gymnasium was dedicated on April 16, 1931. The Ehingers returned from Iowa to attend the dedication. That day the new facility was named the Ehinger Gymnasium in their honor. It continues to serve West Chester University today.

The Spanish-style home the Ehingers built is still standing at the corner of West Rosedale Avenue and Cerado Avenue in West Goshen.

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