UW-L celebrates centennial of Dept. of Exercise and Sport Scienc - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UW-L celebrates centennial of Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Department of Exercise and Sport Science is celebrating 100 years on campus.

It's the university's oldest academic department.

To celebrate the centennial, UW-L is kicked off a series of presentations Saturday with a talk on Walter Wittich, the man Wittich Hall is named after.

According to Professor Emeritus A.B. Culver, who hosted the presentation, Wittich started working for the university in 1917. At the it time was known as the La Crosse State Teacher's College.

A year later, he became the director of the school of physical education.

Culver said among Wittich's achievements, he thought CPR classes, developed the curling, fencing and sketching club, and made UW-L the top-rated physical education school in the nation.

"(Wittich) had very high principles, very high demands," Culver said. "The products of the students when they graduated represented his philosophy of being able to do things practically; not sit in a classroom and talk across a desk."

Wittich Hall will be gutted and updated in the summer of 2014.

The building is a historical landmark, so the exterior will remain intact.

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