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Donna Marbuger - Distinguished Former Faculty
As a young girl growing up in Glenrock, Wyo., Donna Marburger knew teaching would be the path she would pursue and that UW was where she would enroll. What she didn’t know at the time was that the teaching career she dreamed of would not end in a K-12 setting but in higher education.
Donna entered UW as a music education major, but she harbored another vocational passion: physical education. Donna didn’t know that teaching in that field could be an option for women. It wasn’t until meeting legendary UW physical education faculty Ruth Campbell and Louise Thouin that she saw it was a viable option.
Donna graduated from UW in 1954 and accepted her first teaching job, as a physical education instructor at West Texas State University, in 1955. She taught women’s physical education theory and activity classes at WTSU for a total of seven years in the 1950s and 1960s. Donna completed a master’s degree in 1958 from the University of Colorado and an EdD from the University of Northern Colorado in 1965. She taught at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., and Western State College in Colorado before returning to WTSU in 1964 to serve as head of the Department of Physical Education for Women.
Donna returned to UW in 1967, as a member of the College of Education faculty. She taught physical education activity classes, including team and racquet sports and aquatics. Marburger also coached women’s field hockey and softball early in her UW career but chose to focus her energies on teaching. In addition to teaching courses on the history and philosophy of sport and physical education, physical education methods, organization and administration of physical education, Donna created and taught classes on the psychology and sociology of sport during the infancy of those disciplinary specializations. She also taught graduate classes and acted as academic adviser for many undergraduate and graduate students. Her publications and presentations dealt with peak experiences in sport, implications of Title IX, and early Wyoming rodeos and cowgirls.
Marburger served as coordinator of women’s physical education, acting head of the Department of Physical Education and acting associate dean of the College of Education. She also coordinated the UW Undergraduate Physical Education Professional Program, from 1972 until her retirement in 1992. Donna’s appointment transferred to the College of Health Sciences when the Department of Physical Education moved there, but she maintained close affiliation with her former education colleagues through the Wyoming teacher education program.
Among Marburger’s numerous awards: 2010 induction into the Wyoming Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (WAHPERD) Hall of Fame; 1990 Pat Ricketts Award for Outstanding Achievement (WAHPERD); and the 1981 AMOCO Foundation Good Teaching Award. In 2005, the UW Division of Kinesiology and Health named her Outstanding Alumna of the Year. That same year, the UW College of Health Sciences named her the Outstanding Alum.