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John Sundwall
The Michigan Alumnus 17


The University's new Department of
 Hygiene and Public Health, which in
cludes Physical Education, is in charge
 of Dr. John Sundwall who comes to 
Michigan this year from the University 
of Minnesota. This department was
 established last year to work in con-
junction with the Medical School, the
 School of Education and the Department
 of Intercollegiate Athletics. 

Dr. Sundwall comes well prepared for 
his work. He received the degrees of B. 
S. and Ph. D. at the University of Chi
cago, and the M. D. degree at Johns 
Hopkins University. He has served 
with the United States Public Health
 Service, and was Professor of Anatomy
 at the University of Kansas for six years. 
 For the last three years he has been
 Director of the Health Service which he
 established at the University of Min
nesota, where he served also as Professor 
of Hygiene and as Chairman of the 
Senate Committee in charge of intra-
mural sports. He has also won wide 
notice as a writer upon physical educa
tion and public health. 

Dr. Sundwall's department includes 
the following units: Health Service, 
 Men's Gymnasium, Women's Gymnas
ium and Intramural Sports. President
 Burton says: 

"It has within it large possibilities, 
 not only for the physical welfare of the
 entire student body, but consequently for 
the character of the educational work we
 are endeavoring to do. The problems of
 student welfare, which until recently 
have been largely overlooked by Ameri
can Universities, deserve the most care
ful consideration, especially in the large 
and rapidly growing student populations. Questions of hygiene, sanitation, public 
health and wholesome, challenging play 
for every student either in intercollegiate 
contests or in intramural sports, cannot
 be wisely disregarded. In the interests of 
high scholastic standards and sound eco
nomic conservation of values we must 
aim to correct obvious evils existing today and to create an environment in
 which positive ideals of superb physical
 health will flourish."

It is Dr. Sundwall's belief that public 
health activities are taking a new direc
tion. "Prior to the World War," he 
says, "our chief public health activities
 were confined to the control of environ
ment, —to streets, to the homes of ani
mals, to garbage, to roller towels, to
 water and milk supplies and to disease-
carrying insects and animals. But we are beginning to appreciate more and
 more that it is the person, rather than 
things, that is to be feared in disease 
transmission; and 95% of our future
 health activities will be concerned direct
ly with people. In dealing with the in
dividual, two more or less separate yet 
closely related interests and activities 
must be kept in mind by all those con
cerned with community health. The one 
is the promotion of health—the develop
ment of a sound, healthy, active body and
 keeping it at its best. The other is the 
prevention of disease. 

"The promotion of health is more or 
less a personal matter," in that the indi
vidual must be taught to care for him-
self.' "The prevention of communicable 
disease is a community affair," in that he 
must be taught to care about and for the 
health of others. 

"Through investigation and research, 
through properly conducted work in 
physical education, through required 
hygiene instruction of the right sort, 
through the Health Service, the Medical
 School, the School of Dentistry, and the
 School of Education, the University of
 Michigan will educate a large group of 
citizens and train public welfare directors
 and workers, thus assuring for the future 
that health and vigor which is funda
mental to the peace, happiness and con
tentment of mankind."

"An important phase of this new development at the University of Michigan
 along the lines of health conservation is 
the re-organization and correlation of all
 activities which have for their object 
the physical welfare of the student. 
 Hereafter this will be known as the De
partment of Students' Physical Welfare, 
 and it will include all intramural sports
 and games. Positive health will be the
 slogan of this department. Its aim will
 be to help each student entering the
 University to develop and maintain an 
active, healthy and efficient body, not only
 during the years spent at the University, 
 but in later life as well. 

"The Department of Student Physical 
Welfare hopes to interest every student
 in doing some form of regular daily 
exercise, and will make provisions for
 such exercise. Not only are we
 concerned in physical education 
and exercise as a health measure, but 
also for its educational and social quali
ties. There is too much truth in the 
characteristic caricature of the average 
student—stoop-shouldered, hollow-chest
ed, horn-bespectacled. His motions are 
as a rule sloven, the very antithesis of
 alertness, assertiveness and determina
tion. He has lost all inspiration to the 
Greek ideal of physical beauty. 

"The department will do all in its 
power to correct this condition. All are 
familiar with the splendid results of mili
tary training in this respect. "He walks 
like a soldier" is decidedly a compliment
ary comment. Why not develop a University of Michigan type of physique? 
Let the culmination of physical praise 
be, 'He has the bearing of a University
 of Michigan Student.' "

Dr. Sundwall hopes that, as time goes 
on, a scientific course in health promotion
 and disease prevention will be required 
of every college student. It will be the 
aim of his department to establish, in the
 professional schools, courses in hygiene 
and public health. The training of pub
lic health directors will be an important
 feature of the department, and emphasis
 will be placed upon the training of 
workers in the various fields of public 
health work, such as infant welfare, 
 school hygiene, social work, sanitation, 
 laboratories, and educational health work. 
 Short courses in hygiene and public 
health will be arranged as soon as pos
sible, to meet the needs of heatlh 
officers. Finally, the department will co-operate with the School of Education in 
training teachers and supervisors of 
physical education or physical welfare
 for colleges, high schools or grade 

"An unusual opportunity for investiga
tion and teaching of public health," says
 Dr. Sundwall, "is given the University 
by placing the Department of Hygiene 
and Public Health and the Department 
of Student Physical Welfare under one 
supervision. The latter offers excellent 
opportunities for the study and solution
 of community welfare problems. The
 University is therefore striving not only 
to give its students the best living condi
tions possible and to help them develop
 sound and vigorous bodies, but through 
its activities along these lines it desires 
to be of incalculable benefit to the state 
in helping people to solve all the various
 problems which have for their object the 
betterment of mankind."