TWU President Carol Surles and TWU Alumni Kitty Winter Magee in Kitty Winter Magee Arena (Courtesy of the Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
Ground Breaking for Pioneer Hall with Mayor Bob Castleberry (Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
Young Kitty Winter Magee (Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
TWU President Carol Surles (Courtesy of the Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
Architectural drawing of plans for Pioneer Hall ( Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
Pioneer Hall Front ( Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
Ground Breaking for Pioneer Hall with TWU President Carol Surles (Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
TWU Graduation in Pioneer Hall (Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
TWU's Bio mechanics Lab (Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
Pioneer Hall's Indoor Pool (Courtesy of Texas Woman's University Woman's Collection)
Backstory and Context
Pioneer Hall was commissioned and built by the TWU administration in 1996 under TWU University President Carol Surles. Pioneer Hall was originally built to give the kinesiology, dance, exercise/sports nutrition and intramural programs more space and newer classrooms. Prior to Pioneer Hall being built the kinesiology department was split between five different buildings. Pioneer Hall was designed to house “all the curricula that involves the science of human movement” under one roof. It is 143,000 square feet and it cost $17 million to build. Part of the reason for that large space is because the Kitty Winter Magee Arena is a competitive sized gym that can be split into three smaller gyms. Kitty Winter Magee Arena is also used to host TWU graduations.
Pioneer Hall houses many diverse athletic areas and areas for studying movement. In addition to the Kitty Winter Magee Arena, Pioneer Hall include, training rooms, locker rooms, a bio mechanics lab, racquetball courts, a weight room, offices, and some of the dance rooms. The Pioneer Hall allowed TWU to gain an indoor pool, for aquatic classes year round. The natatorium is a six to eight lane pool with a diving area, it can be split so that more than one group can use the pool at the same time. The bio mechanics lab has the technology to analyze movement.
The Kitty Winter Magee Arena in Pioneer Hall is named after former TWU alumni and faculty member Katherine “Kitty” Magee. Magee got her bachelor's degree from TWU in 1934 and her master’s degree in 1938, and then went on to become a TWU professor. She worked to elevate women’s sports to the level of organized intercollegiate athletics. She was a founding member of the Texas Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (TCIAW). This organization led to many other women's athletic organizations. Magee also co-founded the TWU Pioneer Club, a group dedicated to raising scholarship funds for student athletes; which has since been turned into the Athletics Scholarship Fund. She was a TWU associate professor until her retirement in 1981.
Women’s sports have changed a lot since Kitty Magee’s time, they have risen in prominence and have expanded what counts as a sport. At the dedication of Pioneer Hall alumni Jane Pool spoke about how when she went to TWU in 1946, the women’s basketball team couldn’t wear shorts and were only allowed to use half the court. The rules for women’s sports changed over time as women’s sports gained more recognition as actual sports. Pioneer Hall allows for continued expansion and study of women’s sports; and it allows the kinesiology department to grow and continue making discoveries. TWU has won numerous championships in Kitty Winter Magee Arena including 10 years of Gymnastics championships. TWU has the only varsity level intercollegiate gymnastics program in Texas.
Bohmfalk, Christian. “Grads Return.” Denton Record Chronicle (Denton), April 21, 1998.
Bohmfalk, Christian. “TWU dedicates its ‘architectural jewel’.” Denton Record Chronicle (Denton), April 25, 1998, Vol 94, No. 261 ed., sec. A.
Caplan, Jeff. “Giving Back.” Denton Record Chronicle (Denton), April 25, 1998, sec, B.
Huckabay, Jennifer. “Indoor Ceremony Inaugurates Work on TWU’s New Complex.” Denton Record Chronicle (Denton), March 9, 1996, Vol 92, No. 220 ed.
Davis, Breyanna. “Magee Arena Renovation Almost Complete.” The Lasso (Denton), August 27, 2009.
Lowrance, Alissa. “Kinesiology Getting New Classrooms.” The Lasso (Denton), August 30, 1995, Vol 83, No. 3 ed.
McDonald, Heather. Dedication for Pioneer Hall Friday.” The Lasso (Denton), April 22, 1998.
“New Regents Sworn In; Approve Changes.” Texas Woman’s University Update Vol. 19. No. 27 (July 7, 1997):1.
Orden, Tori Van. “Groundbreaking Scheduled for Movement Science Building.” The Lasso (Denton), March 6, 1996, Vol 84, No. 8 ed.
Pioneer Hall, Denton, Texas. Texas Woman’s University, Marking a Trail, Texas Woman’s University, Denton. In TWU Digital. Accessed February 16, 2019. HTTp://twudigital.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p1281coll6/id/1734/rec3