In his 1882-84 Biennial Report, William T. Reid (the University's fourth President) stated: "the gymnasium is rapidly assuming an importance almost, if not quite, coordinate with the many other branches of education." The section titled "Gymnasium," followed that titled "Health of Students." Health of students remains the primary goal of today's Physical Education Program.
In 1886 the Regents appropriated $3,000 for the establishment of a Department of Physical Culture, which opened in 1888 with Frank Payne, M. D. as Director. In the early 1890's, Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter began working with Berkeley's women students.
In the Pacific Medical Journal Payne reported on the work of his new department, expressed his hope that the women soon would have their own gymnasium, and made the significant observation that physical education involves more than most people realize.
W. B. Conant , M.D., (Instructor in Anatomy at Harvard), speaking at the Boston Society for Medical Improvement in 1894, expressed similar views. The two aims of exercise, he declared, were: (1) health and "fitness" of the circulatory, digestive, muscular and other bodily systems; and (2) physical, personal, and social development. These two goals have guided Berkeley's program for more than a century.