Eileen ALEXANDER (1911-2014)

Administrative / Biographical History

Principal of Bedford College of Physical Education, 1951-1971.

Eileen studied at Dartford Physical Training College and taught in two schools before she was appointed Lecturer at Homerton College, Cambridge where she rose to Deputy Principal. She was seconded into the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1941 for service in Anti-Aircraft Command. On release she returned to Homerton but in 1946 became a member of His Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools before being appointed Principal of Bedford Physical Training College in 1951. As Principal she oversaw a huge expansion of the College – in staff and student numbers, in the construction of new facilities and in receiving approval to award degrees and then honours degrees which was crucial to Bedford's survival.

Eileen also travelled widely as a representative of physical education in the UK.

After retirement Eileen set up the Alexander Trust, a charitable trust which provided funds for many individuals, schools and good causes.

Eileen was awarded the OBE in 1973, an individual membership of the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) in 1979, an Honorary Doctorate of Education by De Montfort University in 1995, the Ling Award for outstanding service to physical education from the Physical Education Association in 1997 and the CCPR Emeritus Award in 2004.