Drawing of the plan for the original School of Human Ecology building in 1914 on aged, yellowish paper.

Sarah Sutherland graduated with the department’s first Bachelors of Science degree in 1911. That same year, the department moved from South Hall to Agricultural Hall and acquired the Practice Cottage. By 1913, students had the option of three majors; general course, foods, or textiles. During an influenza epidemic, members of the recently founded Omicron Nu cared for UW women who contracted the disease, because at this time there was a nursing program at the school.

1910 Design Class
A 1910 Design Class.

A small house located across the street from Agriculture Hall was purchased by the university in 1911 and dubbed the “Practice Cottage.” Three years later, the Home Economics and Extension Building opened at SoHE’s current location, 1300 Linden Drive.

During the Marlatt years, textiles and clothing were emphasized in the curriculum. The first required course of Spring 1910 introduced students to the chemistry, economics, and aesthetics of clothing and fabrics. By 1913, and students had the option of following a separate track that specialized in textiles.

Passage of the 1917 Smith-Hughes Act provided federal funds for training vocational education teachers. As a result, UW-Madison’s home economics department’s two-year training certificate program was replaced with a four-year degree program.

A Cooking Class in 1915.
A Cooking Class in 1915.

In 1915 Omicron Nu began; students in the upper ten percent of the junior class and in the upper twenty percent of the senior class were invited to be members. Omicron Nu promoted research, scholarship, and leadership for the well-being of individuals and families throughout the world. During the influenza pandemic of 1918 the members of Omicron Nu cared for UW women who contracted the disease – all their patients survived.