In the fall 1905, the Women’s Athletic Association (W. A. A.) was organized. As a part of the Department of Home Economics, “physical culture for women” was held in the gymnasium on the first floor of the east wing of Margaret Hall. Consisting of three clubs, basketball, tennis, and hockey, the association thrived under the guidance of Winifred Tilden, who assumed the presidency of the W. A. A. in 1906. As president and director of women’s physical activities, she was in charge of several different areas relating to athletics for women. Her specialties were apparatus work and aesthetic dancing. Basketball also prospered greatly under her instruction, and the Iowa State women’s basketball team played many games, including one against Simpson College when Iowa State won sixteen to thirteen.
Field Hockey, 1906
Tilden remained head of the W. A. A. and women’s athletics through the 1910’s. In 1915, the newly formed Women’s “A” Fraternity made her an honorary member of the group. She was also the State Chairman for Iowa for the National Committee on Basketball Rules. She met annually with referees of girl’s basketball in the state of Iowa to demonstrate the rules and regulations of basketball through observation of practice games.
In 1923, Tilden retired from her work for women’s athletics at Iowa State. Her encouragement of and support for women’s physical activities enabled the Women’s Athletic Association to grow and prosper at Iowa State.