Totman Gym is located on Eastman Lane across from the Northeast Residential Area. For much of its life it was named "North Physical Education Building", or "NOPE", for short. The building was finished in 1957. It is named for Ruth Jane Totman, a Conway native who began teaching at the age of 16. She was a pioneer for womenâ€™s physical education and became the first head of the department and professor of physical education. She retired in 1964.
Totman helped plan the facility. At the time, buildings were only named posthumously, so Totman had to wait until 1984, just five years before her death and only after a special exception was made, for the name to be changed to the one it bears today. The oldest Physical Exercise Department in the country, now called the Department of Kinesiology, is in the building named for her. (excerpted from UMass Magazine, Spring 2007)