Jo Safrit (1935-2023)

Margaret JoAnne Safrit (Jo), 87, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 17, at Well-Spring Retirement Community in Greensboro, NC. Jo graduated from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNCG) in 1957 and received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin specializing in quantitative measurement. She went on to hold academic positions at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and American University in Washington, DC. As a professor at UW, Madison, Dr. Safrit she was awarded the Henry-Basom Professorship, an endowed professorship she held until her retirement.

Dr. Safrit received many honors including the Luther Halsey Gulick Award from SHAPE America and the Hetherington Award from the National Academy of Kinesiology. She was recognized as a leading authority in the area of tests and measurements within kinesiology having authored numerous books and many scholarly articles on the topic.

Jo was an athlete and throughout her life and career supported athletic programs for women (basketball in particular). She and her partner Catherine Ennis funded many scholarships in support of women in physical activity. Jo was predeceased by her partner, Catherine Dunnington Ennis and is survived by her nephews, nieces, and their children. Memorial gifts may be made to Well-Spring Retirement Community or to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Safrit-Ennis Distinguished Professorship).

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