Algie Eggertsen Ballif

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Algie Eggertsen Ballif was born May 3, 1896, to Lars Echart and Ane (Annie) Grethe Nielsen Eggertsen. In the 1916 to 1917 school year, Ballif served a teaching mission for the LDS Church to Rick's Academy in Rexburg, Idaho. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1918 with a bachelor's degree in English. In 1920, she studied dance at Berkeley, and in 1921, she took an intensive ballet course in Salt Lake City. The following year, she studied gymnastics and eurythmics at Radcliffe College (the women's branch of Harvard University).

During her student years, she became involved with the dance aspects of the physical education classes, and in 1920, after teaching for a year at American Fork High School, Ballif was hired as a teacher at Brigham Young University. Among the things she taught were English, speech, religion, physical exercise and personal hygiene, social dancing, advanced gymnastics, advanced apparatus gymnastics, advanced marching and rhythmic exercises, dancing and social supervision, scout craft and beehive activities, and athletic coaching and directing. Even though she was only a paid teacher until 1923, her influence on the dance aspect of the physical education classes paved the way for the Department of Dance at BYU.

In 1930, Ballif was elected president of the state women's branch of the American Legion Convention (the Utah American Legion Auxiliary), and two years later, she became the national membership chairman of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Ballif was asked to run for the Provo school board in 1935, and she won the next five terms, serving for a total of twenty-three years. While on the school board, she also served two terms as president of the Utah School Board's Association.

In 1939, Ballif worked on Governor Blood's Committee of the Utah World Fair Commission, and spent a month as a pavilion hostess at the New York World's Fair. She eventually became vice-chair and then chair of the Utah Democratic Party. She later served two terms in the Utah House of Representatives, and was chairman of the Education Committee. When John F. Kennedy was elected as president, Eleanor Roosevelt asked Ballif to serve on the Education Subcommittee in the United States Commission on the Status of Women along with her self and Ballif's sister, Esther Peterson. Eventually, when every state was directed to have a State Status of Women Commission, Ballif served on the Utah Commission.

In 1965, Ballif, nearly seventy years old, was asked to serve as a member of the Commission of Public Welfare of the State of Utah. When the Welfare Commission was reorganized to the Department of Public Welfare two years later, Ballif was appointed as the director, and served in that post for two years. In 1967, President Lydon Johnson appointed her to the fifteen member Commission for the Study of Health Facilities in the United States.

In honor of a former theology and literature teacher at BYU, Ballif helped to organize the Alice Louise Reynolds Forum. Ballif was also involved throughout her life with such clubs and organizations as the Utah Federation of Women's Clubs (which she chaired), the International Relations and Community Service Divisions, Sorosis, the American Red Cross, and Polio March of Dimes.

Ballif married George Smith Ballif in the Salt Lake Temple on December 24, 1920. Together they had four children. George passed away in October 1977, seven years before Ballif, who passed away July 11, 1984.

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