Following the establishment of the Waterman Gymnasium in 1893 for male students, Michigan alumnae set out to establish a similar space for women. By 1897, these dedicated female graduates, with the help of groups like The Michigan League and The Michigan Daily, as well as generous gifts from Regents Charles Hebard and Levi Barbour, had raised $15,000 for the cause. These funds were instrumental in the building of the Barbour Gymnasium for women, which was opened in 1897 and also contained a swimming pool. By 1900, the gym was officially completed at a cost of around $45,000. These facilities for female students helped further popularize athletics on campus by allowing women to participate in recreational sporting activities.