A pioneer of dance in higher education, Margaret Erlanger was a professor of dance at Illinois from 1948 to 1974. Her wide-ranging interests led to degrees in physiology, chemistry, and zoology in addition to dance studies. She believed students should learn through examples of artistic excellence and hired professional artists as faculty and guests (including Willis Ward, Barbara Mettler, Anna Halprin, and Merce Cunningham). Erlanger went as a Fulbright scholar to New Zealand and took a sabbatical to Japan, where she met the dancer and sculptor Shozo Sato. Her connection with Sato led to courses in the art and culture of Japan that continue on campus today.