The Pieces of a Bigger Story: How Early Women Penetrated the Male-Dominated Field of Engineering


Margaret Ferron, upper left, and Dorothy Craig are examples of how World War II influenced women in certain fields of work. Ferron is seen here with her drawing board in the mechanical drawing lab while Craig is seen doing some “experimenting.” Used with permission, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

By Eliza Jane Pace

In 2019, according to the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis at the University of Utah, there are a great number of people enrolled in engineering majors. However, there are large discrepancies in the numbers when comparing genders. At a pre-major level for instance, only 3,387 are women while men number 4,290, a whopping 903 person difference. That’s not the only area of difference. In every aspect of every engineering major, pre-major, to bachelors, to doctorate, men outnumber women. This difference is not unusual. The Daily Utah Chronicle has several articles as early as the 1930s talking about the novelty of women enrolled in engineering majors.

The professor and head of the electrical engineering department, Dr. L. D. Harris, was quoted in The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 17, 1961, stating, “We’ve had two women graduate in this field -— both in the 1930s.” In an earlier article it mentions the names of these two women listed as graduating from the engineering program, Dorothy Blades in 1924 and Mary Frances Plumb in 1934 in The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 27, 1935.

Even by 1961, 31 years later, only one or two women decided to take on the challenge of entering the engineering field as stated in The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 17. This article will explore the women who penetrated these fields and how their position as women in engineering fields was treated.

Each of these women have their own reasons for entering the field and their own opinions about women in engineering.


Judy Brown was honored for her achievements in her field of civil engineering by the Associated Women Students. She was one of only two women enrolled in engineering fields. Used with permission, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

A senior in civil engineering, Judy Brown, was a transfer student from the University of Wyoming and used to being the only girl in her classes. She continued as the only woman registered in upper classes in any field of engineering at the University of Utah and was eventually honored by the AWS or Associated Women Students, reported The Daily Utah Chronicle on November 16, 1961, for her accomplishments in her field of study and her 3.92 grade point average.

Despite being told on her first day that the “Frosh English class was across the hall,” Brown laughed. “They finally decided that maybe I belonged.”

Margaret Ferron was highlighted in The Daily Utah Chronicle, February 25, 1943, and chose to enter engineering because it was a family affair.  She said that despite what others believed she was not in the field for attention or to find a man. “My father happens to be an engineer, and so are my two brothers; in fact, I just come from an engineering family, and I decided to carry on the tradition.”

Ferron added, “There’s a lot of prejudice against women engineers at the present time. But I think it will be all dispelled as the war makes it more and more necessary for women to be trained to take the place of men in the engineering field.”

According to The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 27, 1935, Opal Cummings age 16 was the only girl registered in any field of engineering at the University of Utah at that time. A graduate of local West High School, she believed that “women are just as well qualified as men in engineering.”

Each of these women have a story, and represent part of an even bigger story still being told. Women have certainly increased their presence in the workplace since the early to mid 1900s, but the trend of males dominating in engineering fields continue.

Some claim it’s because of the lifestyles women lead, with many choosing to have children or raise a family, lifestyles that are not as conducive to having such an intensive major and job. According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune in June 2013, “Far fewer women study STEM fields at Utah colleges -— just 12% of engineering degrees … go to women.” However, even the language of the articles portrays a difference of societal expectations, as seen in The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 17, 1961, which focused on how the female students would still “find a husband.” It’s hard to tell how much of this large gap in numbers is because of sexism and oppression or if it’s simply the result of a different culture and expectations. But one thing is for sure, these early women who were willing to push beyond any barriers in engineering fields have paved the way for women to come.

Eliza Jane Pace is a sophomore at the University of Utah, majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in music. 

Primary Sources

Girl Engineer Dislikes Males,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 27, 1935.

Is Engineering for Males Only? Nope! Ute Coeds’re In,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 17, 1961.

AWS Honors Engie Coed,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 16, 1961.

Utah Coeds Go All Out for War,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, February 25, 1943.

University to Graduate 296 Students,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, May 18, 1944.

Walter Crosby Eells, “Earliest Collegiate Degrees Authorized for Women,” Educational Horizons 39 no. 4 (Summer 1961): 135-37.

Lindsay Whitehurst, “Why are Utah women far behind men in STEM education, jobs?” The Salt Lake Tribune, June 8, 2013.

Secondary Source

Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis, The University of Utah.





Blood Drive Saves Lives

By Aubrey R. Olsen

After the end of World War II and the Korean War, the world, and the United States, were on edge waiting for the next war to break out. It wasn’t long until the Vietnam War started and many were back to serving, getting deployed and fighting for our country. With this being the case, injuries were plentiful and blood was in a very high demand. In an effort to help with the massive blood shortage the United States was facing, coeds at the University of Utah held a week long blood drive in hopes of doing their part for the war here in Utah, while so many were fighting for the United States in Vietnam.

The Blood drive was organized and ran by cochairmen Deanne Simmons and ROTC sponsor Sally Anderson. They encouraged all students, faculty and staff to participate and do their part for our country by participating in the blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Union from November 13, 1961 to November 17, 1961. The goal was to donate and collect a total of 500 pints of blood in the span of that one school week, Monday through Friday.


Blood drive cochairs Deanne Simmons, left, and Sally Anderson. Image appeared in the November 13, 1961, issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle.

According to the November 13, 1961, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle, “Coed ‘Vampires’ to Stage Bloodletting on U Campus,” coeds were encouraged to donate blood by being given incentives as motivation. Simmons and Anderson created a contest in which the club or organization on the University of Utah Campus that donated the most blood would be rewarded with prizes. There were four different categories that students could claim they were a part of as a way to win the prize. The categories were fraternal, service and religious, residence hall, and military.

An encouragement that was frequently used around campus and in the entire weeks issues of the Utah Chronicle was to do your part for our country while the brave young men are fighting and do what you can on the “home front.”

On top of having incentives and prizes as a reason for coeds to donate, it was announced in the November 14, 1961, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle “Blood, Sweat and Tears Not Necessary – Just Blood,” that if coeds were to donate to the blood bank during the blood drive, they would be able to draw from the blood bank for free at any point in time in the future for free. This was a really big deal for people as the memory of World War II was still fresh on people’s minds and the fear and constant threat of there being another war on the United States “home turf” loomed in the back of people’s minds.

By the end of the first day of the week which was full of events and donations, University of Utah students, staff and faculty were able to donate a total of one hundred and seven pints of blood. According to the November 15, 1961, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle in an article titled, “Blood Oozes from Donors as Utes Donate 107 Pints,” students were continuously encouraged by blood drive sponsors who were stressing the importance of building a large reserve of blood. These encouragements worked as donations continued to flood in over the course of the next 4 days.

It was stated in the November 17, 1961, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle Article “U Blood Drive Ends With Counts in Red,” at the end of the week, the students, faculty and staff had donated a total of over 474 pints. Carolyn Wheeler, chief nurse claimed that even though the University didn’t meet their original goal of donating a total of 500 pints, the University of Utah and local blood banks are taking the week as a win and are “proud of the outcome and number of donations made.”

The events that took place in November of 1961 during the blood drive on the University of Utah’s campus are still vastly important to us today for many reasons. Blood donations always seem to be in short supply and blood banks and the American Red Cross Association are constantly in search of blood donations to help with people’s medical needs both locally, nationally and internationally.

Another thing we can learn from and relate to with the blood drive of 1961 is the current state of the United States and the fact that we’ve been involved in a constant war in Afghanistan since 2001. While many of us aren’t actively in the United States Military or plan on joining the United States Military, we could help with the war efforts by donating blood to those injured in the war.

Aubrey R. Olsen graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication in December 2019 and is working in advertising.

Primary Sources

Blood, Sweat and Tears Not Necessary – Just Blood,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 14, 1961.

Blood Oozes from Donors as Utes Donate 107 Pints,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 15, 1961.

Coed ‘Vampires’ to Stage Bloodletting on U Campus,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 13, 1961.

U Blood Drive Ends with Count in Red,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 17, 1961.

Utes Donate 269 Pints; Blood Drive Ends Today,Daily Utah Chronicle, November 16, 1961.

Foreign Students’ Experience at the University of Utah in 1961

By Yunji Kim

It is common to see international students at the University of Utah nowadays. As students have more opportunities to study abroad, it has become much easier to meet people from various countries. There is the University of Utah Asia Campus in South Korea, which was established in 2014. Due to having a campus in South Korea, students and faculty members from two different countries can make connections with each other. However, foreign students were not a common sight in the 1960s. Even until the 1970s, many Chinese students at the University of Utah did not feel comfortable attending the university in the United States. Since it was unusual to have international students at that time, these students had a hard time adapting to a strange environment.

Egyptian Dinner

The Egyptian dinner was an important cultural gathering. This photograph was published in the May 1, 1961, issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle.

The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on May 8, 1961, that an Egyptian exchange student, Gamal Arafa, attended the University of Utah for a year. Before Arafa returned to his homeland, he shared his experience at the university, and how the attitude toward foreign students should be changed. What he liked about the university was how the students were studying based on the textbooks instead of lectures. He also liked how the university required students to take courses in different areas instead of only courses that are related to their major. However, he criticized the student government for not doing anything for students. He thought America, especially in colleges, neglected foreign students. His words were controversial among local students at the University of Utah.

In “Fit Punishment” published on May 8, 1961, one of the students said local students need to pay more attention to foreign students since they felt neglected in America. On the other hand, several students expressed unpleasant feelings toward Arafa’s interview. In the article, “We Got Letters from Our Readers,” published on May 9, 1961, McPherson, Dannenberg, and Naegle said that it is hard to take the opinions from him, and Emmett said foreign students come to the university to study like other local students. Therefore, the foreign students should  be treated like any other students.

Students from Abroad Committee Orientation Meeting

This image was published in the October 5, 1961, edition of The Daily Utah Chronicle.

There were contrasting opinions among students about foreign students. Although Arafa felt that local students needed to pay more attention, there were several events held for foreign students. According to The Daily Utah Chronicle published on May 1, 1961, there was an Egyptian Dinner as a school event that allowed the students to taste the Egyptian food. The university has put an effort into giving opportunities to indirectly experience the foreign culture for students.

Moreover, there was an orientation for foreign students. On October 5, 1961, The Daily Utah Chronicle stated that the students from the abroad committee planned to develop foreign student programming on campus. Due to having many events for international students, The Daily Utah Chronicle from May 4, 1961, announced that president A. Ray Olpin was recognized for his work in education through foreign exchange programs.

Despite these efforts the university put into, foreign students from the University of Utah still had difficulties living in the United States. In 1972, Chang surveyed Chinese students from the University of Utah, and they had a problem adjusting to the environment. According to Chang, Chinese students suggested the school to provide more information to help them understand the school, culture, social customs, a more adequate orientation program such as conversational and slang English, and more social activities to allow opportunities to be exposed to American culture and people. However, some of the difficulties Chinese students listed were not what the school or local students could address such as homesickness or cultural background which includes difference in language and social life. Although the university tried several ways for foreign students to feel more welcomed, some students felt there were not enough.

Due to the differences in cultural background and since America is not their home country, there are limitations for foreign students to feel at home. Foreign students facing difficulties in adaptation are continuing which both the university and the foreign students need to put more effort to break down the cultural barriers. Currently, the University of Utah did not only end up having events for international students but establish Asia Campus in South Korea which the students from both countries can experience and make connections with each other. Making connections with various countries would lead to breaking down the cultural barriers in the future. The data from the University of Utah states that the percentage of international students has increased from 25% to 29% for the past four years. As the rate of international students increases, the boundary between local and foreign students would be reduced because students would be exposed to diverse students with different background. Therefore, the foreign students would gradually feel less neglected while attending at the University of Utah.

Yunji Kim graduated in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and a minor in Psychology.  

Primary Sources

Foreign Student Meet Set For Program Orientation,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 5, 1961.

Students from Abroad to Present Egyptian Dinner,” Daily Utah Chronicle, May 1, 1961, 3.

Recognition,” Daily Utah Chronicle, May 4, 1961, 2.

United States’ Attitude Week Says Foreigner,” Daily Utah Chronicle, May 8, 1961, 1.

Fit Punishment,” Daily Utah Chronicle, May 8, 1961, 2.

Neil McPherson, John Dannenberg, John Naegle and Lester Emmett, “We Get Letters from Our Readers,” Daily Utah Chronicle, May 9, 1961, 2.

Secondary Source

Chang, Pang-Hsiung. Problems of Adjustment for Chinese Students at the University of Utah. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah, 1972.

Spring Blood Drive: Urgent Blood Need from University of Utah Students

By Dabin Kim

The American Red Cross (ARC) annually provides blood drive at the campus for students to participate in donating blood at the University of Utah. During World War I, ARC had some time being an important organization, especially in Utah. Before the United States officially participated in the war, a Red Cross was helping out other participated European countries by sending doctors, nurses or any other medical supplies. As the U.S started to be in WWI, New Mexico and Utah were a lot helped by ARC as they were in need of doctors and medical supplies. (“Utah Historical Quarterly,” 2019) As ARC played a big role, it became one of the powerful institutions in Utah. (Watson, 2017)


Carol Wathen, working as a nurse at American Red Cross, is checking blood pressure for Ralph Rhudy who was a former student at the University of Utah. Originally published in The Daily Utah Chronicle on April 27, 1961.

Comparing to previous participants from 1960s, students started to not give attention to the blood drive at the campus. As it became urgent and needed many students to be motivated, ARC actively advertised through Daily Utah Chronicle.

Not just giving out flyers and advertising the opening time of blood clinic and location of the spring blood drive, Red Cross started using a different strategy to which was advertising differently. Daily Utah Chronicle included Betty Lou Sine’s announcement who could affect powerfully for students on April 25, 1961. As a representative of the army who were supporting the drive, have made an announcement to acknowledge for an active participation who hesitates for the donation.

Students who were over 18 with a minimum of 110 pounds were all qualified to donate. The signed permission from parents needed was the man who is not married and under 18 mentioned on April 27, 1961, by Daily Utah Chronicle.

At the Union Ballroom at the University of Utah, some physicians were attending to receive any question and checked the students who could be qualified to participate in the donation. Even the blood clinic was open for all students to visit from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. listed on April 25, 1961, by Daily Utah Chronicle.

Red Cross elaborated about why it is stressing, and they are in a situation in need of people. It was urgently needed by physicians and surgeons “stock of whole blood and plasma” to use in an emergency situation or during operation reported on April 25, 1961, by Daily Utah Chronicle.

As participants were limited to 39 students, Daily Utah Chronicle published on April 27, 1961, showed how easy to donate blood at the blood drive. It was easily explained by the photograph with John Allred who was an ROTC student donating blood by the Red Cross worker Tella Okubo.


American Red Cross worker Tella Okubo is helping a volunteer, John Allred, donate his blood. The ROTC sponsored this campaign. Originally published in The Daily Utah Chronicle on April 26, 1961.

By trying out various strategy of advertising the spring blood drive at the University of Utah campus such as giving a strong announcement from the head of army, the participation rate has been significantly recorded higher rate. On May 15, 1961, an award who won the competition by winning for donating the blood most was introduced by Daily Utah Chronicle. Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and the Air Force ROTC were both awarded the first place for the recent spring blood drive.

Continuance to this award announcement, Utes received another award from Red Cross on May 26, 1961, announced by Daily Utah Chronicle. Red Cross provided an award for university by contribution to their recent blood drive at the campus. A. Ray Olpin had received a reward for representing the University of Utah.

The semiannual blood drive was re-announced through Daily Utah Chronicle on April 16, 1962, about their combined sponsorship from the Army, Air Force and Red cross. The advertisement brought different reasoning for blood donation. The quote from Mr. Streadbeck who was a former coordinator for a blood drive at the University of Utah, was motivating the sympathy and response saying, “You can share your good health by giving blood to the less fortunate”.

‘Spring Blood Drive’ campaign at the University of Utah starting with 39 participants were improved through different advertising strategies by advertising with Daily Utah Chronicle. After a year passed from 1961’s spring blood drive brought a different type of advantages for blood donation. Blood drive institution presented another promising blood for potential participants. Students who regularly donate blood while they are as a student at the University of Utah will get advantage by being served privilege when receiving blood from Red Cross when the participant or their family requires blood having an emergency. Until nowadays, University of Utah holds campaign from College of Health with a same way to motivate student’s blood donation. (Robinson, 2017)

Dabin Kim is a senior at the University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism and film studies.

Primary Sources

“Spring Blood Call Sounds for U Today,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 25, 1961.

“Campus Spring Blood Drive Continues Today,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 26, 1961.

“Last Chance to Donate Blood Offered Today,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 27, 1961.

“Utah Receive Red Cross Award,” Daily Utah Chronicle, May 26, 1961.

“Share Health, Give Blood, Says Official,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 16, 1962.

“Win Blood Drive,” Daily Utah Chronicle, May 15, 1962.

Secondary Sources

“Remembering the Great War, 1918-2018.” Utah Historical Quarterly 86, no. 3 (Summer 2018). Special issue dedicated to the topic.

Robinson, Zach. “Why Should You Donate Blood,” University of Utah HealthFeed Blog, March 7, 2017.

Watson, Susan. “A History of Service: The American Red Cross During World War I,” Red Cross Chat, American Red Cross, April 10, 2017.


Retracing the Course of National Student Association at the University of Utah

By Sophia Jeong

The United States National Student Association (NSA) that operated from 1947 to 1978 was an organization of college and university student governments. The first conference was at the University of Wisconsin in 1947. It established the first headquarters in Madison. It was conducted by college student body members who were elected by each school’s students. Margery Tabankin was the first woman president of the NSA in 1971. In 1978, the Association merged with the National Student Lobby (NSL) and newly established the United States Student Association (USSA). (Angus, pp. 9-13)

With the membership of NSA, university student governments could connect with national and international affairs. NSA had relationships with “Students for a Democratic Society, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Young Americans for Freedom, and the National Student Lobby,” wrote J. Angus Johnston, in a dissertation published in 2009. (p. 10) The purpose of the Association included “academic freedom, academic responsibility, and student rights,” according to Sue Scoffield in a Daily Utah Chronicle article published April 16, 1963. From the University of Utah, five elected delegates went to NSA Congress to discuss educational issues with more than 1,300 students from other schools’ delegates. For example, “the impact of aggression in Koreans upon students” was one of the topics, wrote Martin M. McLaughlin in a journal article titled “National Student Association” published May 1951. (p. 260)


ASUU’s encouragement for the students to participate in the panel discussion of April 1961 concerning the retention of National Student Association membership. Used by permission, The Daily Utah Chronicle.

However, the opponents to the National Student Association argued that NSA took sides on several national and international issues that several member schools would disagree with. Front-page articles in Daily Utah Chronicle stated that the Association could not represent every school because “every student government does not belong to it” from the article titled “Student’s Decisions” published in February 1961. Along with the conflicts, students made various opportunities to share their thoughts on NSA.

The National Student Association was highly criticized after the formation of Big Eight. Big Eight refers to eight different schools that chose not to correspond with NSA’s decisions. The group included the University of Colorado, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Nebraska, University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, and the University of Iowa. In October 1960, Daily Utah Chronicle announced that NSA was severely criticized during the National Student Congress in Minneapolis. NSA was criticized for its “lack of representativity,” according to the article.

In 1961, there was voting on the retention of University membership in the Association at the University of Utah. In April 1961, Daily Utah Chronicle announced the time and place of the election. There had been intense discussions on the issue. For example, John Bennion, Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) president, encouraged students to attend “Kennedy ‘Peace Corps’ Panel-Forum” to discuss the campus committee for the National Student Association. “All students are encouraged to attend and to participate in the discussion,” reported in a Daily Utah Chronicle article published April 20, 1961. Daily Utah Chronicle reported on April 26, 1961, about the vote result, that “Utes favored maintaining membership in NSA with a vote of 1,454 to 368.”


Legislators listening to the chairman of the Utah Region of NSA, suggesting the University of Utah withdraw from the organization in November 1960. Used by permission, The Daily Utah Chronicle.

The United States National Student Association (NSA) set the example of possible conflicts and issues that emerge in the process of constructing the national scale of a college student organization. Its purpose was not stable enough to satisfy all the members. Daily Utah Chronicle reported on December 5, 1963, explained that IVY League schools such as Yale and Dartmouth decided not to maintain the membership of the National Student Association. Zane Miskin’s article included in Daily Utah Chronicle on November 11, 1965, says that Jim Moss, the president of ASUU suggested an idea of joining Associated Student Governments (ASG) instead of NSA because “NSA bypasses student government and deals directly with the student while ASG deals with student government.” The University of Utah maintained the membership until the reform. The Association changed its frame into the United States Student Association (USSA) by merging with the National Student Lobby (NSL). Still, it had created huge impacts on colleges in the United States. (Angus, p. 263)

Sophia Jeong is a senior at the University of Utah. She is studying communication and film and media arts with a minor in documentary studies.

Primary Sources

“NSA What is the Story?” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 17, 1954, 2.

“NSA Draws Fire from Big Eight,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 13, 1960, 2.

“Regional NSA Chairman Addresses Student Senate,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 3, 1960, 1.

“Student’s Decision,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 17, 1961, 2.

“Utes Vote Today on Offices, Referendums,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 19, 1961, 1.

“Kennedy ‘Peace Corps’ Panel-Forum in Offing,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 20, 1961, 3.

Jackie Back, “Students Affirm NSA, Class Officer Proposal, “ Daily Utah Chronicle, April 26, 1961, 1.

“What is NSA?” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 16, 1963, 14.

“Ivy Schools Drop NSA,” Daily Utah Chronicle, December 5, 1963, 3.

Zane Miskin, “ASG or NSA; Which to Join?” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 11, 1965, 5.

Secondary Sources

McLaughlin, Martin M. “National Student Association,” The Journal of Higher Education 22, no. 5, (Spring 1951): 258–286.

Angus, Johnston, J. The United States National Student Association: Democracy, Activism, and the Idea of the Student, 1947–1978. PhD diss.

Jim Rhead: A Forgotten Basketball Legacy

By Eric Jensen

University of Utah Men’s Basketball started with more of a whimper than a bang at the University. According to Jason Hansen’s Utah Basketball A History of the Runnin’ Utes Since 1908, the Men’s game was born in 1908 while women’s basketball made its debut in 1897. It was proposed that a men’s team be started in 1901, but a fire on campus had prevented the men’s team from participating. Hansen wrote that the first season at the U was “a rough one,” as the team ended up going 3-8 in their first season. (pp. 15-16)

Rhead pic 2 (edit)

Jim Rhead, 6′ 4″ and 208 pounds, was a Utah power forward. Image courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

However, after that first season the Utes developed winning ways, according to Hansen. In their second season the team’s record was  17-3. After that the Utes would not have a losing season for the next 12 years, according to Hansen. Fast forward about 40 so years to the era of Utah Basketball head coach Jack Carpenter. Here we find on his teams from 1957-1961 a forgotten basketball legacy at the University of Utah: Jim Rhead.

Three years after Jim Rhead left the Utah basketball program, the University of Utah would complete its dramatic fall with a last place finish in the Western Athletic Conference in the 1964-65 season. The school’s in-conference record would be a bad 3-7 mark and the team would finish with a 17-9 record overall, according to Mike Douchant. (p. 121) A bit more internet digging shows that the year after Rhead’s 1960-61 senior season, the team went only 5-5 in the Western Athletic Conference play and 12-14 overall, according to sports However, in 1965-1966 the Utes went to the Final Four, according to Douchant. Rhead went to a final four in his senior season, yet has become a forgotten figure in Utah basketball lore.

The earliest event in Rhead’s basketball career places him playing with the South High Cubs, as reported by  the Tremonton Leader. In the game Rhead scored 19 total points, most of them coming from around the free throw line off jump shots. Despite this the South High Cubs, called a “powerful” team by the Tremonton Leader, ended up losing the game. That was at the beginning of the 1956-57 season, Rhead’s senior year. In a later issue of the Murray Eagle in 1957, Rhead is said to have “[r]etaliated with two ringers and a brace of free flips in the next three minutes to make it 6-2.” Rhead recorded a total of 17 points in the game in just 21 minutes of total time played as the Cubs defeated the Murray Spartans 61-25. Rhead was an all-state performer at South High School, which closed in 1988 and now houses Salt Lake Community College’s South Campus (Media Guide; Deseret News)

Rhead pic 1 (edit)

Jim Rhead grabs a rebound. Image courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

According to the 1959-1960 Media Guide, Jim Rhead entered his junior season at The University of Utah in 1959. So, it can be surmised that Rhead’s Utah career started in 1957 when he entered the university as a freshman. In the Media Guide Rhead is listed as a 6’4” 208-pound forward. According to the Media Guide, Rhead had a decent sophomore season at Utah. “Jim had a great year as a Sophomore. He was the club’s fifth leading rebounder and this despite the fact he was not a starter. You can’t outmuscle Rhead under the boards.” The guide then mentioned the fact that Rhead averaged 7.1 points per game during his sophomore season.

According to The Daily Utah Chronicle, April 18, 1961, Rhead had quite the prolific senior season with the Utes, averaging 12.7 points a game and shooting 48 percent from the floor. These are impressive numbers from a power forward like Rhead, even by today’s standards. Most impressively, he averaged almost 10 rebound per game his senior year. Rhead’s senior year was a massive success, Douchant writes in his Encyclopedia of College Basketball, as Rhead and the 1961 team made it to the final four. Rhead finished 7th all time in single season rebounds with 321 in the 1961 season, according to statistics provided by University of Utah Athletics.

After his time at the U, Rhead played for a Utah Amateur Athletic Union team. The March 29, 1962, edition of the Provo Daily Herald noted that Rhead and former Utah star Billy McGill both scored 17 points in a win for the team. According to The Murray Eagle, Rhead was part of a Utah AAU team scheduled to play in a tournament from March 6 to March 8.

Rhead was a key member of the 1961 Utah final four team and has somewhat been forgotten by history. His numbers even today are comparable to current Utah starting power forward, Timmy Allen, who in 2018 scored 12.2 points a game but only averaged about half of Rhead’s rebounds at 5 a game, according to ESPN.

Eric Jensen is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah studying communication and journalism. He plans to graduate in 2022.

Primary Sources

“’Skin Cager Ends Season With Award,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 18, 1961, 4.

University of Utah Basketball 1959-1960,” Media Guide, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Bears down Davis and South High in Week End Encounters,” Tremonton Leader, December 27, 1956, 4.

South Routs Spartan Club in 61-25 Tilt, Murray Shows Little Power in Dropping to Big 9 Cellar,” Murray Eagle, January 4, 1957, 8.

Redskins Hoopsters Shooting Good,” Salt Lake Times, January, 1, 1959, 3.

Individual Season Records, Men’s Basketball, University of Utah Athletics.

South High alumni true to their school,” Deseret News, June 18, 2005.

Career Records, 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Media Guide, University of Utah Athletic Communications Office, 74.

Intermountain Cagers Set AAU Meet Mar. 4-6,” The Murray Eagle, February, 28, 1963, 7.

S.L. Quint Grabs Win AAU Joust,”Provo Daily Herald, March 29,1962, 9.

Timmy Allen, Career Statistics, ESPN.

1962-63 Utah Utes Roster and Stats, Sports Reference.

Secondary Sources

Douchant, Mike. Encyclopedia of College Basketball. New York: Gale Research, 1995.

Hansen, Jason. Utah Basketball: A History of the Runnin’ Utes Since 1908. Salt Lake City, Utah: Who U Sports Press, 2016.

Outraged University of Utah Student Speaks out after Olpin Union Authorities Infringe on Artistic Freedom

By Sage Holt

The University of Utah’s annual Student Art Exhibition is a tradition for the A. Ray Olpin Student Union. Sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts and Union Art Exhibition Committee, it still takes place today in 2019. Although, now it is held in the Alvin Gittins Gallery.

In 1961, the art show created an uproar, when several works of art from different students were removed from the exhibit. One of the artists was a young man by the name of Stephen (Steve) Beck.


Beck, pictured in the 1961 University of Utah yearbook, the Utonian. Used with permission from Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Steve Beck was born in Salt Lake City in 1937. He graduated from East High School in 1956, attending the University of Utah later that year. Beck was a dedicated student who pursued a promising art career. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1961 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Although Beck’s painting career started in Salt Lake City, his art was displayed in New York, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., in the United States Capitol. His works can be viewed locally at the Phillips Art Gallery in downtown Salt Lake City. Beck’s art became the center of controversy when authorities took down some of his pieces from an exhibit in 1961.

Many students became angered by the choice authorities made to remove certain works from the exhibit, without the explicit communication of an explanation. Reports of the incident flooded The Daily Utah Chronicle office, but Beck’s letter to the editor was the only one published. “Suppressed” was published on page 2 of the newspaper in March 1961. Beck wrote in response to the removal of various artworks. He called it a “curtail of academic freedom.” Students questioned this unexplained choice and in protest, Beck and other Art Club students planned a picket demonstration. But it was never held, due to public threats of  “serious repercussions” by the university president. It was then that the administration began to question the students’ rights to force artwork to the public eye.  The artwork was deemed “offensive” by the administration, yet seen as aesthetically valuable to the Art Department. Research found that the offensive artwork in question had no written or photographed record.

In the next issue of the Chronicle, March 27, 1961, another article on the issue was published. The article, “They Owe Us,” was addressed to the Board of Regents from the Editor. In this article, a full scoop was uncovered. A high-ranking university official removed various artworks from the student art exhibit deemed objectionable by Union onlookers and officials alike. Why the art was so objectionable and offensive was never revealed.

art gallery

Student Nancy Jones views an oil painting in the 1961 Student Art Exhibition.

Soon after that incident, the Board of Regents declared that the entire exhibit would be removed. Due to the screen-like walls that held up art works in the exhibit, the Union Board expressed distaste and said that the art show screens were an “obstruction of the natural architectural beauty in the hallway.” They also declared that the screens would be banned from that hallway indefinitely. The sudden change in policy without explicit explanation left students confused and agitated. Student voices raised concerns about academic freedom being extinguished for the opinions of affluent outsiders who didn’t approve of the paintings. Union authorities gave no explanation as to why these policies would be implemented.

University President A. Ray Olpin spoke to a Chronicle reporter and had this to say: The right to individual expression has not been challenged. He also gave an explanation to the students who felt confused and angered. Olpin reported that any photos taken down in the exhibit were done by an Art Department official. The administration did not even know that the two controversial pictures had been taken down. No censorship was done by the administration nor did they pass any judgment on the art,Olpin said. The president also denied that rumored threats were made to picketers. The president clarified that the ban on screens had “been in debate on campus for years.” According to President Olpin, the actions of authorities were justified, but they never alerted students of the changes. This lack of an explanation and communication is what led to students becoming angered for the choices of university officials.

The lack of communication by officials sparked anger in students in 1961. Although information later revealed that the administration had an explanation but did not speak up about it. In our society today officials, administrators and other higher ranking positions should not implement changes without communicating to the parties it will affect. This lack of communication is what angered the students then, and now in 2019 a lack of communication between university officials and students once again plagues the university. A recent group of students demanded to talk to University President Ruth Watkins so they could voice their concerns on campus safety. This came one year after the murder of student Lauren McCluskey. At a student-run protest in October 2019, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Courtney Tanner gathered quotes from students and concerns about campus safety. Many students believed that “that campus police appear unequipped to assist us.Quotes from students at the Academic State Meeting show that there is a lack of communication between students and officials. When we’ve tried to talk to administrators, they’ve been very vague. It’s been disheartening and frustrating. They need to talk to us. It’s been a year, and we’ve had no communication on anything,” Tanner reported students as saying.

In 1961 Beck called this lack of communication a curtailment of  his academic freedom. He and other students immediately planned to protest to make their voices, concerns and anger heard. In 2019, students have called this lack of communication disheartening and frustrating. However, their protest was in the form of a walkout. Campus officials not communicating to students is an ongoing issue that leaves students angered with a lack of trust in their school.  From 1961 to 2019 this issue hasn’t changed. When will university officials learn from the past and give students the communication they deserve?

Sage Holt is a third-year student at The University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism and sociology. 

Primary Sources

Steve Beck, “Letters to the Editor: Suppressed,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 10, 1961, 2.

They Owe Us,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 27, 1961, 2.

Ernest Ford, “Individual Expression Not Challenged, States Olpin; President Remarks on Ute Art Exhibit Controversy,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 28, 1961, 2

Michael W. Kain, “Letters to the Editor: Bigotry,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 29, 1961, 2.

A Change: Student U,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 1, 1961, 2.

Union displays Oilpan’s Water Color Paintings,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 1, 1961, 1.

Secondary Sources

Stephen Reid Beck Obituary,” The Salt Lake Tribune, September 24, 2002.

Tanner, Courtney. “University of Utah students demand to speak to President Ruth Watkins — and they’re planning a walkout over safety concerns,” The Salt Lake Tribune, October 16, 2019.






















University Duty of Care for Student Deaths in Athletics

By Gloria M. Hammond

Doug Bingham 1960-1

Doug Bingham is pictured next to an article encouraging the attendance of a University wrestling match. The photo was published in February 1960, one year prior to his death. Courtesy of The Daily Utah Chronicle and J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Participating in athletics can sometimes be risky business. Sports-related injuries are common on college campuses, and athlete fatalities are not unheard of either. This risk of harm poses an important question: Do universities possess a duty of care to their student athletes in the event of a sports-related injury or death?

Michelle D. McGirt, a sports law scholar, offers some insight into potential answers to this question by analyzing the relationship between universities and student athletes through the framework of U.S. common law. McGirt offers her analysis using the legal decisions of cases involving student athlete injury or death within the United States. The application of legal discourse involving this issue provides a clearer understanding as to why there ought to be a special duty of care offered to student athletes that exceeds that of a typical student.

McGirt argues that universities do, in fact, have an imposed duty of care to their student athletes. (McGirt, p. 12) This duty is based on a mutual dependence between the athlete and the university. Student athletes rely on the university to receive an education and hone their physical abilities, while the university receives economic benefits as well as increased student enthusiasm and involvement in campus sporting events. While the student athlete is not an employee of the university, McGirt argues that it is important to distinguish them from private students due to the nature of the relationship universities have with campus sports. (McGirt, p. 10)

Based on legal precedent, McGirt argues that universities are rarely liable for the injury or death of a student athlete. However, the courts have recognized and stated that there is a special duty of care that universities have toward student athletes, and those involved in campus sports should hold a special standing in comparison to the private student body. Although universities may not suffer legal recourse for a sports-related death, examples of how these institutions handle and memorialize athlete fatalities can be observed through historical findings.


An article published in the Arizona Republic reported in February 1961 that University of Utah student Doug Bingham had died after suffering an apparent heart attack during a wrestling match in Wyoming. The article highlights Bingham’s prior good health and academic standing, as well as his widow and three young children.

Chronicle article 1961-1

Front page headline from The Daily Utah Chronicle, March 1961. University fundraisers aim to pay tribute to student athletes who are injured or deceased. Courtesy of The Daily Utah Chronicle and J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

A tribute for Doug Bingham was published in the Daily Utah Chronicle in February 1961. The Chronicle is a paper for the University of Utah community that is highly circulated on campus. The tribute highlights Bingham’s accomplishments and hopes that his untimely death will “carry a moral and a thought into every university student in America.” This particular quote emphasizes the reach of Bingham’s death, and the moral obligations that all students ought to have toward their peers. A follow-up article titled “Traditions” was published in the Daily Utah Chronicle in February 1961 to further explain the incident and urge students to “do their part to help right a tragic incident.”

A sense of duty to Bingham’s memory and surviving family was sparked when Floyd Dyches, with the University of Utah campus police, wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Utah Chronicle in March 1961. Dyches urged the student body to “make a Doug Bingham fund” in order to compensate his family for the loss of their husband and father. Jackie Black, chairman of the Union Talent Extravaganza, announced in an article published in the Daily Utah Chronicle in March 1961 that all proceeds from the yearly school talent show would be donated to the Bingham fund. The University of Utah senior class also made a donation toward the Bingham fund, which was published in the Daily Utah Chronicle in May 1961.


The 1961 death of Doug Bingham, a University of Utah student athlete, was recognized as a campus tragedy. Bingham’s death also sparked discourse on how the university ought to respond to the loss of a valued student-athlete. The campus honored the memory and paid tribute to Bingham’s special relationship with the University of Utah by urging students to donate funds to aid the affected family. These tributes and fundraisers also served to solidify Bingham’s dedication and engrave his special standing within the public memory of the University of Utah campus. In present day, there is a growing concern with the well-being of student athletes. Universities can reflect upon the past, to instances like the death of Doug Bingham, to better address injury or death with compassion and a sense of duty to those affected.

Gloria Hammond is a senior at the University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Primary Sources

Heart Attack Kills Utah U. Wrestler,” Arizona Republic, February 27, 1961, 41.

Glowing Tribute,Daily Utah Chronicle, February 28, 1961, 2.

Traditions..,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 3, 1961, 2.

Floyd Dyches, “Letter to the Editor,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 6, 1961, 2.

Extravaganza Proceeds Set for Bingham Fund,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 7, 1961, 1.

Senior Class Gift Divided to Benefit University, Campus,” Daily Utah  Chronicle, May 25, 1961, 1.

Secondary Source

McGirt, Michelle. “Do Universities Have a Special Duty of Care to Protect Student-Athletes from Injury?” Sports & Entertainment Law Journal 6, no. 1 (1999): 1-14.

Doug Bingham’s Untimely Death Could Have Shined a Light on Collegiate Sports and the Risk Involved

By Arielle Gulley

U_of_U_Wrestlers_Bingham_Doug_Hankin_Frank_Hess_Marv_Shot_2Collegiate sports are oftentimes regarded as rewarding experiences that can bring communities together and even ignite professional careers for some athletes. Being on a team surrounded by your peers can be a great time in your life. Unfortunately, the risk that comes with college athletics is a big one, and even more unfortunate, it often goes unrecognized. That was exactly the case in 1961 when the University of Utah’s wrestling team traveled to Powell, Wyoming, for a meet against the University of Wyoming.

Doug Bingham, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Utah and co-captain of the wrestling team, died during the match due to a heart-related incident while on the mat. This was 1961, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) had just been introduced but was still an unfamiliar practice to many. The Daily Utah Chronicle reported in February 1961 that when Bingham went limp during the match he was given “artificial respiration on the mat, and later a physician opened his chest and massaged his heart.” His teammates watched and even gave blood in attempts of saving his life. Bingham’s heartbeat returned and he was rushed to Memorial Hospital where his heart lost and then regained a beat once more, only to stop later that night one final time. The student, husband, and father of three was pronounced dead.

Page_256_Matmen_win_IntermountainWhen Bingham died so unexpectedly, the school was unaware of the protocol in such a situation. It was a shock that someone so young and healthy could be there one minute, and gone the next. Bingham’s coach Marvin Hess referred to Bingham as someone “in fine health, perfect condition,” as the Arizona Republic reported on February 27, 1961.

Short articles were written of the event and placed in the sports section. Letters to the editor of the Daily Utah Chronicle published in late February and early March 1961 described Bingham as someone who was “highly thought of by all his friends and associates,” and who seemed to “go the extra distance.” A fund was also started at the University of Utah and eventually garnered hundreds of dollars to go toward his surviving family.

After a couple of weeks and time to digest the untimely passing of a young man seemingly in his prime, the school and news outlets found that they had performed their due diligence and found new stories to report on, no longer publishing stories on Doug Bingham or even mentioning the potential risk that collegiate athletics imposed on students. The question of how a young and seemingly healthy college student died from a heart complication was never addressed. Bingham’s circumstance never inspired a new policy where student athletes would be examined prior to competition on the competency of their bodies or their ability to withstand strain. The mental effect of the event on other college athletes and peers at the time was never brought into question. It wasn’t until February 2008, 47 years after the incident, that the athlete on the mat with Bingham at the time of his death shared his own insight on the harrowing situation with Wyoming’s Casper Star-Tribune.

Dave Edington, an awarded wrestler with the University of Wyoming in 1961, recalled wrestling Bingham and the confusion he felt when his opponent went limp and wouldn’t get up during the match. After the death of someone he did not know, Edington was unsure how to feel or if he should feel anything at all. The gravity of the situation affected his collegiate career for the worse. “I never could get it going again,” Edington said about wrestling with the university. “I never was the same.”

As a nation, it is instances such as these that have occurred far too often and taught us that we must shine a light on the untimely deaths and potential risks involved when it comes to college sports. The United States prioritizes sports and athleticism, though in instances such as these it comes at a cost. Someone’s health is overlooked for the chance at winning a trophy. Athletes must be recognized, their peers counseled and taught to properly grieve, and preventative measures taken to reduce future risk.

This wrestling match in 1961 that resulted in a death of a student was given mediocre media attention at best. If better addressed or reported on, this event in our history could have changed policies in collegiate sports and possibly saved or improved the lives of athletes in similar situations. The media’s job is to highlight and distinguish stories in order to bring about much needed change. In this instance, the media failed.

Arielle Gulley is a senior at the University of Utah. She is studying communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Primary Sources

U Athlete Dies in Wyoming,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 27, 1961, 4.

Glowing Tribute…,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 28, 1961, 2.

Drizzle by H20,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 28, 1961, 4.

Traditions,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 3, 1961, 2.

2 Barbershop Quartettes [sic] to Top ‘Extravaganza,’” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 6, 1961, 1.

Feel Bad?” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 6, 1961, 2.

Heart Attack Kills Utah U. Wrestler,” Arizona Republic, February 27, 1961, 41.

David Buck, “Wrestling brought ups and downs for the first four-time champ,” Star-Tribune, February 21, 2008.

“Wrestler dies as Surgery Fails,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 27, 1961, 41.

Secondary Sources

Harmon, Kimberly G., Irfan M. Asif, David A. Klossner, and Jonathan Drezner. “Incidence of Sudden Cardiac Death in National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletes.” Circulation 123, no. 15 (2011): 1594-600.

Chandra, Navin, Rachel Bastiaenen, Michael Papadakis, and Sanjay Sharma. “Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 61, no. 10 (2013): 1027-040.

“Hyperthermia and Dehydration-Related Deaths Associated with Intentional Rapid Weight Loss in Three Collegiate Wrestlers — North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Michigan, November-December 1997.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 47 (6): 105-108.

Harmon, et al. “Pathogenesis of Sudden Cardiac Death in National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletes.” Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 7, no. 2 (2014): 198-204.

Van Camp, Steven P., Colin M. Bloor, Frederick O. Mueller, Robert C. Cantu, and Harold G. Olson. “Nontraumatic Sports Death in High School and College Athletes.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 27, no. 5 (1995): 641-47.




Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the forgotten houses from Greek Row at he University of Utah

By Chloe Greep

Greek life at the University of Utah has been a prominent part of the university since it began in the fall of 1909. Today 11 fraternities, seven sororities and over 1,600 students are members of Greek life at the university. Many of the articles in The Daily Utah Chronicle from 1941 were events and ongoings within the Greek life community. There are articles written on Greek life from parties, dances and even lists of who was newly engaged or married within the community.


Delta Delta Delta in the University of Utah Utonian yearbook in 1936. Courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

In these articles there are frequent mentions of the sorority Delta Delta Delta, better known as Tri-Delt, and the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon. These two houses no longer exist on the university campus and in some ways the history of these houses has been lost and forgotten.

Delta Delta Delta was established at the University of Utah in 1932 with the address 1431 E. 100 South, which is now home to the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha. The chapter’s purpose was “assisting its members in every possible way,” according to the chapter’s website. The chapter focused on raising money for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Research.

The University of Utah founded the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, better known as SAE, in 1949 and in 1967 it was the largest fraternity on campus, according to the Utonian, the university’s college yearbook. From the articles in The Daily Utah Chronicle, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was very involved on campus, hosting many parties and partaking in other campus-wide events.

The downfall of the Delta Delta Delta Chapter began in 2006. From year 2000 to 2006 the amount of students who were becoming involved in the Greek system at the University of  Utah declined from 970 to 625, a 36% decrease in involvement, according to an article in 2006 in The Salt Lake Tribune.

The Delta Delta Delta chapter was told in the early spring of 2006, that if it didn’t increase membership by 25 people the organization would pull its charter on April 30 of that year. Unfortunately, the chapter was unable to reach those numbers, according to an article written in the Deseret News, ending the legacy of the Delta Delta Delta sorority on the University of Utah Campus.


Sigma Alpha Epsilon in the 1967 Utonian. Courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

There is not much information on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter’s downfall. There is a lot of information on the fraternity’s reputation nationwide. According to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Wikipedia page, between 2006 and 2013 nine deaths were linked to drinking, drugs and hazing within the fraternity. Along with that the site also says that during the 2010s, 18 chapters were suspended, closed or banned. After doing extensive research it seems like the fraternity just disappeared off the school’s campus in 1996.

It is strange how there were several articles written about the decline of the Delta Delta Delta sorority at the University of Utah, but nothing on the reasoning behind the downfall of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. The downfall of the fraternity remains a mystery to all except those who were members of the fraternity at that time. The fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon nationally has a bad reputation and history of hazing throughout the United States, and I wonder if that is the reasoning behind the chapter’s shut down in 1996.

Chloe Greep is a junior a the University of Utah. She is studying communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Primary Sources

Delta Delta Delta says goodbye to Greek Row,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, May 17, 2006.

Tri Delta, Salt Lake City Alumnae Chapter.

Erin Stewart, “Another U. Greek House May Close,” Deseret News, January 29, 2006.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon,” Wikipedia, November 28, 2019.

Secondary Source

Sykes, Shinika A. “Are U.’s Greeks Past Their Peak?” The Salt Lake Tribune, February 21, 2006.