A Journey Through the First Three Season’s of Ray Nagel’s Career

By Sammy Mora


Ray Nagel was the University of Utah head football coach from 1958-1965. Photo courtesy of The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Ray Nagel was the head football coach of the University of Utah football team from 1958-1965. During his time at Utah, his record was 42-39-1. (Ray Nagel Coaching Record) He led his team to an appearance in the 1964 Liberty Bowl to take on West Virginia, which was iconic in its own right. The Liberty Bowl was one of the major postseason games that year, but also it was the first ever college football game played inside. That year’s game was played inside the Atlantic City Convention Center. (Miller) The Utes won the game against West Virginia 32-6.

That year was the best year Nagel had during his time at Utah, not only did he win the Liberty Bowl, his team was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) football champion that season. Nagel was also named the WAC Coach of the Year in 1964. (Blevin, p. 144)

Nagel was hired as the new head coach of the University of Utah football team in January 1958. Before he was hired by Utah, he was an assistant football coach at his alma mater, UCLA. (Pearson) The University President, A. Ray Olpin, told the Salt Lake Tribune when Nagel was named the head coach that “in Nagel the University is getting the most outstanding young coach in the nation. He has wonderful background as a player and coach and comes to us with the highest of recommendations from such men as Red Sanders, Bud Wilkinson and Tom Prothro.” Sanders, Wilkinson and Prothro were all coworkers while Nagel was at UCLA. According to the Daily Utah Chronicle, at the time he was hired, Nagel was the second youngest coach to spearhead the university football team. The only coach who was younger than Nagel at the time he was hired was the great Ike Armstrong. (West)


University of Utah head football coach Ray Nagel stands next to a statue on the campus of the University of Utah where he was the head football coach from 1958-1965. Photo courtesy of The Daily Utah Chronicle.

While his first season at the helm of Utah football was not ideal, finishing the season 4-7, from that moment his record as the head coach went up. In his second season he finished 5-5, his third 7-3. His best season happened during his seventh year at Utah when he went 9-2 and earned a Liberty Bowl berth.

According to the Daily Utah Chronicle, even in his first year as the head coach the team wanted to make him proud and look good. According to Walt Deland, who was a trainer on the team, “I heard some players talking and Pete Haun said, ‘I’ve never seen any man that I would rather model my life after than Ray Nagel.’” Haun was one of many players whom Nagel coached during his time at Utah.

Not only was Nagel a powerhouse on the field, he was also involved in activities around the university. He spoke multiple times at the student union. A reporter for the Daily Utah Chronicle on April 9, 1958, said that Nagel’s speech focused on defensive topics and how he would implement a tough defense to try and make the U football team harder to play against making it so fans would come out and support the team.

Not only was he known for his speaking on campus, he also penned an article for the Daily Utah Chronicle that same season. That season the team finished with a 4-7 record and while it looked as if there were lots of lows Nagel talked about the positive saying, “Our last three games are a good indication of the team’s progress. We lost to Colorado, 7-0, despite the fact that we dominated the game in all but one important aspect­—the score. Then we defeated Utah State, 12- and Hawaii, 47-20.”

From the 1958 season on, Nagel’s squads proved to be resilient opponents, winning more games in Nagel’s second and third season than in his first season as the head coach.

During the 1961 season, Nagel was named the United Press International (UPI) coach of the week after his team upset Colorado 21-12, in a game the Utes were expected to lose. That season even after facing powerhouse teams like Oregon, Wisconsin, Arizona State and the previously mentioned Buffaloes, the team finished with 6 wins and 3 losses.

Without Nagel’s contribution to Utah football, the team might not have made the jump from the Skyline Conference to the WAC, and then from the WAC to the Mountain West and in 2011 joining the Pac-12. He was a key piece of Utah football history, as well as college football in general. He also helped other schools not only as a coach but  as an athletic director to help make the jump and make their football teams and athletic departments better.

Sammy Mora is a junior at the University of Utah. She is a communication major whose focus is journalism. She is a sports management minor. 

Primary Sources

Vince Pearson, “Newest Ute? Coach Nagel!” Daily Utah Chronicle, January 1, 1958, 1.

Dee Chipman, “New Ute Grid Mentor Has His Problems,” Desert News, January 31, 1958.

“University Coach Youthful, Qualified,” Salt Lake Times, February 7, 1958, 3.

“Nagel Speaks in Union,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 9, 1958, 4.

Bob Beers, “Coach Ray Nagel Inspires Ute Players,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 4, 1958, 4.

Ray Nagel, “Coach Nagel Sums up Concluded Grid Season,” Daily Utah Chronicle, December 12, 1958, 8.

John West, “Nagel is Second Youngest Coach in U Grid History,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 22, 1959, 4.

“Ute Coach Selected UPI ‘Coach of Week’,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 16, 1961, 4.

“Coach, Tackle Receive Honors,” Daily Utah Chronicle, December 7, 1964, 3.

Reece Stein, “New Grid Mentor in S.L. for Talks,” Daily Utah Chronicle, January 5, 1966 4.

Bruce Miller, “Utah Coaches are ‘Winners’,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 3, 1967, 12.

Secondary Sources

Blevins, Dave. College Football Awards: All National and Conference Winners Through 2010. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2012.

Miller, D.A. “#8: 1964 Liberty Bowl—Utah vs. West Virginia,” The Greatest Utah Football Games Ever, blog.

Ray Nagel,” Sports Reference.




United Nations Week — Utah, 1961

By Rachel T. Maughan

In January 1961, the United Nations, under President John F. Kennedy, decided that the decade of the 1960s would be the Decade of Development. “Although it has experienced delays and disappointments the U.N. still embodies man’s best hopes this seems as surly as the world prepares to celebrate U.N. Day Tuesday.” (Provo Daily Herald, 10) The U.N. World Organization has relieved suffering and has preserved a measure of peace. Utah celebrated the 16th birthday of the United Nations by having multiple events across the state.

“Now therefore I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the citizens of this nation to observe Tuesday, October 24 as United Nations Day, by means of community programs which will demonstrate their faith in the United Nations and contribute to a better understanding of its aims, problems, and accomplishments.” (“United Nations Day: Faith Demonstration”)

“Where as the General Assembly of the United Nations has resolved that October 24, the anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Charter, should be dedicated each year to making known the purposes, principles and accomplishments of the United Nations.” (“United Nations Day”)

In Utah, Governor George D. Clyde declared October 23 through 29 to be designated as United Nation Week. (“U.N. Week Set”)

In the city of Bountiful, Utah, Mayor Harold L. Pope also signed a proclamation designating United Nations Week in his community. (Davis County Clipper, 6)

In the city of Orem, they had a ceremony called ‘Trees for Peace’ which involved elementary school kids planted more maple trees in Orem City Park. (Orem-Geneva Times, 1)

Also, high schools throughout Utah were each assigned a different country, and participated in a two-day reenactment of U.N. sessions held at the University of Utah. (Provo Daily Herald, 10)

The University of Utah had two major events to celebrate U.N. that week. The first was a pre-symphony reception for foreign students from high schools in the state, held Saturday in the rotunda and Gold Room of the Utah State Capitol. The second event of the week was a discussion on foreign policy issues in relation to the current session of the U.N. in 1961, and was scheduled for Monday in the auditorium of the Prudential Building. (“U.N. Week Set”) “Saturday’s concert includes an overture to Oberon by Weber; Schubert’s ballet music from ‘Rosemuta’ ‘Don Juan’ by Richard Strauss; and Tchaikovsky‘s ‘Pathetique’ Symphony, as a tribute to United Nations Day.” (“Symphony Season Opens”)

Warren C. Hickins

Warren I. Cikins, a State Department official, gave a talk called, “U.S. Foreign Policy and the United Nations,” on October 27, 1961, at the University of Utah campus. The photo was published in that issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle.

“US Foreign Policy and the United Nations” will be the theme of a talk given by Warren I. Cikins.” (“State Department Official”) The State Department planned to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the United Nations with a speaking tour and Cikins gladly volunteered. He spent two weeks traveling through the western states to speak to different crowds of people. “At the time, U.S. participation in the United Nations was a controversial topic, and the State Department was loudly criticized for “losing” China to the Communists.” (Fitzpatrick)

Students at the University of Utah held a fundraiser for UNICEF. The United Nations Children’s Fund saves millions of young lives all over the world. A collection drive took place Halloween night at the dorms. All proceeds went to the United Nations Children’s Fund and were distributed among 50 countries where three quarters” of the world’s children are sickly starving or otherwise being neglected.” (“Carlson Hall Collects”)

The 16th birthday of the United Nations was a perfect time to celebrate its successes and have a day/week to better inform and educate the country on its efforts. “No man is an island entire of itself. Here lies the fundamental reason for the existence of the United Nations organization.” (Provo Daily Herald, 10)

Rachel Maughan graduated in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

Primary Sources

U.N. Week Set by Governor George D. Clyde,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 21, 1960, 4.

Symphony Season Opens with UN Day Tribute,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 20, 1961, 1.

United Nations Day: Faith Demonstration,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 24, 1961, 2.

Foreign Policy Set as Theme for UN Talks,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 26, 1961, 1.

State Department Official to Speak on UN Topic,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 27, 1961, 1.

Carlson Hall Collects for UNICEF,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 30, 1961, 3.

Celebrate UN Week,” Davis County Clipper, October 20, 1961, 6.

United Nations 16th Birthday,” Provo Daily Herald, October 23, 1961, 10.

This is United Nations Week,” Millard County Chronicle, October 26, 1961, 4.

“‘Trees For Peace’ Ceremony Note U.N. Day,” Orem-Geneva Times, October 26, 1.

Secondary Sources

Fitzpatrick, Christina Lehman. “The Newly Opened Personal Papers of Warren I. Cikins.” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, July 3, 2012.

Guide to the Warren I. Cikins Personal Papers (#350), John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.



Ray Nagel: Head Football Coach for the University of Utah from 1958-1965

By Ryan Larson

Athletics have always been an important part of the university experience, and no sport has been more popular among universities than football. The University of Utah is now one of the top football schools in the country, but from 1948 to 1992, the football team struggled. The football team only participated in one bowl game during that time frame, the 1964 Liberty Bowl. The coach who was able to help the University of Utah to achieve greatness in the midst of those years of struggle was Ray Nagel.

On January 31, 1958, the Deseret News reported that the University of Utah had hired Nagel to become the new head football coach. He replaced Jack Curtice as head coach. It was a surprising hire for Utah because Nagel was only 30 years old at the time and considered very young for the position. The Deseret News described him on January 31, 1958, as, “personable, youthful” with a “boyish grin.”


University of Utah head football coach Ray Nagel (right) diagrams a play with his assistant coach “Bullet” Bob Watson in 1963. Before working together at Utah, Nagel and Watson were college football teammates while playing for UCLA. Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society.

Prior to taking over at Utah, Nagel had been a player for UCLA, where he was an All-American honorable mention at quarterback. He also spent time as an assistant coach for the Chicago Cardinals, the University of Oklahoma and UCLA. He was serving as grid assistant for UCLA when he was hired by Utah as head coach, the Salt Lake Times reported on February 7, 1958.

One of the reasons Utah chose to hire Nagel was because he wanted to implement a new offensive system for the football team. The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on April 18, 1958, that Nagel would be running the straight “T” offense, which would be a slight change from the winged “T” that the team used in previous seasons. A former player of Nagel’s, wingback John Pease, would later recall to Matthew Piper of the Salt Lake Tribune on December 14, 2014, that Coach Nagel’s practices were like “street fights.”

However, Nagel was well liked by his players and by the student body. The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on November 16, 1962, that 35 students invaded Nagel’s home to “abduct” him and take him to the local television station, where the students read a letter proclaiming their loyalty to Nagel and the football team.

Nagel had moderate levels of success in his first six seasons as head coach for the university. The team’s record was 30-30-1 during those seasons. The Utes always won at least four games each season but never had more than seven wins in a season. (“Ray Nagel,” Sports Reference College Football)


Coach Ray Nagel (left) supervises a University of Utah football practice with two of his assistant coaches. Larry Palmer (center) and Frank Klekas (right) were part of the coaching staff for the 1960 season. Utah would finish the season with a record of seven wins and three losses. Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society.

Things began to change for the Utes in 1964 as the team reached a previously unobtained level of success. The team success was based on a Nagel-led offense that the former players told Matthew Piper of the Salt Lake Tribune, “Had four run plays and about as many pass plays.” Utah went 8-2 during the regular season. The team’s only two losses came against Missouri and Wyoming. The 8-2 record was good enough for Utah to earn a share of the Western Athletic Conference title. It was also reported by the Daily Utah Chronicle on December 7, 1964, that Nagel had been named the Western Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year.

At the end of the season, Utah was invited to participate in the Liberty Bowl against West Virginia. It would be the Utes’ first bowl appearance since 1948. The Liberty Bowl was to be played in New York on December 19, 1964. As the New York Times reported that day, it was the first bowl game to ever be played indoors, and the most expensive ticket for a bowl game ever to that point.

The Provo Sunday Herald would report on December 20, 1964, that Utah demolished West Virginia in the game, winning 32-6. The newspaper quoted Nagel after the game as saying, “This was our best game of the season. We got the jump on them and they couldn’t pick up momentum.” Ron Coleman was voted the game’s most outstanding back. Utah would not compete in another college football bowl game until 1992.

The 1965 season would be the final season with Nagel serving as head coach for the University of Utah. The Utes’ would go 3-7 during the season after losing much of the core that composed the 1964 team. At the end of the season, on December 12, 1965, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal would report that the University of Iowa had hired Nagel to become the school’s new football coach. This marked the end of Nagel’s tenure at Utah, where he finished with a record of 42-39-1. (“Ray Nagel,” Sports Reference College Football)

After Nagel left for the University of Iowa, Reece Stein of the Daily Utah Chronicle reported on January 11, 1966, the University of Utah had hired Mike Giddings to replace Nagel as head coach. Giddings had served as an assistant coach at the University of Southern California for five years before accepting the Utah job.

Nagel would coach at Iowa for five more years before retiring from coaching at the end of the 1970 season. His career coaching record would be 58-70-1. The 1964 football team that Nagel coached would be inducted into the Crimson Club Hall of Fame in 2014 in recognition of their Liberty Bowl victory that year. (“Crimson Club Hall Of Fame 2014,” Utah Utes Athletics) The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Ray Nagel died on January 15, 2015, at the age of 87.

Ray Nagel was one of the most successful football coaches the University of Utah had during the twentieth century. He helped lead the Utes to what would be the most significant win in program history up to that point at the 1964 Liberty Bowl. No other coach was able to reach the same level of success at Utah until the 1990s.

A successful football team can have a major impact on all aspects of university life. An increase in the success of a college football team tends to lead to more monetary donations being given to the university. (Humphreys and Modello, p. 278) This in turn brings in more money that can be used for academic funding and to improve other areas of university life.

Aside from the financial impact, college athletics are also an important part of the culture and tradition of many universities. The University of Utah is one such university, and few coaches have obtained the level of success that Ray Nagel achieved. Fifty years have passed, but the 1964 Liberty Bowl team remains one of the defining football seasons for the university. This is evident by their induction into the Crimson Club Hall of Fame. As the University of Utah continues to strive for success in college football, it is important to remember the legacy of Ray Nagel. He achieved success at the University of Utah that has seldom been matched since his departure.

Ryan Larson is a junior at the University of Utah. He is double majoring in economics and communication with a journalism emphasis.

Primary Sources

Dee Chipman, “All’s Normal At Utah With Naming Of Nagel,” Deseret News, January 31, 1958, 8.

Vince Pearson, “Newest Ute? Coach Nagel!” Daily Utah Chronicle, January 31, 1958, 1.

University Coach Youthful, Qualified,” Salt Lake Times, February 7, 1958, 3.

Terry Eagan, “SLC Quarterback Club Honors Nagel,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 11, 1958, 1.

Coach Nagel Starts Fourth Year At Utah, Daily Utah Chronicle, September 21, 1961, 8.

David Jonsson, “Howling Mob Grabs Nagel From Home,” Daily Utah Chronicle, November 16, 1962, 1.

Coach, Tackle Receive Honors,” Daily Utah Chronicle, December 7, 1964, 3.

UTAH IS FAVORED IN LIBERTY BOWL; Strong Defense Is Ready for West Va. in Jersey Today,” New York Times, December 19, 1964, 33.

UPI, “Utah Whips West Virginia 32-6 in Liberty Bowl Game,” Provo Sunday Herald, December 20, 1964, 18.

AP, “Iowa Hires Nagel, Utah Head Coach,” Spartanburg Herald-Journal, December 12, 1965, 12.

UPI, “Ray Nagel Gets Head Grid Coaching Post at Iowa U.,” Provo Sunday Herald, December 12, 1965, 18.

Reece Stein, “New Grid Mentor In S.L. for Talks,” Daily Utah Chronicle, January 5, 1966, 4.

Utah Football: Ray Nagel, coach of Liberty Bowl champions, dies,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 21, 2015.

Secondary Sources

Crimson Club Announces 2014 Hall Of Fame Class,” Utah Utes Athletics, April 15, 2014.

Humphreys, Brad R. and Michael Mondello. “Intercollegiate Athletic Success and Donations at NCAA Division I Institutions,” Journal of Sports Management 21, no. 2 (April 2007): 265-80.

Ray Nagel,” Sports Reference College Football.

Piper, Matthew. “Utah Football: 50 years later, love and friendship endures for Liberty Bowl teammates,” The Salt Lake Tribune, December 14, 2014.



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.

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.

Understanding Dr. Lloyd Beidler and His Passion: Taste

By Reem Ikram

Birthday cake, apple pie, chocolate milkshake and spicy buffalo wings. What do they all have in common? Well, they all are examples of flavors that have been synthesized and added to most of our favorite foods. That’s how we have snacks like very berry flavored chewing gum and ranch flavored Doritos. So, how did we manage to do that? Two words, Lloyd Beidler. Widely regarded as “The father of taste physiology,” Dr. Lloyd M. Beidler dedicated a majority of his life to researching and understanding the science of taste buds. His work paved the way for various scientists, the innovations for synthesized flavors, and as well as captivated many into recognizing the functions of our very own taste receptors.

Beidler’s love and energy for science and understanding how things work has been a part of his identity since he was a boy. The Orlando Sentinel shares how as a child he spent most of his time building gadgets from junkyard scraps and building his own lab tables and equipment. He has always been eager and dedicated to learn.

The reason taste became his muse was because it was something humans used frequently. We as a species rely on a few physiological functions such as maintaining energy and passing on our genetic code in order to survive. Beidler felt like it was important to hone in on one of those subjects. When speaking to school children, he would share how eating and sex were the most important things in life. Both functions intrigued him since they both involved taste and smell. His passion for understanding life led him to then invest in comprehending the function of consumption and its biomechanics. And that is how taste became his first love. (Ost)

If you were ever to scout Beidler, you would find him in his office, delving further into his studies behind a large photograph of a tongue with enlarged taste buds dripping with melted ice cream. As a professor at the University of Florida, he managed to win the hearts of many, teaching and encouraging students. “Beidler nonetheless inspires warm feelings from many who know him. They cite his endless energy and ideas, soft heart and encouragement of students’ independent research.” (Ost) His energy for sharing knowledge earned him a notable reputation as a professor and a scientist. Both of which followed him all around the world, as he gave multiple lectures and consultations with many. (Sims)

Though Beidler was a spectacular professor, he actually gained worldly recognition by discovering the renewal of cells within taste buds. According to the National Academy of Sciences, “Beidler focused on measuring taste receptor potentials using an electronic summator, a tool which quantifies electro-physiological activities of sensory nerves used for taste. Beidler was one of the first researchers to provide concrete evidence that taste buds continually die and get replaced.” This find then launched Beidler into sharing his studies. For the Sigma Xi national research society, Beidler managed to attend 20 universities in nine states lecturing his groundwork. He gave talks in Montana, the Dakotas, Missouri, Utah, Colorado, and other states, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, The Daily Provo Herald and Colorado Transcript.

Beidler’s lectures, titled “The Biological Approach to Taste,” gave insight to the response of taste receptors and analyzed the relation between them and chemical stimulation. According to his lecture at the University of Utah on March 29, 1961, chemical sensitivity was one of the earliest developments in animal evolution. All of which aided early humans in food searching, food selection, mating and detection of prey. He identifies various taste bud components and how they consist of chemically sensitive cells that hold finger-like structures which project into the saliva covering the tongue. Beidler also added how human taste impulses are transmitted to the brain by taste nerves and how his analysis now enables scientists to understand taste phenomena in man and the laws that describe them. (Evans)

Following his lecture tour, Dr. Lloyd M. Beidler continued on his research. A fun and notable experiment in which he conducted was in March 1964 as reported by Science News Letter. The experiment focused on the taste sense of children for sweetness tested. In the study, ten children, ages ranging from four to twelve years, were given a series of tests to determine how well they were able to distinguish between degrees of sweetness and saltiness. The children sat at a drugstore counter in front of a shiny box-like machine. The machine then would dispense liquids of three degrees of either saltiness or sweetness. Following the tasting, the children then had to pull one of the three levers to identify what they considered to be the sweetest or saltiest. If a child answered correctly, a nickel dropped out of the machine and the child was rewarded. If answered wrong, the child would get nothing. In both cases, the machine continued pouring out three more glassfulls for them until their 35 minute experiment session ended.  Beidler explained how children were used to experiment since they were easily motivated. His experiment worked wonders on the kids until they began to lose interest after building up a stockpile of hard cash (Society for Science & the Public, 1964).

With Beidler’s drive and passion, research wasn’t the only thing he succeeded in. He also managed to make many more accomplishments during his lifetime. Some of his other major successes included; American Physiological Society’s Bowditch Lectureship for 1959; appointment by John F. Kennedy as the Science Coordinator of U.S. Science Exhibits for the Seattle World’s Fair in 1961; co-founded, with Dan Kenshalo, the psychobiology program at FSU in 1965; Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Muhlenberg College in 1969; FSU’s Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professorship in 1971; election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1974; American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1975; Resolution of Commendation from Florida’s House of Representatives and Senate in 1987; recipient of the National Institutes of Health Javits Neuroscience Award; served on the nominating committee for the Nobel Prize Award; Board of Directors of the Museum of Electricity; and a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (Sims, 2003).

To truly understand Dr. Lloyd M. Beidler and his passion completely would take more than reading a college article. To fully capture Beidler and what he made his life about would take a lifetime. As a remarkable educator and an endearing enthusiast for knowledge and life, he managed to impact a lot more than physiology and food science, He innovated the way we understand science, food and how we eat.

Reem Ikram is a senior at the University of Utah majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism. She hopes to find a career in television news, magazine publishing or entertainment media. To watch her as she continues on her journey, you can follow her on instagram @thereeemster.  


D. Evans, “Beidler Reveals Taste Sense Perfected Early,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 30, 1961.

Lloyd M. Beider,” National Academy of Sciences.

Laura Ost, “HIS RESEARCH ALWAYS ON THE TIP OF TONGUE,” Orlando Sentinel, April 26, 1987.

“Physiologist Leaves For Lecture Tour,” Tallahassee Democrat, March 26, 1961.

Physiology Prof to Speak Tonight,” Provo Daily Herald, March 30, 1961.

Dr. Lloyd Mumbauer Beidler Jr.,” Tallahassee Democrat, August 10, 2003.

“To Lecture Here,” Colorado Transcript, February 23, 1961.

Florida Prof to Discuss ‘Taste,'” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 27, 1961.

“‘Why of Taste’ Sets Speech By Sigma Xi,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 28, 1961.


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.

The Legacy of Dr. Khosrow Mostofi: An Uphill Battle in Establishing the University of Utah Middle East Center

By Christian Gomez

Violence and war have become a normal part of life in the Middle East. Typically portrayed in a negative light, the Middle East is often scrutinized by people throughout the world for its differences in religious and political views. This has contributed to a general lack of understanding of the cultures, practices, and languages that exist in the Middle East.

The University of Utah has championed Middle Eastern studies for many years in hopes of providing opportunities to better understand the Middle East. From learning new languages to gaining an appreciation for other cultures, Middle Eastern studies at the University of Utah have provided opportunities for new perspectives and a deeper understanding of the Middle East. But, it wasn’t always this way. It took the efforts of prominent figures to establish this curriculum—people like Dr. Khosrow Mostofi.


The Daily Utah Chronicle focuses on the accomplishments and retirement of former director and founder of the Middle East Center, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya. It also introduces Dr. Khosrow Mostofi as the new director. Photo from the July 1967 issue. Used by permission, The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Mostofi’s unique story began 7,000 miles away in Tehran, Iran, where he was born in 1921. He attended the University of Tehran, where he received his B.A. in English literature. His language skills were in high demand, and he taught English for the Ministry of Education at several institutions in Iran. (Bean, p. 306; Mostofi interview, p. 3)

In 1949, Mostofi immigrated to the United States. By this time, World War II had ended. But prior to leaving Tehran, he had met a U.S. officer from the Persian Gulf command. Mostofi and the officer stayed in touch after the war, and he told the officer of his plans to attend Columbia University. The officer informed him of the “cultural shock” that he would experience in New York City. Having been a student at the University of Utah, the officer suggested that Mostofi attend school in Salt Lake City—a place he had never even heard of. (Mostofi interview, pp. 3-4)

Mostofi quickly immersed himself into his graduate studies. He received a Ph.D. in Political Science four years later. Bothered by the lack of diversity in the curriculum, Mostofi proposed that three courses on the Middle East be implemented—an idea originally met with skepticism by administrators. Eventually, courses were added, and the University of Utah qualified for its first grant for the Middle East Center. (Mostofi interview, pp. 4-5)

After a two-year teaching stint at Portland State College, Mostofi returned to the University of Utah in 1960 when he was named the assistant director of the center—working alongside then-director and founder of the Middle East Center, Aziz Atiya. There were no formal degree programs and the only staff was Mostofi, Atiya, and one secretary. (Mostofi interview, pp. 6, 19)

Mostofi_Photo_2 Final-2

Dr. Sami A. Hanna, left, associate professor of languages, and Dr. Khosrow Mostofi, director of the Middle East Center, discuss their plans for the new cultural exchange program in Tunis, Tunisia. Photo from a February 1971 issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle. Used by permission.

While the addition of the Middle East Center was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t embraced by everyone. In an interview with Everett L. Cooley, Mostofi spoke about the “outright hostility in some circles” that the program was met with on campus. Some faculty felt that funding should be spent elsewhere, and not on a new, unproven program.

In 1966, Mostofi resigned his position to pursue full time teaching and research. His resignation was brief, as Atiya fell ill, and Mostofi took over. The Daily Utah Chronicle highlighted this change in its July 1967 issue, which commemorated Atiya and introduced Mostofi as the new director. (Mostofi interview, p. 18)

Mostofi introduced reforms for the center, citing a lack of performance. He reached an agreement with the U.S. Office of Education that allowed the center to host professors from Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and Israel for three-month intervals. Mostofi improved curriculum by forming strong relations with Iran—as evidenced in the August 1966 issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle. The center’s funding increased, and graduate and undergraduate programs were approved. Seven graduate degree programs emerged for Middle East Studies: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Anthropology, History and Political Science. (Mostofi interview, pp. 18-20)

After receiving little support from the federal government, Mostofi secured grants from major organizations—changing the entire outlook on the Middle East Center. He also formed relationships with the public-school system, as well as the local community, beginning a “grass roots support” for the center. This was illustrated in the February 1971 issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle, when Mostofi organized a cultural exchange program for U.S. students in Tunisia. (Mostofi interview, pp. 24, 27)

In his interview with Everett L. Cooley, Mostofi made it clear what his mission had been throughout this entire process: “Changing attitudes and outlooks.” Mostofi did this by instilling the Middle East’s proud and expansive history in higher education’s curriculum. It was about shifting the misperceptions associated with the Middle East, and bringing to awareness the richness of its culture.

Mostofi etched his mark on students at the University of Utah. The April 1964 issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle drew attention to Mostofi’s efforts in bringing thousands of Persian books to the library. His prominent role in the development of the Middle East Center left a lasting impact, and it most likely wouldn’t exist today if it wasn’t for his contributions.


The Daily Utah Chronicle highlights Dr. Khosrow Mostofi’s efforts in bringing in over 3,000 volumes of Persian books for the Intercultural Library. Photo from the August 1966 issue. Used by permission, The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Mostofi retired from the Department of Political Science in 1987, but remained a Middle East Center consultant until 1991. He was honored with the Distinguished Service Award and acknowledged as “an internationally recognized scholar of Iranian culture, history, and politics,” according to the August 1992 issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Today, the Middle East Center stands strong—empowering students to enact change and become global citizens. It offers graduate and undergraduate programs that provide students with dynamic skills in language and cultural comprehension in the Middle East. For students today, the center serves as a stepping stone for potential careers in public affairs, public service, business, and several other fields. Opportunities now exist for students to participate in conferences, workshops, and outreach activities to further their understanding of the Middle East, and shed the stereotypes that are still prevalent in today’s society.

Christian Gomez is a junior at the University of Utah. He is studying strategic communication with a minor in writing in rhetoric.

Primary Sources

Former Middle East Center director dies,” Daily Utah Chronicle, August 12, 1992, 3.

Intercultural Center Gains 3,000 Volumes,” Daily Utah Chronicle, August 16, 1966, 3.

Iran Embassy Honors Prof For Writings,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 10, 1964, 4.

Mid East program okayed,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 25, 1971, 5.

Profs Gain Posts,” Daily Utah Chronicle, July 14, 1967, 1.

Transcript, interview with Khosrow Mostofi, conducted September 17, 1985, by Everett L. Cooley, Everett L. Colley Oral History Collection, J Willard Marriott Library Special Collections, The University of Utah.

Secondary Source

Bean, Lee L. “Khosrow Mostofi.” Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 26, no. 2 (1992): 306-07.