A World With Walls: The Creation of the Berlin Wall

By Ivana Martinez

Barriers have existed for centuries either to protect or to keep people out. They have served as historical landmarks, such as the Great Wall of China, Belfast Peace Walls, or in this instance the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was erected on August 13, 1961, as a result of conflicting ideologies between the East and West sides of Germany. (Fishman, p. 364) It later came to symbolize the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

Berlin_Wall_Three Men

Three men stand on a post looking out at the Berlin Wall. Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Image is in the public domain.

In the aftermath of World War II two ideologies circulated Germany. Fishman wrote in History of Education Quarterly that the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was created in the Soviet Occupation Zone in October 1949. According to Fishman, the creation of the German Democratic Republic “was a response to the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, i.e. West Germany, five months earlier.” (Fishman, p. 364) The escalating tensions between these two ideologies erupted in the creation of the Berlin Wall, which was an attempt to halt immigration fleeing to the West on behalf of the German Democratic Republic. On August 27, 1961, the New York Times described the Wall from a helicopter view as “an unhealthy vein on a man’s arm.”

In the early stages of building the wall it was reported to be 25 miles long and strung with barbed wire. Once completed, according to Barksdale, the wall spread 96 miles long through the countryside and only 27 miles within Berlin. The New York Times reported on August 27, 1961, that the wall was mostly “dirty red-grey color with white splotches where Masons dropped mortar on the pavement.” The New York Times also observed that same day that “the Brandenburg Gate, once the chief crossing point between East and West, is deserted now behind its barbed wire fences.”

Closing of Border by Steffen Rehm

Closing of the border between the East and West sides of Berlin photographed at the Brandenburg Gate. The author of the photograph is Steffen Rehm. Image is in the public domain.

The impact of the wall was felt in all sections of life: work, relationships, and travel. The Berlin Wall separated families and halted almost all immediate immigration to the West. Violent confrontations between civilians and the police quickly gathered the attention of the world. The crisis in Berlin reached the crevices of local communities. The confrontations were featured in front-pages articles in local newspapers in the Provo Daily Herald and the Daily Utah Chronicle.

Local coverage in Utah focused on the tensions between these two polarizing sides in Germany and the responses from prominent leaders. For example, the Provo Sunday Herald reported on October 1, 1961, that communist police had strung barbed wire around Stienstueeken an isolated village and that, “In Berlin, East German refugees yesterday sought liberty or death in a grim game of ‘hide-and-seek’ with Communist border guards under orders to shoot to prevent them from escaping to the West.”

A few days later, the Provo Daily Herald reported on October 5, 1961, that there were two separate incidents that involved police gun fire at the border of the wall that same day. Fleming wrote about the first incident “Communist police first-fired [sic] four machine pistol shots today at a West Berlin electric worker laying a cable along the border when he wandered about the one yard into East Berlin.” The second incident involved an exchange of 40 shots. Fleming reported that occurred when, “Communist police began throwing rocks at a West Berlin police loudspeaker truck near the border area.”

Much of these violent exchanges prompted political leaders to speak out on these incidents. Mayor Willy Brandt of West Berlin had warned the Communist “to stop the shooting.” (Goldsmith) After a visit to the United States Brandt had a meeting with President John Kennedy via telephone. The Daily Utah Chronicle on October 10, 1961, reported on Brandt’s statement, “Rarely has the U.S. government committed itself so irrevocably than to the freedom of West Berlin.”

The Allies kept a close eye on Berlin watching these violent exchanges. The Provo Daily Herald observed on October 9, 1961, “There appeared to be differences among the Western powers as to the wisdom of continuing to probe for a soft spot in the Russian demands which call for abandonment of the Allied position in Berlin.”

The Berlin Wall illustrated an escalation of tension in a polarizing time in history. The wall obstructed the free flow of immigration and caused many East Germans to “plot their escapes and occasionally die in the trying.” (Newsom) These tensions are still seen today. The barriers still exist, except it’s no longer in a foreign land. The United States border has caused a similar polarizing tension between nations and citizens. Many immigrants have died in the Rio Grande attempting to flee to the United States or died of dehydration in the desert. Although the Berlin Wall has since been torn down, we still live in a divided world filled with walls.

Ivana Martinez is a junior at The University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Primary Sources

Joseph E. Fleming, “Reds String Barbed Wire Around Isolated Village,” Provo Sunday Herald, October 1, 1961, 1.

Joseph E. Fleming, “Gunfire on Border Stirs Crisis in Berlin; Mayor Brandt Heads for U.S.,” Provo Daily Herald, October 5, 1961, 1.

Phil Newsom,“Story of Human Tragedy Seen in Berlin,” Provo Daily Herald, October 5, 1961, 12.

Steward Hensley, “U.S., Allies Study Move In Berlin,Provo Daily Herald, October 9, 1961, 1.

Joseph E. Fleming, “Brandt Warns Against Concessions; Mayor Says U.S. Firm on Berlin,” Provo Daily Herald, October 9, 1961, 1.

Michael Goldsmith, “W. Berlin Mayor Brandt Warns Soviets:‘Stop The Shooting,’” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 10, 1961, 1.

Joseph E. Fleming,“Allies Say Red Mobilization In East Germany Grave Threat,Provo Daily Herald, October 10, 1961, 1.

Secondary Sources

Barksdale, Nate. “How long was the Berlin Wall?” History.com, September 1, 2018.

“Berlin Wall Built,” History.com, August 13, 2019.

Fishman, Sterling. “The Berlin Wall,” History of Education Quarterly 22, no. 3 (1982): 363-70.

Berlin Wall,” Encyclopædia Britannica, November 29, 2019.

“The Wall Marks Blotch in Berlin: Red’s 25-Mile Slash Across City Viewed From the Air,” The New York Times, August 27, 1961, 8.


The King of Swing: Duke Ellington Visits the University of Utah

By Jake Lewis

Jazz has long been recognized as one of America’s truly original art forms. Combining Western European classical music, African culture and improvisational technique, jazz assembled an entirely new musical language. The progressive genre also played a major role in ushering in the civil rights era decades before it began to gain traction on a nationwide level. As jazz gained popularity outside of the African-American community, Black musicians were beginning to receive recognition as legitimate composers, with many going on to perform at some the world’s most legendary venues such as the Cotton Club and Carnegie Hall.

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 8.51.32 PM

Orchestra leader Duke Ellington plays the piano before an audience in New York City, 1943. Public Domain, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Collection.

One of the most iconic African-American musicians of the jazz era was Duke Ellington. He is widely considered one of the greatest jazz composers of all time. His work not only catapulted jazz into the mainstream, but also brought along with it an impassioned message of equality that helped fuel the civil rights movement. As we near the 60th anniversary of his visit to the University of Utah in 1961, it is important we look back on how far Black musicians have come and draw on the significance of the trail Ellington blazed for civil rights in America.

Born in Washington, D.C., into a burgeoning Black middle class at the turn of the 20th century, Ellington’s family tried to shield him from many of the hardships of segregation that plagued the nation’s capital. Duke developed a sense of racial pride and social justice, which he carried with him throughout his decades-long career.

Ellington first broke on to the scene at a previously White-only venue known as the Cotton Club in Harlem. Ellington and his all-Black band quickly gained notoriety as some of the best jazz musicians in New York. It wasn’t until his 1932 album, It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing, that Ellington began seeing worldwide praise. Despite all of his success, Duke and his band still faced roadblocks when it came to segregation, even after White band managers attempted to protect the band. Even in more progressive regions like the Northern and Western United States, Black musicians were victimized by unexpressed segregationist policies. While passing through on tour, Duke and his band were denied service at a cafe in a Salt Lake City hotel in 1940. (Scott and Brooks)

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 9.03.10 PM

A portrait of the famed jazz musician Duke Ellington before his concert at Carnegie Hall in 1946. Public Domain, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection.

This encounter in Utah did not stop Ellington from making a return to Utah, however. In 1961, Duke and his band came to the University of Utah October 4, 1961, for a performance at the Union Ballroom. The concert is first advertised in the September 22, 1961, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle, with subsequent advertisements following on September 29, October 3, and October 4, 1961. Tickets cost just $1.75-$2 for students to attend the event.

Deseret News Music Editor Harold Lundstrom attended the event and recalled the concert in his October 5, 1961, column. Lundstrom remarked that Ellington’s work was incredibly influential for many artists throughout the jazz world. “The longer I sat listening to Duke Ellington Wednesday evening in the spacious Union Building ballroom on the University of Utah campus, the more I realized the fact that more ideas have been borrowed from him by jazz composers, arrangers, and band leaders than any other figure in jazz history.”

The concert included more than a dozen of Ellington’s most accomplished works, such as “Mood Indigo,” “Solitude,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” and even his own rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” Throughout the concert, Lundstrom noticed a theme in Ellington’s melodies. Although split up by breaks in-between songs, Lundstrom believed that Duke’s compositions were constructed collectively, an uncommon trait in the improvisational world of jazz.

Despite recognizing the melodic themes carefully laid out in Ellington’s compositions, Lundstrom briefly mentioned, but failed to grasp Duke’s message of the tribulations of an African-American man in segregated America. “Best of all, in this day, sans the “angry young Negro” all of Duke’s music ends on a note of hope!”’ remarks Lundstrom in his October 5 review.

It is unfortunate that Duke Ellington’s visit to the University of Utah did not receive the fanfare it would have today. It is, however a reflection of its time. A segregated America was unable to acknowledge Duke’s brilliance that a modern audience would surely appreciate today. Duke’s struggles helped pave the way for modern African-American artists to thrive today. Without Ellington and the jazz movement’s push for desegregation, it hard to imagine where we would be today.

Jake Lewis is a senior at the University of Utah. He is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Primary Sources

“Jazz Concert Set,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, September 22, 1961, 4.

“Duke Ellington Sets Jazz Concert Wednesday,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, September 29, 1961, 1.

Jazz Duke Plays Peer Gynt in Royal Program for Utes,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, October 2, 1961, 1.

“Student Activities Add Spice to Campus,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, October 3, 1961, 3.

Harold Lundstrom, “The Duke and Improvisation,” The Deseret News, October 3, 1961, 15.

“Duke Ellington to Present Jazz Concert,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, October 4, 1961, 1.

Harold Lundstrom, “Sentimental Ellington Also Sophisticated,” The Deseret News, October 5, 1961, 48.

Secondary Sources

Scott, Michelle R. and Earl Brooks. “Duke Ellington’s melodies carried his message of social justice,” The Conversation, April 24, 2019.


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.



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 reference.com. 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.

Leroy Robertson’s Artistic Legacy — Salt Lake City and Beyond

By Palak Jayswal

The state of Utah is known across the nation for a few things, such as: “the greatest snow on earth,” the beautiful outdoors, and most prominent of all — Mormonism. In the same religious thread, The Book of Mormon musical is well known as well. This begs the question, can Utah possibly be known for the arts?

Leroy Robertson was a Utah native, born and raised in a Mormon household in Fountain Green, Utah. According to Hukill, “His early years were marked by extremely limited opportunities for musical exposure, lack of financial resources, and an overwhelming desire to become a violinist.” (p. 1) Despite this, Robertson learned about music by analyzing scores from great composers. Hukill reports he even “carved his first violin out of wood, and strung it with horse hair from the tail of the family mare.” (p. 1) After hard work, Robertson was able to save enough money to study music at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He went on to perform all over the world and teach music, including here in Utah at Brigham Young University and eventually the University of Utah, where he was the head of the music department.

symphony ad

An ad in the Daily Utah Chronicle for the performance of the oratorio at the Tabernacle.

Robertson wrote an oratorio based on The Book of Mormon, the sacred text of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An oratorio is a large musical production that acts as a story based on religious themes by using an orchestra and voices. On April 10, 1961, Robertson performed his oratorio in the Tabernacle, accompanied by the Utah Symphony Orchestra and The University of Utah chorus. Maurice Abravanel conducted the oratorio.

This particular performance was special for a variety of reasons. It would be the first performance of the oratorio in over six years. On April 6, 1961, The Vernal Express reported, “The performance had its world premiere in mid-February of 1953 in Utah’s capital city.” Robertson would be back to showcase his star after a long wait. On the day of the performance, The Daily Utah Chronicle said Robertson “has come to be regarded as one of the most significant composers of the contemporary period.”

The oratorio had gathered its prestige in its six years on and off the charts and was a source of pride for not only Robertson, but the entire state. On April 7, 1961, The Bingham Bulletin characterized the oratorio as “the finest large-scale choral work ever written in this hemisphere.” Even more, residents across the state were proud of this musical work, as The Vernal Express published on April 6, 1961, “Utahns can well be proud of the tremendous talent which goes into such a project as the performance of this great work.”


The Daily Utah Chronicle announced on April 7, 1961, that the oratorio would be recorded.

The oratorio and its recording were anticipated widely across the state, with advertisements in many of the newspapers and publications. This event was accessible to all residents in Utah, and especially for students. The Daily Utah Chronicle advertised in its April 10, 1961, issue about the performance with a drawing of Robertson conducting. It also stated that students received half price on tickets.

Adding another level of significance to this particular performance, The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on April 7, 1961, that the performance was “being recorded by Vanguard Recording Society by the Symphony and the University singers.” The Vanguard sound recording is significant because it created an everlasting memory of this particular performance. The oratorio, of course, was performed many more times throughout history but never like this — with such a strong local emphasis, dedication to the craft, and with the composer himself at the helm. With this performance, the heart of the piece was driven home.

Through his work on the oratorio, Robertson made a name for the arts in Utah. The oratorio changed the fate of classical music while giving Mormonism a new artistic outlook. His legacy shares many things with us, but most importantly, that the arts can be cultivated in any place in the world — no matter the city, no matter your upbringing, and no matter your access. The Oratorio from The Book of Mormon is a testament that art is everlasting.

Palak Jayswal is a senior at the University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in creative writing. She is also the arts editor at the Daily Utah Chronicle.

Primary Sources

“LDS Oratorio Set April 10 in S.L. Tabernacle,” The Vernal Express, April 6, 1961, 2.

“Symphony, Chorus to Tape, Perform Robertson Work,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, April 7, 1961, 1.

“Oratorio To Be Given Monday in Salt Lake,” The Bingham Bulletin, April 7, 1961, 1.

“Dr. Robertson’s ‘Oratorio’ Set Tonight,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, April 10, 1961, 1.

Advertisement for the “Oratorio of the Book of Mormon,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, April 10, 1961, 4.

Robertson, Leroy J, Roy Samuelsen, Kenly Whitelock, Jean Preston, Warren Wood, and Maurice Abravanel. Oratorio from the Book of Mormon. New York: Vanguard Records, 1961. Sound recording.

Secondary Sources

Hukill, Cynthia. “A Stylistic Analysis of Selected Piano Works of Leroy Robertson, (1896-1971).” PhD diss: University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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.


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.