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Ruth Swenson papers

Identifier: 08-05---001

Scope and Contents

The collection includes meeting minutes, reports, agendas, statistics, curriculum, requisitions, memoranda, newsletters, personal writings, newspaper clippings, photographs, event flyers, and programs. Writings of Reed Swenson’s family, and personal items of Ruth and Reed including photographs.


  • Other: Date Not Yet Determined


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Ruth Swenson was born October 14, 1910 to George A. and Mary Ellen Duggan Persell in Jamestown, New York. She went to public school in New York, attended Elmira College, and graduated from Columbia Presbyterian School of Nursing. She went on to complete here M.S. Degree from the University of Utah.

She was first married to Oscar Stewart, but they later divorced. She later married Reed K. Swenson on August 22, 1958 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.

When Weber College was chosen as one of the original junior colleges to pilot an accelerated 2-year nursing program beginning in 1953, Ruth was hired as the first director. She remained in that post for seventeen years. Nearly five hundred nursing students graduated during her time. Working very closely with community leaders, health care facilities, nurses, and physicians, Ruth and the program faculty overcame any concerns of a shortened program.

In 1967 she was elected chairman of the Council of Member Agencies of the Associate Degree Program of the National League of Nursing. She also served as a National Accreditation Surveyor to other associate degree programs. For about two years she served as coordinator of a joint four-year nursing program between Weber State College and the University of Utah.

Ruth authored or co-authored a number of nursing texts, and served in many capacities for the National League of Nursing and the Utah Board of Nurses. She retired in 1973 as Associate Professor Emeritus of Nursing.

Following her retirement, Ruth enjoyed many volunteer jobs and church service. Weber State College awarded her the Distinguished Service Award in 1982, the Henry Aldus Dixon Award in 1985, and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree in 1990.

Ruth and Reed enjoyed traveling. They visited Cape Brenton and Nova Scotia in 1973, and South Korea in 1981 where they were involved in a government approved Intercultural Living program.

She died on December 14, 1999 in Ogden, Utah.


2.4 Linear Feet (6 document cases)

Language of Materials



Arranged into two series: Series 1, Nursing program papers, 1953-circa 1973; Series 2, Personal papers, 1971-1985.

Physical Access Requirements

There are no physical access restrictions.

Technical Access Requirements

There are no technical access restrictions.

Custodial History

Material was acquired from Ruth Swenson (1983-015, unknown).


No accruals are expected.

Publication Rights

Materials may be used for non-profit and educational purposes, please credit the University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University. Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of the University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.

Daniel Weller
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Weber State University Archives Repository

3921 Central Campus Drive Dept 2901
Ogden UT 84408