Guide to the Westminster College Board of Trustees minutes

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Westminster College Board of Trustees minutes
Dates: 1892-2004 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-016A
Summary: This collection consists of agenda, meeting minutes, and reports of the Board of Trustees of Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah, and the earlier associated institutions, the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (1875-1910) and Sheldon Jackson College (1895-1901).
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

series: Series 1. Minutes
box 1, folder 1: 1892-1913 (Summaries)
box 1, folder 2: 1892-1914 (Summaries)
box 1, folder 3: 1914-1915 (Agenda)
box 1, folder 4: 1916
box 1, folder 5: 1917
box 1, folder 6: 1918
box 1, folder 7: 1919
box 1, folder 8: 1920
box 1, folder 9: 1921
box 1, folder 10: 1922
box 1, folder 11: 1923
box 1, folder 12: 1924
box 1, folder 13: 1925
box 1, folder 14: 1926
box 1, folder 15: 1927
box 1, folder 16: 1928
box 1, folder 17: 1929
box 2, folder 1: 1930
box 2, folder 2: 1931
box 2, folder 3: 1932
box 2, folder 4: 1933
box 2, folder 5: 1934
box 2, folder 6: 1935
box 2, folder 7: 1936
box 2, folder 8: 1937
box 2, folder 9: 1938
box 2, folder 10: 1939
box 2, folder 11: 1940
box 2, folder 12: 1941
box 2, folder 13: 1942
box 2, folder 14: 1943
box 2, folder 15: 1944
box 2, folder 16: 1945
box 3, folder 1: 1946
box 3, folder 2: 1947
box 3, folder 3: 1948
box 3, folder 4: 1949
box 3, folder 5: 1950
box 3, folder 6: 1951
box 3, folder 7: 1952
box 3, folder 8: 1953
box 3, folder 9: 1954
box 3, folder 10: 1955
box 3, folder 11: 1956
box 3, folder 12: 1957
box 3, folder 13: 1958
box 3, folder 14: 1959
box 3, folder 15: 1960
box 4, folder 1: 1961
box 4, folder 2: 1962
box 4, folder 3: 1963
box 4, folder 4: 1964
box 4, folder 5: 1965
box 4, folder 6: 1966
box 4, folder 7: 1967
box 4, folder 8: 1968
box 4, folder 9: 1969
box 4, folder 10: 1970
box 4, folder 11: 1971
box 4, folder 12: 1972
box 4, folder 13: 1973
box 4, folder 14: 1974
box 4, folder 15: 1975
box 5, folder 1: 1976
box 5, folder 2: 1977
box 5, folder 3: 1978
box 5, folder 4: 1979-1982 (Summaries)
box 5, folder 5: 1979
box 5, folder 6: 1980
box 5, folder 7: 1981
box 5, folder 8: 1982-1985 (Summaries)
box 5, folder 9: 1982
box 5, folder 10: 1983
box 5, folder 11: 1984
box 5, folder 12: 1985-1988 (Summaries)
box 5, folder 13: 1985
box 5, folder 14: 1986
box 6, folder 1: 1987
box 6, folder 2: 1988
box 6, folder 3: 1989
box 6, folder 4: 1990
box 6, folder 5: 1991
box 6, folder 6: 1992
box 6, folder 7: 1993
box 6, folder 8: 1994
box 6, folder 9: 1995
box 6, folder 10: 1996
box 6, folder 11: 1997
box 6, folder 12: 1998
box 6, folder 13: 1999
box 6, folder 14: 2000
box 6, folder 15: 2001
box 6, folder 16: 2002
box 6, folder 17: 2003
box 6, folder 18: 2004
series: Series 2. Minute books
box 7, folder 1: 1892-1905 (Restricted)
box 7, folder 2: 1905-1914 (Restricted)

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (1875-1910): The Institute was founded by First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City and opened April 12, 1875 in the basement of the church. In 1896 the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions assumed ownership and administrative control of the institute, and maintained operations until 1910, when it transferred the property to Westminster College. By the 1902-1903 school year the Institute had already become the "Preparatory Department" of Westminster College.

The May 1884 meeting minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute includes the following names: Eli B. Kelsey, Chairman, Henry W. Lawrence, Trustee, Benjamin G. Ray, Trustee, and Thomas Armstrong, Secretary.

In one letter Robert G. McNiece, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church and chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Collegiate Institute, asks Sweazey to consider becoming principal so that the Collegiate Institute and Westminster College might be "closer to being one." In 1910, ownership of the Institute was transferred to the Board of Trustees of Westminster College

Sheldon Jackson College, Salt Lake City, Utah (1895-1901): Sheldon Jackson College in Salt Lake City, Utah was chartered in 1895 and opened 1897 on the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute campus. The one and only commencement was held on June 4, 1901. The Board of Trustees approved a name change to "Westminster College" on Feb. 6, 1902. Sheldon Jackson and his wife signed an agreement to the name change on April 25, 1902.

In late March, 1892, the Presbytery of Utah, in planning for a possible college in Utah, elected a Board of Trustees for the proposed college, consisting of five ministers (Rev. S.E. Wishard of Ogden, Rev. G.W. Martin of Manti, Rev. Josiah McClain of Nephi, Rev. C.M. Shepherd of Springville, and Rev. R.G. McNiece of Salt Lake City) and four laymen (Col. W.M. Ferry of Park City, F.E. Gregg and Frank E. Pierce of Salt Lake City, and W.I. Brown of Nephi). Robert G. McNiece was named President (Chairman) of the Board, Rev. McClain, Secretary, and Gill S. Peyton was appointed Treasurer. A committee was formed to begin drafting by-laws and a constitution for the proposed college.

In August, 1892 the Board proposed the name "Salt Lake College". In April and May, 1893, the Board examined four locations proposed for the campus; Ogden was considered especially attractive, but further study returned the Board to its original resolution to locate in Salt Lake City, and this was confirmed.

By August, 1896, with support from Sheldon Jackson, the college was named "Sheldon Jackson College" and the Board of Trustees under this name held its first meeting in Salt Lake City. The first order of business was to elect a President, and General John Eaton of Washington City was chosen.

In a letter dated May 1898 to Mrs. Jeanette H. Ferry, Robert G. McNiece mentions the plan to consolidate Sheldon Jackson College and the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute and informs Ferry that both Dr. Eaton and Dr. Jackson have given their approval

In 1902, William Montague Ferry (1824-1905), a trustee of Westminster College, would step in and provide the college with the funding it desperately needed, buying the property that the campus currently occupies.

Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah (1902- ): Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah came into official existence as an educational institution when the Board of Trustees approved a name change on Feb. 6, 1902 from the earlier name, Sheldon Jackson College. For a few years, the letterhead on Westminster College stationery included the notation "formerly Sheldon Jackson College". College classes were suspended 1909-1913 but resumed in 1914. Westminster College as a legal entity was closed June 30, 1983 and reopened the next day on July 1, 1983 as "Westminster College of Salt Lake City", technically a new institution. The name was changed back to Westminster College in 1998.

Westminster College Boards of Trustees: Trustees came from all areas of the college and community. Many Westminster presidents attended Board meetings, probably in an advisory non-voting role since the president reports to the Board of Trustees, which has the power to hire or fire a president. A few were either members before becoming president (such as B.C.J. Wheatlake), or went on to become members of the board as Presidents Emeritus. The trustees also included major donors, businessmen, community leaders, and ministers. Beginning in the 1970s, the names of some faculty, alumni, and students begin to appear in the list of trustees.

George W. Martin, a Presbyterian missionary, was an early trustee of Westminster College.

The Treasurers of Westminster College were officers of the Board of Trustees; Parke M. Pontz held this office from 1921-1954, followed by Ralph S. Gunn.

Harold R. Waldo, Sr. was Secretary to the Board from 1933-1965.

Below is a partial list of various categories of Trustees who served between 1946-1974, drawn from A short history of Westminster College, Salt Lake City: the first century, 1875-1975 by Emil Nyman, College Archivist. Nyman included a five-page "Appendix D. Trustees 1946-1974 (Alphabetical)" in his publication.

Chairmen of the Westminster College Board of Trustees from 1946-1974:

  • 1948-1957, John M. Wallace, Sr.
  • 1958-1964, Forrest Walden
  • 1965-1967, M.M. Fidlar
  • 1968, George T. Hansen, Jr.
  • 1968-1970, Haydon Morgan Calvert
  • 1970-1973, Joseph Bernolfo
  • 1973- , Charles T. Klein


  • Herbert Ware Reherd (1913-1939 as 4th President; 1939-1950 as President Emeritus)
  • Robert D. Steele (1939-1952 as 5th President)
  • J. Richard Palmer (1952-1956 at 6th President)
  • Frank E. Duddy (1956-1963 as 7th President)
  • W. Fredrick Arbogast (1963-1968 as 8th President)
  • B.C.J. Wheatlake (1933-1965; four months from May-Aug. 1952 as Interim President during a presidential search)
  • Manford A. Shaw (1940-1964 as a Westminster College 1920s alumnus; 1968-1976 as 9th President)


  • Marcus Parr (1972-1973)
  • Mack Gift (1973-1974)


  • Martin Allred (1973-1975)


  • Lori Pinder (1971-1972)
  • Stephen Brown (1972-1973)
  • Robert Devlin (1972-1973)
  • Kimball Duffin (1974-1975)


  • A.B. Malouf (1953-1965) -- donor of Malouf Hall
  • Harry E. Carleson (1955-1965) and Fred A. Carleson (1966-1976) -- donor of the Men's dormitory
  • Lawrence "Biggie" Black (1960-1973) -- donor of the foot bridge across Emigration Creek
  • Mrs. George S. Eccles (1972- ) –- donor of Dolores Dore Eccles Art Center

Ministers of various churches:

  • Bishop A.W. Mouton, Episcopal Bishop of Utah (1942-1947)
  • Rev. W.M. Gwaltney, Minister of First Presbyterian Church (1946-1951)
  • Warren Bainbridge, Minister of First Methodist Church (1956-1968)
  • Rev. S.E. Clark (1958-1964)
  • Rev. E.W. Remley, Minister of First Presbyterian Church (1965-1967)
  • Rev. Thomas C. Jackson, Minister of First Presbyterian Church (1965-1968)

Other community and educational leaders:

  • Harold P. Fabian, lawyer (1960-1961)
  • Paul Fawley, professor of education, University of Utah (1965- )
  • A.B. Kesler, President and Chairman of Walker Bank (1967-1973)
  • John W. Gallivan, Publisher of the Salt Lake Tribute (1967-1978)
  • Virginia Frobes, retired Dean of Women, University of Utah (1974-1983)


  • Westminster College of Salt Lake City : from Presbyterian mission school to independent college / R. Douglas Brackenridge. Logan Utah : Utah State University Press, 1998, p. 3-4 and 74.
  • A short history of Westminster College, Salt Lake City : the first century, 1875-1975, Appendix D. Trustees 1946-1974 / Emil Nyman.
  • George B. Sweazey Salt Lake Collegiate Institute Principal's correspondence, 1903-1913 (ACC-001A).
  • Salt Lake Collegiate Institute account books, 1885-1916 (ACC-002A).
  • Salt Lake Collegiate Institute subject files, 1884-1906, Box 1, Folder 4 (ACC-002D).
  • Robert G. McNiece Westminster College Dean's correspondence, 1891-1908 (ACC-003A).
  • Robert J. Caskey Salt Lake Collegiate Institute Principal's correspondence, 1892-1948 (ACC-015).

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of agenda, meeting minutes, and reports of the Board of Trustees of Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah, and the earlier associated institutions, the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (1875-1910) and Sheldon Jackson College (1895-1901). Minutes were recorded and saved by the trustees of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute beginning as early 1892 when R.J. Caskey was serving as the 4th principal of the Institute. Earlier minutes may have been kept, but none have been found for the years from 1875-1891. Board meeting minutes were kept during the existence of Sheldon Jackson College (1895-1901), and since the trustees approved the name change to Westminster College on February 6, 1902. The bulk of the minutes in this open collection are those of the Westminster College Board of Trustees, dating from the years after the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute and Sheldon Jackson College had ceased to exist.

The scope of these minutes is very broad, providing a link to every crucial decision made by the Board of Trustees, and at most provide insight into the thought processes of said decisions, outlining critical factors as well as the trustees' rationale.

Because of the minutes' timeline, the complexity of the information provided in the minutes evolve over the years in terms of how thorough meeting topics are covered. For example, earlier minutes may feature only brief outlines of the topics discussed by the Board, whereas later minutes will address similar items with more attention and/or discussion.

In terms of the level of complexity at which these records document specific events, there are two basic levels: the first level describes an event or decision in enough detail that no outside context is required, and that the significance of the event or decision is immediately recognizable. The second level requires some background knowledge of the circumstances which led to the event or decision, and can usually be traced through previous minutes, possibly requiring extensive research.

An example which demonstrates the importance of historical context can be found in the minutes of the meetings held in 1941-1942. Due to decreased enrollment levels, the trustees of Westminster College were forced to reevaluate their financial standing. The 2 October 1942 meeting minutes in particular reveal the severity of the situation; President Steele addresses the board with respect to the "College situation," and begins the closing of his report by examining three possibilities which may ensure the "future of the college for the second semester or next year." Steele's possibilities include the hope that the Interdenominational Committee will be able to secure financial support from the (Presbyterian) church, that there exists a possibility for Westminster to act as a unit to facilitate the training of a "special" group of army or navy men, or that a donor will be able to provide the college with the money it needs to guarantee its continued operation. On the whole, Steele's report alludes to the uncertainty of the college's future as well as the anxiety private enterprises felt while America was involved in the war effort.

All minutes follow basic procedures of the meeting: an official note is made about the beginning date and time of each meeting, followed by the roll, recording present and absent members. Next, an opening prayer is given by one of the members, followed by the reading, approval or amendment of the minutes from the previous meeting. At this time, the meeting is open to the reports of those in attendance. In the 9 January 1923 meeting, for example, the Treasurer (Parke M. Pontz) begins by making his reports for September, October, November and December (1922), and the approval of the minutes by the board follows. Next, Mr. H.G. McMillan reads his report on behalf of the Committee on Construction of Barn, and reports that "after some difficulty the consent of the City Authorities for the desired location of the barn was procured and that although the weather was very unfavorable, the building was proceeded with and is now practically completed."

The majority of the minutes follow a similar format. Exceptions are made in the case of an important event, such as the death of a trustee, at which time memorial information with some historical or biographical information may be included. For example, the 29 August 1952 meeting minutes mention the death of H.W. Reherd, former President and then President Emeritus of Westminster College, who died the previous month. The memorial note includes very little information regarding Reherd, but does specify that the August issue of the Utah Westminster is devoted to memorials to Reherd.

While the collection consists primarily of meeting minutes, a handful of summaries and agenda are also present. The summaries appear for two periods, the first two decades (1892-1914) and later in the 1980s (1982-1988). They list the basic topics of the respective minutes and essentially provide an abstract of the meetings and the topics discussed. The summaries refer to page numbers of the actual minutes, which appear to have been organized on an annual basis, rather than on a meeting-by-meeting basis. The summaries include the page number where the minutes of a certain meeting date are located.

The meeting agendas found within "Minutes, 1914-1915 (Agenda)" are President Reherd's typed memoranda sent to various trustees (including William M. Paden and Josiah McClain) detailing topics which Reherd felt needed to be discussed at the next meeting. For example, the 10 April 1915 agenda organizes the meeting topics by category (i.e., Treasurer's report and Committee Reports). The Committee Reports, for example, detail topics such as "Change of Name" (alluding to Utah Westminster), a petition for a street opening, the need for extra teachers for the following year, the engagement of teachers, and the progress toward a "Domestic Science Department."

While the collection is primarily concerned with meeting minutes, reports are regularly integrated within the minutes. The President's and Treasurer's reports are the most common reports present. Typically a financial report is made at each meeting. The frequency of the President's Report varies from annually to four or five times per year depending on the college's financial status, enrollment, and other important college needs (such as teachers or new buildings).

Gaps in the collection: The only known gap is found in the "Minutes, 1985-1988 (Summaries)." Pages are missing, but it is unknown how many actual pages are gone.

Collection Use +/-

Restrictions on Access:

Materials in Boxes 1-6 are available for use in the Archives Division. Due to the condition of the materials, the earliest Minute Books (in Box 7) have been placed under restricted access. These materials are very fragile and should be handled only with extreme care. A summary for those years provides all basic information of the 1892-1914 meetings (see Box 1, Folders 1-2).

Twenty-four hours advance notice is encouraged.

Restrictions on Use:

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material must be obtained from the director of the Giovale Library.

Preferred Citation:

Westminster College Board of Trustees minutes, 1892-2004, ACC-016A, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


The collection is arranged in two series, and chronologically thereunder:

  • Series 1. Minutes
  • Series 2. Minute books

Processing Note:

This collection was processed in May 2007 by Joshua Ivie. Due to the typographical revisions and the hand-written notes, "Minutes, 1892-1913 (Summaries)" and "Minutes 1892-1914 (Summaries)" appear to be either draft or revised copies. No complete copies have been found. In May 2008, Rebekah Sappington updated this collection. The collection is open and additional materials are anticipated.


Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983). Board of Trustees

Salt Lake Collegiate Institute. Board of Trustees

Sheldon Jackson College (Salt Lake City, Utah). Board of Trustees

Westminster College of Salt Lake City. Board of Trustees

Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1998- ). Board of Trustees


Collection materials are in English.


2.4 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written in May 2007 by Joshua Ivie

EAD Creation Date:

2010 October 4 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections in Giovale Library Archives:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Salt Lake Collegiate Institute--History--Sources
Sheldon Jackson College (Salt Lake City, Utah)--History--Sources
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--History--Sources
Westminster College of Salt Lake City--History--Sources
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1998- )--History--Sources

Subject Terms:

Church schools--Utah--History--Sources
College trustees--Utah
Preparatory schools--Utah--History--Sources
Presbyterian Church--Education--Utah
Presbyterian universities and colleges--Utah--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms:

Minute books

Geographical Names:

Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources