Guide to the Emil Nyman Westminster College Library Archivist's 1915-1978 graduation cardfile

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Emil Nyman Westminster College Library Archivist's 1915-1978 graduation cardfile
Dates: probably 1975-1978 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-085C
Summary: This collection consists of the records of 64 graduation ceremonies held at Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah) between 1915-1978. For each graduation year the following information is included: the graduation date, the degree type, class, or department followed by a list of graduates' names, usually alphabetized. Additional information is recorded for some of the years: the day of week, time, place, and presiding administrator(s).
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: 1915
box 1, folder 2: 1916
box 1, folder 3: 1917
box 1, folder 4: 1918
box 1, folder 5: 1919
box 1, folder 6: 1920
box 1, folder 7: 1921
box 1, folder 8: 1922
box 1, folder 9: 1923
box 1, folder 10: 1924
box 1, folder 11: 1925
box 1, folder 12: 1926
box 1, folder 13: 1927
box 1, folder 14: 1928
box 1, folder 15: 1929
box 1, folder 16: 1930
box 1, folder 17: 1931
box 1, folder 18: 1932
box 1, folder 19: 1933
box 1, folder 20: 1934
box 1, folder 21: 1935
box 1, folder 22: 1936
box 1, folder 23: 1937
box 1, folder 24: 1938
box 1, folder 25: 1939
box 1, folder 26: 1940
box 1, folder 27: 1941
box 1, folder 28: 1942
box 1, folder 29: 1943
box 1, folder 30: 1944
box 1, folder 31: 1945
box 1, folder 32: 1946
box 1, folder 33: 1947
box 1, folder 34: 1948
box 1, folder 35: 1949
box 1, folder 36: 1950
box 1, folder 37: 1951
box 1, folder 38: 1952
box 1, folder 39: 1953
box 1, folder 40: 1954
box 1, folder 41: 1955
box 1, folder 42: 1956
box 1, folder 43: 1957
box 1, folder 44: 1958
box 1, folder 45: 1959
box 1, folder 46: 1960
box 1, folder 47: 1961
box 1, folder 48: 1962
box 1, folder 49: 1963
box 1, folder 50: 1964
box 1, folder 51: 1965
box 1, folder 52: 1966
box 1, folder 53: 1967
box 1, folder 54: 1968
box 1, folder 55: 1969
box 1, folder 56: 1970
box 1, folder 57: 1971
box 1, folder 58: 1972
box 1, folder 59: 1973
box 1, folder 60: 1974
box 1, folder 61: 1975
box 1, folder 62: 1976
box 1, folder 63: 1977
box 1, folder 64: 1978

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

Emil Nyman, 1892-1982: Emil Nyman was born May 17, 1892 in Ramsey, Montana to Charles Nyman and Emma Christina Nielson (Nilsdotter) Nyman. Nyman was graduated from the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, a forerunner of Westminster College, and later from the University of Utah in 1914 with a degree in sociology and philosophy. He later received a master’s degree in psychology.

In 1917, he married Helen Van Pelt in Salt Lake City; she was the daughter of Henry V. Van Pelt, a trustee and treasurer of Westminster College from 1899-1936. The Nymans' son Van and daughter Marion were both graduated from Westminster Junior College in 1938. It was in this connection that Emil became acquainted with Westminster's President H.W. Reherd, and as a trustee of Third Presbyterian Church, with President Robert D. Steele. Nyman and Steele worked together in 1946 to consolidate Third Church and the Westminster Church on the west side to form the Wasatch Presbyterian Church.

Nyman taught various subjects for 14 years in Utah high schools; he was then elected an elementary school principal in the Salt Lake School System, a position he held for 23 years. In his final year as principal, he was President of the Utah Elementary School Principals Association. He was president and treasurer of the Utah Retired Teachers Association, president of the University of Utah Emeritus Club, and served on the Utah Mental Health Board and Services for the Aging.

After retiring as a high school principal in 1957, Emil Nyman first came to Westminster College as a part-time instructor in the Department of Education, under the administration of President Frank E. Duddy, Jr.

In 1969, Dr. Manford Shaw named Nyman Westminster College archivist, a position he held until his death in May, 1982. During the administrations of President Shaw and President Helmut Hofmann, Emil Nyman closed the monthly council meetings by reading a paragraph on college history or a bit of philosophy.

In 1973, Emil Nyman was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. As Westminster College's archivist, he wrote many college biographies, compiled in a scrapbook entitled "I remember" and a history of the college's first 100 years. The Salt Lake Tribune published a feature article on May 20, 1982, written just days before his death, stating he wasn't thinking of retirement soon from the college with which he had been associated since 1905, an association that earned him the nickname "Mr. Westminster".

Sources for Nyman biographical note:

  • website viewed August 29, 2012
  • Nyman, Emil. "I remember" bound scrapbook, autobiography written by Emil Nyman (in Collection ACC-085B)
  • Salt Lake Tribune article, May 20, 1982 by Anne Wilson entitled "'Mr. Westminster' enjoys 90th birthday".
  • Salt Lake Tribune obituary, May 28, 1982.

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of the records of 64 graduation ceremonies held at Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah) between 1915-1978. For each graduation year the following information is included: the graduation date, the degree type, class, or department followed by a list of graduates' names, usually alphabetized. Additional information is recorded for some of the years: the day of week, time, place, and presiding administrator(s). The records are typed on 102 index cards (3 inches x 5 inches) stored in an archival filebox. There are several blue guide cards included (with penned year), suggesting the original file box has been discarded and the cards rehoused in an archival-quality file box and folders.

These records were created by College Archivist Emil Nyman. The year he started the cardfile is unclear. Nyman was college archivist between 1969 and his death in 1982. The cards for the years 1915-1975 were produced on a mechanical typewriter in a serif font; they are on lined cardstock. The cards for the final 3 years, 1976-1978, are typed on a more recent typewriter, perhaps electric, in a san serif font. It is possible Nyman created all the 1915-1975 records at once (in late 1975), or he may have created a portion of that run earlier and then continued to add to the file until 1978. The number of cards per year increases from 1 to as many as 5, typed on one or both sides, as the years progress. It is unknown why the collection runs only until 1978, but by that time the college records of graduation ceremonies and graduates is much more complete.

The dates of graduation ranges from late May to early June of each year; beginning in 1968, Summer graduations began to be held in late July or early August. From 1915 until 1938, the ceremony took place in Gunton Memorial Chapel. From 1939 to 1945 the place is recorded as First Presbyterian Church. Card for 1946-1977 do not record a location; the 1978 ceremony was held in Dane Hansen Memorial Stadium on campus.

1915-1919: George B. Sweazey conferred 6 diplomas to the Preparatory Department graduates in 1915, and in 1916 5 diplomas to the Junior College Class and 7 to High School graduates. In 1917, President Reherd conferred the 5 Junior College Class degrees and Dean Sweazey conferred 15 Collegiate Institute degrees. In 1918 and 1919 Dean W.W. McKirahan conferred both the Junior College and Collegiate Institute degrees. In 1919 Drs. McKirahan and Reherd conferred 3 Junior College degrees and 12 Collegiate Institute degrees. In 1920, President Reherd conferred 12 Collegiate Institute degrees; there is no listing of Jr. College degrees in 1920.

1920-1939: President H.W. Reherd was the sole presenter recorded on the cards for the years 1920-1937. From 1920-1929 the diplomas were conferred to the Junior College Class and Collegiate Institute Class. Of note is that the 1926 class of Junior College graduates included 2 future presidents of Westminster College, each born in 1906: William Fredrick Arbogast (President from 1963-1968) and Manford Avis Shaw (President from 1968-1979). Arbogast's name appears on the card as Fred William Arbogast. As the years progressed, the number of graduates increased. In 1931 for instance, the Junior College Class numbered 18 and the High School Class had 36 members.

Beginning with the 1936 card, "Associate in Arts" degrees are awarded, along with "Lower Division" diplomas. In 1937, the High School and Lower Division are no longer listed, only the "Junior College Class" and "Associate in Arts". The 1938 degrees were conferred by Dr. Reherd, and the candidates for Associate in Arts were presented by Dean Lincoln Barker. In that year, Emil Nyman's two children, Marion and Van Charles Nyman, are listed as receiving Associate of Arts degrees.

1940-1951: President Robert D. Steele's name first appears on the 1940 card as conferring the degrees, with Dean Barker presenting the candidates for Associate in Arts degree. During World War II, the number of degrees conferred drops in number. High School diplomas were again listed in 1943. In 1944, 4 Associate degrees were awarded, all to women; the same year 9 High School diplomas were awarded, 7 to girls and 2 to boys.

In 1945 The first Honorary Degrees were conferred by Westminster College, to Rev. Herbert Ware Reherd (President emeritus), and Mr. Edward Orson Howard. In 1946, one Bachelor of Arts and 6 Associate of Arts were conferred, all to women. By 1947, men's names again appear as graduates; 4 Bachelor of Arts, one Bachelor of Music, 13 Associate of Arts degrees and one Honorary degree were conferred that year. Between 1948-1951, only Bachelor of Arts degrees and one or two honorary degrees each year are listed. The titles "Cum laude", "Summa cum laude" and "Magna cum laude" first appear in the records in 1949. In 1949 there was one candidate "Cum laude"; in 1950 one Summa cum laude, one Magna cum laude, and 3 Cum laude candidates are listed.

1952-1959: In 1952, there were 3 honorary degrees conferred, and Robert David Steele, son of sitting President Robert Denham Steele, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree Summa cum laude. That year there were 33 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 5 Bachelor of Science degrees, and 8 Associate degrees conferred. In 1953 an honorary degree was awarded to Burton C.J. Wheatlake, who was Chairman of the Board of Trustees and in mid-1952 had filled a gap as Interim President for 4 months until President J. Richard Palmer could be hired. The card for 1957 records that Dr. F.E. Duddy, Jr.'s inauguration took place the same day (June 7, 1957), and that 19 Bachelor of Arts and 31 Bachelor of Science degrees were conferred.

1960-1969: In 1960, besides Bachelors of Arts and Science degrees, 3 candidates received Bachelor of Science in Engineering degrees. The Bachelor of Science and Engineering degrees by this year outnumber Bachelor of Arts. In 1968, 3 Master's degree candidates are listed.

1970-1978: The first appearance of the Master of Arts in Teaching degree is on the card for Summer graduation, July 30, 1971, when 4 candidates received that degree. At the May 20, 1972 graduation, Utah Governor Calvin L. Rampton, conductor Maurice Abravanel, and 3 others received honorary degrees. There is only 1 card for the year 1974 in the collection, recording that on July 26, 1974 6 Bachelor of Arts and 9 Bachelor of Science degrees were awarded.

The final set of cards are for the May 27, 1978 graduation ceremony and list 49 candidates for Bachelor of Arts, 212 for Bachelor of Science, and 11 for Master of Education degrees.

Collection Use +/-

Restrictions on Access:

Open to public research.

Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

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:

Emil Nyman Westminster College Library Archivist's 1915-1978 graduation cardfile, probably 1975-1978, ACC-085C, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Dane Hansen Memorial Stadium (Salt Lake City, Utah)
First Presbyterian Church (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Gunton Memorial Chapel (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983--Alumni--
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--History--Sources

Subject Terms:

Commencement ceremonies--Utah--Salt Lake City

Form or Genre Terms:

Cards (information artifacts)
Card files
Lists (document genres)

Personal Names:

Barker, Lincoln
Duddy, Frank E. (Frank Edward), 1917-1986
McKirahan, Walter Wilbert
Nyman, Emil, 1892-1982--Archives
Reherd, Herbert Ware, 1869-1952
Sweazey, George B. (George Beaty), 1875-1946

Geographical Names:

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