Guide to the Westminster College President's Office inauguration and investiture records

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Westminster College President's Office inauguration and investiture records
Dates: 1914-2002 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-102
Summary: This collection consists of records of the investiture and inaugural ceremonies of Westminster College presidents between 1914 and 2002 for the following: Presidents Reherd (1914), Steele (1940), Duddy (1957), Hofmann (1976), Dick (1985), Stock (1996) and Bassis (2002).
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: Bassis, Michael S. (2002 October 19)
box 1, folder 2: Dick, Charles H. (1985 October 18-19)
box 1, folder 3: Duddy, Frank E., Jr. (1957 June 7)
box 1, folder 4: Hofmann, Helmut P. (1976 September 9)
box 1, folder 5: Reherd, Herbert W. (1914 October 2)
box 1, folder 6: Steele, Robert D. (1940 February 19)
box 1, folder 7: Stock, Peggy A. (1996 October 17-19)

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah was chartered in 1895 under the name Sheldon Jackson College. General John Eaton was the first and only person to serve as the president of Sheldon Jackson College (from 1895-1901). The college opened in 1897 on the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute campus and held one commencement under that name on June 4, 1901. The Trustees approved a name change to "Westminster College" in February 6, 1902. Dr. Rev. George Bailey, a Presbyterian minister, became the 2nd president later in 1902, and lived in Washington D.C. to fundraise for the new college. The 3rd president, Robert M. Stevenson, was also a Presbyterian minister and served from 1906-1912.

The 4th president, Herbert Ware Reherd served 20 years in office (1913-1939). Both he, and his successor, 5th president Robert Denham Steele, were Presbyterian ministers; Steele was also Reherd's son-in-law. Burton C.J. Wheatlake, a successful businessman from Salt Lake City, graduate of Westminster College, and long-time trustee, agreed to be an interim president for 4 months in 1952 while a presidential search was taking place. J. Richard Palmer, 7th president (1953-1956), broke the tradition of hiring Presybterian ministers; Palmer came to the college from Denver, Colorado, where he was serving as a Methodist minister. Frank E. Duddy, Jr. the 7th president (1956-1963) was the school's first non-ministerial president.

W. Fred Arbogast, president from 1963-1968 was a Westminster alumnus and the former principal of East High and Highland High School in Salt Lake City. He held graduate degrees from the University of Denver and University of Utah. His term included the addition of the first free-standing library on campus, Nightingale Hall. He died in July, 1984

Manford Shaw, president from 1968-1976, was a Westminster graduate and earned degrees from Yale and the University of Utah. He was also a college trustee. His term saw a much needed Union Building and Malouf Hall added to campus.

Helmut P. Hofmann, president from 1976-1979, had a Ph.D. from Heidelberg University, Germany and had been the Academic Vice-President at both Weber State in Ogden, Utah and at Westminster College before being chosen as Westminster president in 1976.

James E. ("Pete") Petersen, Kennecott Copper Company's industrial relations manager served the college twice, once for 8 months as Interim President in 1979 and again from 1982-1985 (as President). A businessman with no college degree, he saw the college through the brink of bankruptcy and a reorganization that put it on the road to its current success.

C. David Cornell, president from 1979-1982, had previously served as Vice-President of colleges in New York, Ohio and North Carolina.

Charles H. Dick (14th college president (1985-1995) was an educator, administrator, and fundraiser. Previous to serving at Westminster College, he had been president of Centenary College in New Jersey and Vice-President at Cornell University Medical Center.

Peggy Stock (15th President, 1995-2002) was Westminster College's (and Utah's) first female college president. Before coming to Westminster College, Dr. Stock was Senior Vice-President for Administration and Professor at the University of Hartford, Assistant Dean of Students at Montana State University, and 6th President of Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire.

Michael S. Bassis (16th President, 2002-2012), before coming to Westminster College, served as the chief academic and administrative officer of New College of Florida, president of Olivet College in Michigan from 1993 to 1998, and executive Vice-President and university provost at Antioch University.

Brian L. Levin-Stankevich (17th President, 2012- ) before coming to Westminster College served as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The following is a chronological list of the Westminster College presidents:

1895-1902 John Eaton (1st President, under the name Sheldon Jackson College)

1902-1906 George Bailey (2nd President)

1906-1912 Robert M. Stevenson (3rd President)

1913-1939 Herbert Ware Reherd (4th President)

1939-1952 Robert Denham Steele (5th President)

1952 Burton C.J. Wheatlake (6th (Interim) President)

1953-1956 J. Richard Palmer (7th President)

1956-1963 Frank E. Duddy, Jr. (8th President)

1963-1968 W. Fred Arbogast (9th President)

1968-1976 Manford A. Shaw (10th President)

1976-1979 Helmut P. Hofmann (11th President)

1979 James E. Petersen (Interim President)

1979-1982 C. David Cornell (12th President)

1982-1985 James E. Petersen (13th President)

1985-1995 Charles H. Dick (14th President)

1995-2002 Peggy A. Stock (15th President)

2002-2012 Michael S. Bassis (16th President)

2012-2015 Brian Levin-Stankevich (17th President)

2015- Steve Morgan (18th President)

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of records of the investiture and inaugural ceremonies of Westminster College presidents between 1914 and 2002 for the following: Presidents Reherd (1914), Steele (1940), Duddy (1957), Hofmann (1976), Dick (1985), Stock (1996) and Bassis (2002).

The records include inaugural event invitations (an investiture concert for President Robert Denham Steele; President Peggy A. Stock's dinner with students, inaugural lecture, Oktoberfest, and Inaugural Ball). The inaugural programs document the participation of representatives from various colleges and universities, public officials, and religious leaders. Participants at these ceremonies included the University of Utah President George Thomas and the university's ROTC color guard, Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson, and Utah Governors Michael Leavitt and Scott Matheson. Religion played a prominent role in the ceremonies with opening and closing prayers being included in a typically interdenominational ceremony. The programs also include an historical sketch of Westminster College, a biographical statement of the new president, and an acknowledgement of the active participation by the students and faculty of Westminster College.

The earlier records attributed to the investiture of Presidents Herbert W. Reherd and Robert Denham Steele are more simplistic than the later ceremonies, including only the invitation and information about the event. More emphasis is placed on the authority and charge of the president, especially in the speeches given by prominent members of the community. For example, University of Utah President George Thomas, gave the speech, "The Church Related College and State Institutions of Higher Learning." The records associated with President Herbert W. Reherd include newspaper articles published in the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. They also include Reherd's oath of office and invitation to the inauguration ceremony.

The inaugural programs for Presidents Charles Dick and Peggy Stock provide more in-depth history of Westminster College. The inaugurations also give more explanation of the formality and symbolism of the ceremony, and provide explanation of the significance of academic regalia. The later programs give more recognition to the trustees, faculty, and administration. There are significantly more events for the inauguration of the more recent presidents, including lectures, events with students, musical performances, and inaugural dances. The records show the growing importance of new presidents to the college community as the years progressed.

The collection includes an inaugural program for President Michael S. Bassis. A fuller set of his inaugural documents, including drafts and the text of his inaugural speech are found in the "Michael S. Bassis Westminster College President's inauguration records, 2002" (Collection number ACC-078).

Gaps in the collection: No inaugural records have been discovered for the earliest presidents, General John Eaton (1895), Dr. George Bailey (1902), and Dr. Robert M. Stevenson (1906), for Interim President Burton C.J. Wheatlake (1952), nor for Presidents Palmer (1953), Arbogast (1963), Shaw (1968), Petersen (1979 and 1982), and Cornell (1979).

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:

Westminster College President's Office inauguration and investiture records, 1914-2002, ACC-102, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


Alphabetically by the President's surname.

Processing Note:

The collection was processed by Alana Dela Cruz in May 2005. These records were located separately and compiled into this collection. A fuller set of materials on President Michael Bassis' inauguration is filed separately in the collection entitled "Michael S. Bassis Westminster College President's inauguration records, 2002", collection number ACC-078). This collection was created to document the inaugural process prior to 2002; all later inaugural records will be processed as separate collections by name of the incoming president.


Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983). President's Office

Westminster College of Salt Lake City. Office of the President

Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1998- ). Office of the President


Collection materials are in English.


0.2 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written by Alana Dela Cruz in May 2005; revised and expanded April 2012 by Sarah Shaw.

EAD Creation Date:

2010 September 1 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections in Giovale Library Archives:

Related photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Related photograph held by the Salt Lake Tribune:

Related collection held by Weber State University:

  • Office of Academic Vice-President Helmut P. Hoffman Papers, 1967-1972 (WA 2 1)

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Presidents
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983). President's Office--Archives
Westminster College of Salt Lake City--Presidents
Westminster College of Salt Lake City. Office of the President--Archives
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1998- )--Presidents
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1998- ). Office of the President--Archives

Subject Terms:

College presidents--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives
College presidents--Utah--Salt Lake City--Inauguration
Women college presidents--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives

Form or Genre Terms:

Programs (documents)

Personal Names:

Bassis, Michael S.--Inauguration, 2002
Dick, Charles H. (Charles Howard)--Inauguration, 1985
Duddy, Frank E. (Frank Edward), 1917-1986--Inauguration, 1957
Hofmann, Helmut P. (Helmut Phillip), 1926- --Inauguration, 1976
Reherd, Herbert Ware, 1869-1952--Inauguration, 1914
Steele, Robert D. (Robert Denham), 1901-1972--Inauguration, 1940
Stock, Peggy A.--Inauguration, 1996

Geographical Names:

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