Guide to the St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing Alumni Association records

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing Alumni Association records
Dates: 1917-1997 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-063
Summary: This collection consists of the St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing Alumni Association records dating 1917-1997. Materials include calendars, correspondence, guestbooks, histories, lists, newspaper clippings, programs, reunion yearbooks, and scrapbooks. Records in this collection relate for the most part to the following three types of association activities: operations, history, and annual reunions.
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: Alumni deaths
box 1, folder 2: Alumni lists
box 1, folder 3: Articles of organization (1958)
box 1, folder 4: Calendar--National League for Nursing (1993)
box 1, folder 5: Centennial celebration
box 1, folder 6: Centennial planning
box 1, folder 7: Guestbook (1956-1965)
box 1, folder 8: Guestbook (1970-1990)
box 1, folder 9: Guestbook (1995)
box 1, folder 10: Historical notes
box 1, folder 11: Histories (Nursing) (1917-1951)
box 1, folder 12: Histories--St. Mark's Hospital (written by Carol Malbone) (1951)
box 1, folder 13: Invitations (1987-1992)
box 1, folder 14: Newspaper clippings
box 1, folder 15: Programs
box 1, folder 16: Registrations (1985)
box 1, folder 17: Responses
box 2, folder 1: Reunion (1990)
box 2, folder 2: Reunion yearbook (original) (1990)
box 2, folder 3: Reunion yearbooks (1980-1995)
box 2, folder 4: Scrapbook ("Album") (1970-1977)
box 2, folder 5: Scrapbook (circa 1975-1976)
box 2, folder 6: Stethoscope (newsletter) (1934 September - 1997 Spring)

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

St. Mark's Hospital opened in 1872 under the direction of the Episcopal Church in a two room adobe house on 500 East and 300 South in Salt Lake City. Two years later it admitted its first patients. The 1879 expansion saw the purchase of land and the erection of a new building with room for fifteen beds to better treat the infirm miner lead poisoning, industrial injuries, and typhoid fever.

St. Marks Hospital School of Nursing: On March 24, 1893, the St. Mark's Hospital Board of Directors authorized the establishment of a training school for nurses in connection with the hospital. In 1894, a new 50-bed St. Mark's hospital opened with a nurses training program at 200 North 700 West. Twenty-three year old, Miss Mary Edith Newitt, a recent graduate of New York City's St. Luke's Training School, served as the head nurse. The first class of four nurses graduated from the two year program in 1896. While St. Mark's Nursing School began as a two-year program, a third year was added in 1898. Between 1892 and 1898, the hospital more than doubled its capacity when it added a new wing to house the surgical, medical, and women's wards.

The nursing students were initially housed in a cottage owned by the hospital on Reed Street, later they lived in the basement of the new wing, and finally they moved into a new three-story residence constructed in 1906. The Nurses Home was opened on May 8, 1907, as a memorial to Episcopal Bishop Abel Leonard. Its first floor apartments housed the head nurse, the assistant head nurse, and the night nurse plus a living room, while the second and third floors housed the nursing students.

The school's curriculum evolved as state and national standards and trends changed. Initially, the program required extensive clinical training and little classroom work. New students were assigned to the hospital a day after their arrival. Student nurses, known as probationers, spent their first year assisting in general cleaning, food preparation, and other tasks as well as nursing. Each nurse was assigned to a particular ward on regular rotations. Between 1896 and 1920, more than 200 nurses graduated from St. Mark's. Students worked twelve hours per day and attended classes in the evening. Students were provided board and lodging, reasonable laundry and a monthly allowance of $5 for the purchase of uniforms and textbooks and to meet other expenses. In 1927, requirements were tightened requiring high school diplomas for students to be admitted into the program. From 1914 to 1966, clinical work requirements fell from seventy-six hours per week to twenty-eight hours while total classroom hours increased from 208 to 1,543.

Between 1935 and 1950, the need for nurses increased dramatically as the number of patients in U.S. hospitals doubled while the number of stateside nurses declined as more nurses joined military service during World War II. The U.S. Congress responded by creating the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps as an incentive to increase the number of students in the program by providing financial aid to nursing students. Additionally, St. Mark's Nursing School created its own incentive by making it possible for students to gain university credit at the school. Students could graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences by taking courses in conjunction with the University of Utah. However, this program ended in 1948 when the University tried to gain control of St. Mark's Nursing Program. St. Mark's declined the University's offer and instead became academically affiliated with Westminster College that same year.

The diversity of the school's student body broadened with the addition of the first graduating African American student (Nancy Bankhead) in 1955, and the first graduating male student (Kenneth Ross Church) in 1963. The 1960s saw a national decline in the supply of highly skilled nurses.

St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing: On August 15, 1968, the Board of Directors of St. Mark's Hospital voted to terminate the Diploma Program of the St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing as of June 1970. In an effort to build support for the program, Westminster College and St. Mark's Nursing School commenced a baccalaureate-nursing program together, completing the transition in 1970, in time for the first Westminster students to graduate from the program in 1972. Malouf Hall on the Westminster College campus was created as an extension of the Dick Science Building in 1974 and housed the nursing classes for 31 year.

Westminster College School of Nursing and Health Sciences moved to a new facility on the third floor of the Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center just before the spring semester of 2006.

St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing Alumni Association: In the Summer of 1895, St. Mark's Hospital completed the first year of its two-year nursing training program. The St. Mark's Nursing School Alumni Association (originally spelled Alumnae) was established in the 1904/1905 school year as an organization to maintain contact between the school and its alumni. It was organized by Nellie Crossland, superintendent of nurses at the hospital, and began with twelve original members. In 1958, the Association was officially incorporated with the State of Utah. Membership was opened (after payment of dues) to all graduates of the St. Mark' Hospital nursing program.

The organization's changes reflect the changes in the St. Mark's Nursing School. In 1949, the hospital developed an official association with Westminster College, culminating with St. Mark's phasing out of their independent nursing program in favor of full integration with Westminster College in 1970. The school was renamed St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing and the Association's name was changed accordingly. In 1995, the School held a large Centennial Celebration to mark its "100 Years of Caring."

The Alumni Association's membership was for all graduates of the St. Mark's nursing program, regardless of whether they attended before or after the merger. All dues-paying members received Stethoscope (the Association's official newsletter), containing the news of the association, school, alumni, upcoming events, and newsworthy items.

In the late 1960s, the Alumni Association became interested in its own history, and that of St. Mark's Hospital, and began to collect college histories, pictures, and personal stories from its members. This effort resulted in the publication in 1970 of St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing story by Lottie Felkner. It was later updated with Felkner's 1995 A century of caring: 1895-1995 St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing.

More information on the current Westminster College School of Nursing and Health Sciences is available online.

Sources of information for this biographical/historical note:

  • Felkner, Lottie. A century of caring : 1895-1995, St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing (Salt Lake City, Utah : Westminster College of Salt Lake City, 1995), p. 1.
  • Felkner, Lottie and Mildren Larsen. St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing story (Salt Lake City, Utah : St. Mark's Hospital Nurses' Alumni Association, 1970).
  • Sillito, John "A conflict and contributions : women in churches, 1847-1920", in Women in Utah history : paradigm or paradox, edited by Patricia Lyn Scott and Linda Thatcher. (Logan : Utah State University Press, 2005), p. 110-111.
  • St. Mark's-Westminster College Nursing Alumni Association records, 1917-1997" (ACC-063), Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah. Unpublished historical notes by Carol Malbone and Beatrice Smith, as well as the Articles of Organization of the alumni association found in the collection.
  • Westminster College website, viewed November 20, 2014.
  • Willes, Laura G. "St. Mark's Nospital : excerpts from St. Mark's Hospital Nursing School, a history (hospital)", in St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing administrative records, 1913-1969, ACC-066A, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.)
  • Willes, Laura G. "Untitled speech given to the Meeting of the Utah State Nurses Association, April 30, 1927", in St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing administrative records, 1913-1969, ACC-066A, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah)

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of the St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing Alumni Association records dating 1917-1997. Materials include calendars, correspondence, guestbooks, histories, lists, newspaper clippings, programs, reunion yearbooks, and scrapbooks. Records in this collection relate for the most part to the following three types of association activities: operations, history, and annual reunions.

Operational records include lists, legal records, and the association's official publications. While there is no complete official membership list, the lists of alumni and alumni deaths provide a partial glimpse of the association's membership. The 1958 articles of organization (Box 1, Folder 3) document the legal requirements with which the Association complied in order to be recognized by the State of Utah.

Association members received Stethoscope, the Association's official newsletter. It reports news and upcoming activities to members. Twelve issues held are filed in Box 2, Folder 6). In addition, a copy of the May 1975 issue of the Stethoscope is located within an untitled scrapbook (Box 2, Folder 5). All issues are dated, but only two have volume/issue numbers. The oldest is dated 1934 Sept. (No. 5). The 1937 January 21 issue (Vol. 1, no. 1) describes the publication as "a casual publication, sponsored and edited by the student nurses of St. Mark's Hospital". The 1974 April issue refers to the "St. Mark's Hospital School of Baccalaureate Nursing at Westminster College Alumni Association". The 1989 April issue describes itself as "A publication of the St. Mark's/Westminster School of Nursing Alumni Association". The issues of Stethoscope in this file are dated:

  • 1934 September
  • 1937 January 21
  • 1968 January
  • 1970 April
  • 1970 October
  • 1974 April
  • 1989 April
  • 1992 October
  • 1993 Spring
  • 1994 Spring
  • 1994 October
  • 1997 Spring

Histories: This collection contains much information on the history of the Association, St. Mark's Hospital and its nursing program, and nursing itself. It includes handwritten notes, personal accounts, and individual letters. The material in this section was produced largely in response to the school's attempts to write a history of the St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing. A notice was placed in the February 1965 Stethoscope asking for stories and pictures. Some of the letters in the "Responses" folder were submitted as a result. An additional notice was made sometime in 1968 for photographs and more responses were then received. In 1970, The St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing story was compiled by St. Mark's Nursing Director and Professor, Lottie Felkner. This book included the historical sketches and photographs collected by the Association and included in this collection. Historial notes, histories of nursing, and of St. Mark's Hospital are located in Box 1, Folders 10-12 and the "Responses" mentioned above are located in Box 1, Folder 17. The oldest document in the collection is found in Box 1, Folder 11 (Histories)-- a 3-page typewritten letter dated March 1917 to the members of the Utah State Nursing Association, signed by Rose Korous, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. In another list in the collection, this author's name is given as Rose Karous [sic] Peterson.

Reunions events: The bulk of the documents in this collection relate to the planning, organizing, holding, and documenting the Association's homecoming events and reunions. Preparatory materials include the alumni lists indicating those planning on attending a particular event and fees paid. Some lists just contain names (with "paid" written next to the name), others include contact information and/or graduation year. One undated list could only be identified by the last year of graduation listed (1975).

Most of the documents pertaining to these reunion events are in the form of guestbooks or yearbooks which served as reception or registration books. The earliest record is the 1956 guestbook. Although there are only three guestbooks in the collection, each book was used for guest sign-ins at more than one event. As a result, we can identify at least a partial list of when reunions were held. They were held, according to the guestbooks, at irregular intervals until 1965, after which they appear every five years until 1995 with the Centennial Celebration. While it was the Association's practice to have the attendees (guests) at the reunion write their names and graduating years, other information was periodically added, such as address and event details. The yearbooks are from the 1985, 1990, and 1995 class reunions. All contain updates on alumni, while the 1990 book also containing pictures and copies of newspaper articles.

The largest reunion was the 1995 Centennial Celebration. More than a hundred registrants attended. The event's preparation is well documented because of its importance and its size. Planning records include alumni meeting minutes and agenda, correspondence, memoranda, press releases, programs, and proposed schedules. It also includes a request from Westminster College President Charles H. Dick, to Utah's Governor Michael Okerlund Leavitt that June 10, 1995 be declared "St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing Day."

Also included in the collection are two scrapbooks (Box 2, Folders 4-5), a brown one titled "Album" and an untitled red one. The first scrapbook ("album") contains a simple collection of photographs, programs, and newspaper clippings (1970-1977) from the Salt Lake tribune and the Deseret news relating to the association's members, including obituaries. The scrapbook also contains a 1977 graduation program and a list of graduates. The second book contains similar materials, including photographs (both contemporary and more historic ones), a program for the 1975 homecoming, a school brochure, newspaper clippings, a letter and a typed note from Lottie Felkner (who appears to have compiled the scrapbook) concerning her thoughts on nursing. The newspaper clippings document the construction of the new St. Mark's Hospital, alumni obituaries and other stories of alumni, dating from the 1975-76 period (most are undated). It also contains a list of the December 1975 Class and a copy of the May 1975 Stethoscope. This scrapbook also includes a 1975 class list, a newsletter, and a homecoming program.

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:

St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing Alumni Associaton records, 1917-1997, ACC-063, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Processing Note:

Processed by Josh Jentzsch in March 2007. It is unknown when the Giovale Library acquired these records. They had no discernable order and were originally mixed with St. Mark's Nursing School Records. The records were separated and an organizational scheme was determined.


St. Mark's Hospital. School of Nursing. Alumni Association

St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing. Alumni Association

Westminster College. School of Nursing. Alumni Association


Collection materials are in English.


0.5 linear foot

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written March 2007 by Josh Jentzsch; revised and expanded March 2015 by Sarah Shaw.

EAD Creation Date:

2015 March 03 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

St. Mark's Hospital (Salt Lake City, Utah). School of Nursing--Alumni and alumnae
St. Mark's Hospital (Salt Lake City, Utah). School of Nursing. Alumni Association--Archives
St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing--Alumni and alumnae
St. Mark's-Westminster School of Nursing. Alumni Association--Archives
Westminster College (1998- ). School of Nursing and Health Sciences--Alumni and alumnae
Westminster College (1998- ). School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Alumni Association--Archives

Subject Terms:

Nursing schools--Utah--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms:

Clippings (information artifacts)
Programs (documents)
Visitor's books

Personal Names:

Dick, Charles H. (Charles Howard)
Felkner, Lottie
Malbone, Carol
Korous, Rose

Geographical Names:

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