On August 26, 2021, in honor of the 101st anniversary of the 19th Amendment that recognized women’s right to vote, the Logan campus of Utah State University unveiled new signage revealing the hidden histories behind the notable women for whom buildings were named.
A culminating project of President Noelle Cockett’s initiative, Year of the Woman, the interpretative signage and an accompanying walk of 1.5 miles illuminates the stories of women important to campus and community. Laura Rees Merrill served as a librarian at Topaz, the Japanese Internment Camp during World War II. In a letter to the Herald Journal dated July 13, 1944, Merrill described the camp as the “fifth largest city in Utah.” She wrote, “One small boy said to his parents, 'I don't like it here. When do we go back to America?'”
In the South Campus Living Center, another building honors Dr. Ethelyn Oliver Greaves, a scientist and leader who was also the first woman to complete a master’s degree at USU.
Helen Lundstrom served as the last dean of women and the first director of the Women’s Center. Peggy Menlove Walker, who was instrumental as a student advocate for the new center that established in 1974, recalled Lundstrom as an “important mentor and leader.” Walker lived in Moen Hall but knew nothing of the woman behind the name. A Norwegian immigrant, Johanna Moen was a much-respected professor and head of the Textiles Department.
Co-chairs of the initiative, Sydney Peterson and Joyce Kinkead, said that the Ambassadors for Year of the Woman, chaired by Cecelia H. Foxley, wanted a permanent legacy to recall the celebration and endorsed interpretative signage on these buildings. Undergraduate research assistant Alana Miller Manesse designed the signage and the walking path brochure. A scavenger hunt leads walkers to learn which woman has three buildings named in her honor and other behind-the-names stories.