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A History of Impact

Dive into the rich history of Utah State University women and their impact on current and future generations. Check back frequently as we continually update this timeline throughout the Year of the Woman.


First Vote Cast by Seraph Young

National Event

Utah is the first place in the United States to have a vote cast by a woman. The honor goes to Seraph Young on February 14.

Edmunds–Tucker Act

March 3, 1887
National Event

One of the provisions of the Edmunds–Tucker Act in 1887 was the repeal of women's suffrage and thus the women’s vote becomes disenfranchised until Utah earns statehood in 1896.

Utah Agricultural College Founded


Founding of Utah Agricultural College (UAC), the land-grant college in the Utah territory.

Sarah Walker Eddy Speech


At the Dedication Ceremony of the UAC, Sarah Walker Eddy delivers a rousing speech on “Higher Education and Women.” The Governor offers her a faculty position on the spot.

First Student Enrolled


When classes at the Utah Agricultural College began in 1890, the college enrolled 139 students, 106 men and 33 women. Miss Vendla Berntson is registered as the first student.

First Faculty


Nine professors begin teaching, including Abby L. Marlatt, as professor of Domestic Economy and Sarah Goodwin, as teacher of Music and the institution’s first librarian.

First Matron of UAC


Kathinka “Kinnie” Caine named as the first matron of UAC overseeing student residence.

Areas of Learning Expand


Girls enrolled in the Domestic Arts Course study the liberal arts and sciences, but also add such practical classes as sewing, dietetics, designing, cooking, canning, fruits, fancy work, household management, and dairy practice. And they are “encouraged to acquire French” as it is the “diplomatic language of Europe and that of fashionable circles,” while its terms are “more used in the domestic affairs of women.”

Women Join UAC Cadet Corps


Women join the UAC Cadet Corps, as they are required to drill with the ROTC to maintain physical exercise. They carry “light rifles and sabers.”

First UAC Commencement


The first eight students receive business degrees, making USU home to the oldest continuously operating business school in the West.

Utah Earns Statehood

Utah Event

Utah earns statehood, and women regain voting rights. Utah elects the first woman state senator, Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon.

Passing of Cazier Act

Utah Event

The act funded an Agriculture Experiment Station with a small appropriation granted for a farmer’s institute in each county on an annual basis. This plants the seed for what eventually becomes the Extension division charged with “carrying the college to the people.”

Domestic Arts Manual Training


A two-year companion course on Domestic Arts Manual Training is offered “for the benefit of those young women who do not wish to take the studies of the regular College Course, but desire to devote more time to the subjects of special interest to women.”

Women's Baseball Team


The Sorosis Society


The Sorosis Society, a women’s club focused on literature and culture is founded; in 1934 it evolves into the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority.


Blue Adopted as School Color


Blue is adopted as the official school color, and is used by the first women’s basketball team, predating the men’s team by three years.

Utah State Home Economics Association


Dalinda Cotey, a faculty member, advocates for the professionalization of farm women and organizes the Utah State Home Economics Association.

First ACU Intercollegiate Women's Basketball Game


The ACU women’s teams plays its first intercollegiate basketball game against a team from Brigham Young College in downtown Logan.

World's Fair in St. Louis


The Agricultural College wins a gold medal for its research exhibits at the World’s Fair in St. Louis.

ACU Lecture Train


“Lecture train” features whistle-stop teaching in Utah and Idaho with exhibits from the Experiment Station.

Extension Department


Extension Department established for the “purpose of bringing together the various agencies of the institution.”

First Student Government


Students meet in the Old Main Chapel (now the Anthropology Museum) to organize the first student government.

Anna Nibley Elected as VP


Miss Anna Nibley is elected as Vice President of the student body.

Sarah Huntsman Directs An American Citizen


The theatrical offering, An American Citizen, is directed by Miss Sarah Huntsman and produced in the Thatcher Opera House. In the succeeding years, she directs many plays including Milestone and The Admirable Critchon.

Jessie Anderson contributes to Helicon


The newly-formed literary society, Helicon, is benefited by the involvement of UAC student Jessie Anderson, who went on to head the Domestic Science Department at Snow Academy in Ephraim, Utah, a branch campus of the UAC.

Canning Class


Sigma Theta Phi


Sigma Theta Phi, the first Greek letter women’s organization at UAC, is founded.

Smart Gymnasium Completed


Smart Gymnasium is completed thanks in large part to Miss Charlotte Kyle, instructoress in English. She wrote a letter to President John Widstoe protesting the “scantily clad athletes” walking the halls in Old Main. The president agreed and promptly appointed Miss Kyle to raise money for a proper gymnasium. She obtained $10,000 from Trustee Thomas Smart, and with additional funds from the state, the UAC has a new building.

Cedar City Normal School


Branch agricultural college established at Cedar City Normal School. In 2019, there are 33 campuses and centers across Utah that provide access to higher education by delivering a wide range of relevant high-quality courses, degree programs, and research opportunities that combine instructional excellence with innovative technologies.

Suffrage Parade

March 3, 1913
National Event

A suffrage parade held in Washington, D.C., the day before the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson in 1913 receives national attention when spectators in the largely male crowd attack the marchers. Although more than 100 women are hospitalized for injuries, the women refuse to give up and complete the march. Historians credit the 1913 parade for inspiring a new wave of interest in the Women's Suffrage Movement, especially among a new generation of activists.

First Graduate Degree Granted


UAC grants its first graduate degree, a master’s in agriculture. Research at the university focuses mostly on agriculture in the beginning years and some of the first experiments are conducted by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station.

Utah Cooperative Extension Service Founded


Utah Cooperative Extension Service is founded, bringing research-based knowledge to people, especially farmers, around the state.

Women Students in a Demo about Pneumatic Pumps


First International Students


The first international students enroll for classes as the UAC. The institution has since strived to make USU a warm, welcoming, and diverse community of global citizens.

First Woman's Advisor


The first “Woman’s Advisor,” Hazel Love Dunford, is hired in what is dubbed an “innovative move” by UAC administration.

Home Economics Education


Home economics education is funded and implemented to train teachers for public schools.

Night of Terror

November 14, 1917
National Event

During the"Night of Terror," 33 suffragists from the National Women's Party are arrested for protesting outside of the White House and are brutally beaten and tortured at the Occoquan Workhouse, a prison in northern Virginia. Their stories horrify the nation, galvanizing public support for the Women's Suffrage Movement and bringing new momentum, which helped pass the 19th Amendment, recognizing women's right to vote, three years later.



UAC is one of the first colleges in the United States to offer a class devoted to “mothercraft,” a study of the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system, preparation for motherhood, and the physical care of mother and child from the prenatal period to the end of the first year of the child's life.

Utah Votes to Ratify 19th Amendment

September 30, 1919
Utah Event

The Utah State Legislature votes to ratify the 19th Amendment, consistent with its long history of supporting women's voting rights.

19th Amendment Ratified

August 26, 1920
National Event

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Milking Competition


Woman Seated on the"A"


Tent City on the Quad


Tent City on the Quad welcomes homemakers and farmers every summer for educational enrichment.

Ethelyn Greaves Appointed Director


Ethelyn O. Greaves, appointed Director of Utah County Home Demonstration Agents’ courses.

Mildred Younker Directs School Hot-Lunch Program


Mildred Younker directs the Works Progress Administration-funded school hot-lunch program.

First African-American Woman Graduate


UAC Alum Mignon Barker Richmond is the first African-American woman to graduate from a Utah college. She goes on to a successful career as a professor of textiles and clothing at the University of Utah and dedicates time to community and civic involvements, including serving as Vice President, and later, President, of the Salt Lake Chapter of the NAACP; membership on the boards of the Utah Community Service Council; and on the Women’s Legislative Council.
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First Dean of School of Home Economics


Jessie Whitacre becomes the first Dean of the School of Home Economics.

First UAC Master's Degree Awarded to a Woman


Ethelyn Oliver Greaves receives the first master’s degree given to a woman at UAC.

Associated Women Students Founded


The Women’s Student Association (later Associated Women Students) is founded by Dean Charlotte Dancy, who serves as the first Dean of Women (1922-1930).

Women in a Nursing Class


National Summer School Established


National Summer School established, featuring distinguished scholars, resulting in Logan being termed “the Athens of the West.”


Department of Rural Sociology Founded


Department of Rural Sociology is founded to study rural home conditions and community life.

First Kindergarten Class Established in Cache Valley


Edith Bowen, experienced teacher and supervisor of the Logan City Schools, establishes the first kindergarten class in Cache Valley as part of the Whittier Elementary School. Due to low funding, supplies were purchased through fundraising and community donations, and Emma Eccles Jones, renowned early childhood education pioneer, taught the class without pay for three years. The highly successful program became a statewide model for future kindergarten programs.

Home Management House


The Home Management House (currently the Family Life Center) offers hands-on application of classroom theory.

Teacher Training School Established


The newly-launched School of Education establishes a teacher training school in honor of Edith Bowen’s contributions to education and her dedication to the training of quality educators.

UAC Becomes Utah State Agricultural College


Utah Agricultural College becomes the Utah State Agricultural College.

Merrill Library Erected


The Merrill Library is erected on the east side of the Quad. The first floor includes the Anne Carroll Moore Children’s Collection and a Women’s Room. Today, the Anne Carroll Moore Library houses more than 25,000 items and is located in the Edith Bowen Laboratory School.

Women in Food Preparation Class


Department of Child Development and Parental Education Started


The Department of Child Development and Parental Education is started in the School of Home Economics. While theoretical work is given, a nursery school is established to give practical training.

National Economy Act


The National Economy Act prohibits women who are married from employment if the husband has a job during the Great Depression.

May Swenson Graduates


English student May Swenson graduates. She would go on to become known as one of America’s best contemporary poets offering a new perspective on the human condition, death, sexuality, and the art of poetry.

The Dames Originates


The Dames, wives of students club, originates.

Women's Residence Hall Construction


A residence hall for women is constructed.

Women Re-join USAC Corps of Cadets


In the 1930s women re-join the USAC corps of cadets – the first time since 1893.

Abby Marlatt Receives Honorary Degree


ACU presents an Honorary Degree to Abby L. Marlatt, the first woman to receive such an honor.

NYC Public Librarian Anne Carroll Moore Delivers Children’s Lit Workshop


Anne Carroll Moore of the New York City Public Library delivers a workshop on children’s literature during the university’s 50th anniversary celebration; the library in the Edith Bowen Lab School would later be named in her honor.

First Woman Joins Civil Engineer Club


Miss A. Kearl is the first woman in the Civil Engineer Club.

Women's Basketball Team


National Defense Training


Women participate in National Defense training courses: radio, electric welding, and motorized equipment repair.

The Buzzer Publishes Women in Slacks


The Buzzer, the campus yearbook, shows women wearing slacks, a practice that is revoked and not allowed again until the 1960s.

Enrollment Decreases During WWII


During World War II, enrollment on campus is 692 women and 297 men. Enrollment decreases as both women and men serve the country.

The Buzzer Yearbook Dedicated to Woman Power


The Buzzer yearbook is dedicated to Woman Power: “Women stepped into the clodhopper shoes vacated by the men and with a little adjusting, tightened the shoelaces to prove that the shoes were a good fit.”

Research Foundation Established


Research Foundation established and Graduate School founded.

Women Career Conference Organized


Dean of Women Ione Bennion, organizes a conference to help women students with career possibilities and to network with women’s groups throughout the state.


The Spurs Chapter Established


A chapter of The Spurs, a national service organization for sophomore women, is established. Prior to being admitted to the national organization, the Spurs was a local "pep" club called the Score Club. The Spurs and their male counterpart club on campus, the Intercollegiate Knights, hold an annual ball in which they choose a "Knight of Nights" and a "Spur of the Moment" to reign as the ball's royalty.

Aggiettes Formed


The Aggiettes are part of the USU spirit squad that promotes Aggie pride through the generation and coordination of new ideas, traditions, and activities throughout the university and community and encourages enthusiastic support for sporting events at USU.

Research Areas Expand


While the Aggies are known for their agriculture, by 1956 the university takes a shift and begins to define research to include all scholarly and creative endeavors including business, education, biological science, and the arts.

USAC Becomes USU


Utah State Agricultural College becomes Utah State University

Native Americans in Utah Awarded the Vote


After centuries of struggle, Native Americans in Utah are awarded the vote. Even with the lawful right to vote in every state, Native Americans suffered from the same mechanisms and strategies, such as poll taxes, literacy tests, fraud, and intimidation that kept African Americans from exercising that right.

Ione Bennion Work on Voting Rights Act


Ione Bennion begins working with the Utah Committee on Civil Rights to secure the passage of the Utah Voting Rights Act of 1965.

First Woman Natural Resources Graduate


The first woman to graduate from the College of Natural Resources, Carolyn deRoos, receives a degree in game management in fisheries and wildlife.

New Labs Founded


The Space Dynamics Laboratory and the Utah Water Research Laboratory are founded.

Mother's Day Weekend Established


Mother’s Day Weekend is established with teas, tours, and a fashion show.

USU Honors Program Founded


Honors students research and create, study abroad, complete internships, take classes that solve real-world problems, design high-impact service projects, and participate in co-curricular events while living at heart of USU's intellectual community.

Women Receive Doctorates


Women receive doctorates degrees from USU, including Luna Robertson Brite.

Woman in Drafting Class


The Voting Rights Act

August 6, 1965
National Event

This act, “to enforce the 15th Amendment to the Constitution," signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, outlaws the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many Southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting.

Continuing Education Center established at Uintah Basin


USU’s outreach programs have transformed the lives of unaccountable individuals through higher education. The statewide system has brought new dynamism and opportunity to rural communities providing educational opportunity to the rural residents of Utah who live far away from Logan and other university/college sites.

First Woman Engineering Graduate


The first woman graduates from the College of Engineering, Adonna Watkins Drake, in Mechanical Engineering, and also is the first to graduate with a master’s two years later.

Woman Creating Television Program


Curfews on Women’s Dorms Suspended


Larzette Hale Appointed Head of the School of Accountancy


Larzette G. Hale appointed as head of the School of Accountancy, a position she holds until 1990. She is, at the time, the only African American woman to hold both a Ph.D. and CPA.

Rally for ERA


Women on campus rally for ERA with Bella Abzug as the speaker.

Women Earn $0.58 on the Dollar

National Event

Nationally, for every dollar a man earns, on average, a woman is paid 58 cents. Based on the 2019 rate of progress, it will take 202 years for this gap to close, according to the World Economic Forum.

From Matron to Custodian


Women doing custodial work are called “matrons.” Faculty member Dr. Alison C. Thorne recalled in her memoir, Leave the Dishes in the Sink, that “A representative of the Department of Labor arrived on campus to remind the administration of the provisions of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, whereupon the title ‘matron’ was changed to ‘custodian,’ with women’s pay made equal to that of men. When this matter was first considered, the men custodians said women would not shovel snow and get up on ladders to change fluorescent lights, but the women said they would. They did, and they still do.”

Lack of Women with the Rank of Professor


Only three women hold the academic rank of professor, in contrast to 147 men.

USU Status of Women Committee Forms


The USU Status of Women Committee forms with Carolyn Steel as chair. The group helps write an Affirmative Action Plan and is instrumental in the hiring of the first woman counselor in the Counseling Center, Marilynne Glatfelter.

First Women's Studies Course


The first Women’s Studies course is taught, without pay, by a team of faculty members, including Alison Thorne, on the topic “Evolution of the Female Personality.”

Center for Persons with Disabilities Established


USU founds the first University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities program in the nation to focus on the educational and social needs of children with disabilities.

Mary Washington Named Inaugural Director of Utah State University Press


Mary “Melle” Washington is named inaugural director of Utah State University Press, a position she holds through 1979. Utah State University Press achieves distinction as a publisher of Mormon history, Native American studies, nature and environment, western history, folklore, and composition studies. Washington also taught in the university's English department for several years and served as President of the Western Literature Association in 1978. She was followed in the director role by Linda Speth (1979-1993), Michael Spooner (1993-2017), and Racheal Levay (2017-present).

USU Affirmative Action Plan


The University’s Affirmative Action Plan is inaugurated with Judith M. Gappa as the coordinator of the new office.

Special Leave Policy Instituted


USU institutes a special leave policy for women faculty to complete a Ph.D. Those using this opportunity include Bonita Wyse, who takes the first leave, and later became Dean of Family Life. Other women taking sabbatical leaves include Jane Lott McCullough, who later became head of the Department Head of Home Economics and Consumer Education; and Patricia Gardner, who became the first woman Department Head of the English Department.

Peggy Menlove Researches Women's Center


Peggy Menlove (Walker), student activist, organizes teams to count the usage of the Taggart Student Center third-floor women’s restroom to gather data that the space was underused and could be revamped into a Women’s Center.

Betty Ford Dedicates Women's Center for Lifelong learning


Betty Ford, First Lady of the United States, dedicates the Women’s Center for Lifelong Learning, founded to serve the needs of the non-traditional woman student. Dean of Women Helen Lundstrom serves as its first Director, while Anne Hatch is appointed Coordinator with an operating budget of $2,000. In 1979, Janet Osborne becomes an administrator in the center.


First Chair of Women's Studies


The first chair of Women’s Studies, the academic program, is Lynne Goodhart, a professor of French. She is followed a year later by Alison Thorne.

Undergraduate Research Program


The Undergraduate Research Program begins after consultation with MIT’s Margaret MacVicar.

Director of Women's Athletics


A Director of Women’s Athletics is named, Marilyn Weiss, following Title IX changes in athletics.

Women in Science and Engineering


Women in Science and Engineering (later Society of Women Engineers), a student club, is formed.

First National Championship


Aggie athletics crowns its first national champions as the women’s volleyball team defeats UCLA in the national final and finishes 40-4 on the year.

Cecelia Foxley appointed Vice President of Student Services


Foxley will later become Utah’s first woman Commissioner of Higher Education. Earlier in her career, Foxley was one of the first affirmative action/equal opportunity officers at a research university in the country overseeing the training.

First Student-Generated Space Project


First student-generated space project in the world, created by a group of USU students, orbits on the space shuttle. “Get Away Special” takes its name from a NASA program that enabled groups outside the agency to fly experiments of their own design on the space shuttles. The GAS Team became famous for one of the institution’s most notable achievements: USU has sent more student-built experiments into space than any other university in the world.

Marsha Torr wins Research Award


Marsha Torr of the Space Dynamics Lab is the first woman to win USU’s D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award. (To date, five women have been honored: Noelle Cockett, 2002; Christine Hult, 2004; JoAnn Tschanz, 2017; and Joyce Kinkead, 2018.)

Poet Maya Angelou presents at Convocations


Angelou is an American poet, singer, memorist, and civil rights activist, whose career will span more than 50 years.

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art


Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art opens its doors on the university campus. Named for its benefactor, NEHMA emphasizes 20th and 21st century American art with an emphasis on art in the American West.
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Women and Gender Research Institute Forms


The Women and Gender Research Institute (WGRI) forms to encourage research on all subjects by women and on gender-related topics. Directors Pamela Riley and E. Helen Berry are appointed two years later.

Mary Cleave Visits USU

Featured Story

USU alumna Mary Cleave (’75 MS, ’80 Ph.D.) carries a USU Centennial Banner on her multiple orbits as a space shuttle crew member. She became a NASA astronaut in May 1980 at the age of 33 and is a veteran of two space flights.
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Student Showcase Established


Student Showcase established to feature undergraduate researchers, scholars, and artists. Known as Utah’s longest-running celebration of undergraduate research, the Student Showcase is an on-campus opportunity for undergraduates to share their research and creative projects.

National Women's History Celebration


The Women’s Center sponsors the first annual National Women’s History Celebration in March.

Honoring Women Over 65 Achievement Award


The Women’s Center inaugurates the “Honoring Women over 65 Achievement Award” to recognize Cache Valley women.

Innovation Campus Established


Research and Technology Park (now Innovation Campus) established. Innovation Campus provides an environment with facilities, services, and technology, as well as programs and expertise, that stimulate and support the growth of research and technology-based enterprise.

First Woman Dean of Science


The first woman Dean of Science, Karen Morse, is appointed; a year later she begins serving as USU’s first woman Provost.
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First Woman Student Body President


Michelle Henrie elected Student Body President, the first woman in the institution’s history.

Ruth Lemon Awarded Medal for Science and Technology


Alum Ruth Lemon Novak awarded the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. Lemon Novak, who graduated with both a bachelor’s and master’s in Math, began working for the Hercules Aerospace Corporation in 1960 and became a trailblazer in what was primarily a man’s field. In 1980, she, along with colleague Anne Erickson, Dean of the Salt Lake Community College, and several other women, formed the Utah Math/Science Network in order to recruit women professionals in the STEM fields to meet with middle and high school girls.
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A Herstory of Deans of Women


The Women’s Center produces the video “In Loco Parentis: A Herstory of Deans of Women at Utah State University.”

Linda Powers Awarded Medal for Science and Technology

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Linda Powers is the first woman faculty member to receive the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. Since then, other awardees include Christine Hailey, 2015: Michelle Baker, 2015; Debra Spielmaker 2016; and Noelle Cockett, 2015.
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Council for Gender Programs is Founded


Council for Gender Programs is founded, affiliating the Women and Gender Research Institute, the Women’s Studies Program, and the Women’s Center.

Frances Titchener Named Carnegie Professor of the Year


History and classics professor Frances Titchener, is named Carnegie Professor of the Year for Utah. Other notable women faculty follow including: Sonia Manuel-Dupont, education, English, and engineering, 1997; Bonnie Glass-Coffin, anthropology, 2004;Laurie McNeill, civil and environmental engineering, 2010; and Joyce Kinkead, English, 2013.

Pathway to the Arts is Established


Pathway to the Arts, an Outdoor Sculpture program, is established.

Shelly Anderson is Elected Student Body President

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Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Center Established


Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Center is established. Eccles Jones was Utah’s first kindergarten teacher after starting in 1926 due to influence from her former geography teacher and mentor, Miss Edith Bowen. Over a period of 41 years she and the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation, have contributed more than $45 million to education programs in the college that bears her name.

Spider Lamb Syndrome on the Way to Elimination

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Spider lamb syndrome is on the road to elimination due to research by Noelle Cockett. The syndrome is a recessive disorder affecting the growth of cartilage bone in sheep. Cockett and her colleagues will publish an article describing the sheep genome sequence in Science in 2014.
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First Woman in the Office of Research


The first woman in the Office of Research is Associate Vice President Joyce Kinkead, who oversees undergraduate research. A year later she is named Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Research.
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Theta Nu Xi Established


The multicultural sorority, Theta Nu Xi, is established. Theta Nu Xi’s goal is to provide a place for women who think alike. The sorority’s values are the pillars of sisterhood, scholarship, leadership, service and multiculturalism.

Sappho Becomes a Student Organization


Sappho is recognized as a USU student organization.

First Woman Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences


Liz Grobsmith is first woman named as Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Barbara White Appointed VP for Information Technology


Barbara A. White is appointed as the first Vice President for Information Technology.

First Woman Goldwater Scholar


Lara B. Anderson is the first woman Goldwater Scholar and the second scholar for USU. As of 2019, 17 women have been named scholars or received honorable mention. In 2004, Lara becomes the first woman at USU named as a Rhodes Scholar. After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Math and Physics from Utah State, Lara traveled to Oxford University to earn her doctorate. During her four years at USU, she was also named a Marshall Scholar (2004), an NSF Graduate Fellow (2004), and USU’s valedictorian (2003).

First Woman Dean of the College of Business


Caryn L. Beck-Dudley is appointed the first woman Dean of the College of Business. In 2004, Beck-Dudley is recognized by Utah Business as one of its “Visionaries: 30 Women to Watch.”

First Woman Dean of the College of Agriculture


Noelle Cockett becomes the first woman Dean of the College of Agriculture.

First Woman Vice Provost for Libraries and Instructional Support


Linda L. Wolcott is appointed the first Vice Provost for Libraries and Instructional Support.

Gender Equity Study


USU President Kermit L. Hall commissions a gender equity study resulting in a baseline against which all salaries can be measured. By doing so, the benchmark study helps the university take constructive steps to close the gap.

Celestial Bybee is Elected Student Body President


Celestial Bybee is elected Student Body President.

Women’s Basketball Returns to USU After a 16-Year Absence


Women’s basketball returns to USU after a 16-year absence.

USU Receives $3 Million NSF Advance Grant


USU receives a $3 million NSF ADVANCE Grant to improve recruitment and retention of women faculty in science and engineering, led by faculty members Ronda Callister, Christine Hailey, Kim Sullivan, Christine Hult, and Robert Schmidt.

First Woman Dean of the College of Education and Human Services


Carol Strong appointed first woman Dean of the College of Education and Human Services. She has been professor since 1973 in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education.

Maria Norton and JoAnn Tschanz Study Alzheimer's Disease


Maria Norton and JoAnn Tschanz (D. Wynne Thorne Career Researcher, 2017) study the epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease in a Cache Valley family-based cohort.

Christine Hailey Receives $10 Million+ to Improve Technology


Christine Hailey, professor of Engineering (and later dean), receives more than $10 million to improve technology education in Utah’s K-12 schools.

Center for Women and Gender Programs Expanded


The Center for Women and Gender programs gets expanded space in the Taggart Student Center, bringing together the affiliated programs.

Abigail Jensen Wins Student Fulbright Award


Abigail Jensen wins a Student Fulbright award for advanced study in Mexico City.

Caine School of the Arts Created


Caine School of the Arts (later Caine College of the Arts) is created thanks to the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation and sisters Kathryn Caine Wanlass and Manon Caine Russell, long-time supporters of the arts at USU.

University Undergraduate Research Fellows Program Established


University Undergraduate Research Fellows Program is established, attracting top students to engage in research and scholarly inquiry from their first year.

First Woman Chief of Staff


USU President Stan L. Albrecht appoints Sydney M. Peterson as USU’s first woman Chief of Staff. Peterson has a long tenure as an Aggie, serving various roles in the Provost’s office; the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Innovation Campus; and the College of Family Life. She has served as the USU’s Board of Trustees Secretary since 2005, a position she still holds today.

First Woman Director of the USU Honors Program


Christie L. Fox appointed the first woman Director of the USU Honors program. Her research focuses on Irish folklore and literature. Fox previously served as Program Coordinator for Honors.

Alum Julie Robinson Becomes Chief Scientist for the International Space Station


Alum Julie Robinson becomes Chief Scientist for the International Space Station as NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Robinson has an interdisciplinary background in the physical and biological sciences. Her professional experience has included research activities in a variety of fields, including virology, analytical chemistry, genetics, statistics, field biology, and remote sensing. She earned bachelor’s in Chemistry and a bachelor’s in Biology from USU in 1989.

Michele Welch Research Results in Utah Women’s Walk at Thanksgiving Point


Michele Welch completes her master’s thesis in American studies, focusing on a variety of significant women in Utah’s present and past. Her work is later cemented into concrete at the Utah Women’s Walk at Thanksgiving Point. Additions continue to be made thanks to courses at Utah Valley University as students contribute biographies that currently number more than 100.

Sustainability Council Forms


The Sustainability Council forms to support the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment signed by USU President Stan L. Albrecht. Jordy Guth becomes the first female Sustainability Council Chair in 2013. Alexi Lamm, the university’s first sustainability coordinator, is named chair in 2016.

College of Education and Human Services Earns a Namesake in Emma Eccles Jones


The College of Education and Human Services earns a namesake in Emma Eccles Jones, the first kindergarten teacher in Utah. A $25 million gift in her name to the university reflects a long-term relationship with Emma and memorializes her dedication to the education of teachers and children.


College of Eastern Utah Joins Utah State University


The College of Eastern Utah joins Utah State University, becoming USU Eastern.

Center for Women and Gender Founded


The Center for Women and Gender merges three gender programs under one house: the Women and Gender Research Institute, providing research and travel support for USU faculty; Women and Gender Studies, offering a major and a minor; and the Women’s Center, providing support and outreach to USU students. Ann Austin is named founding Director.

Professor Jeannie Banks Thomas Records Accounts of 9/11 for Library of Congress


Professor Jeannie Banks Thomas and her students in the Folklore Program collect and make sound recordings of Americans’ accounts of and reactions on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 at the request of the Library of Congress.

Student Sustainability Office Created


The Student Sustainability Office is created as a result of the Blue Goes Green fee passed by students. Kate Stephens is named director.

Debra Spielmaker Becomes Director of the National Agriculture in the Classroom Program

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Debra Spielmaker becomes Director of the National Agriculture in the Classroom program. The national organization of AITC serves nearly 5 million students and 60,000 teachers annually through workshops, conferences, field trips, farm tours and other educational activities.
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Norah Abdullah Al-Faiz Receives Honorary Doctorate


USU Alum Norah Abdullah Al-Faiz is presented with an Honorary Doctorate. Al-Faiz has transformed educational policy and practice in Saudi Arabia and has become a symbol of female leadership in the Islamic world. She was named one of TIME Magazine’s “2009 TIME 100” for being one of the most influential people in the world. Al Faiz earned a mastern’s in Instructional Technology in 1982.

First Woman Dean of Engineering

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Christine Hailey named the first woman Dean of Engineering. Hailey is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who is director of the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education, a National Science Foundation-funded center for learning and teaching located at USU.
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Brianna Bowen Named USU's First Truman Scholar


Brianna Bowen named USU’s first Truman Scholar; three years later, in 2016, Madelyn Fife wins the prestigious Truman award.

Star Coulbrooke Appointed as Logan's Poet Laureate


Star Coulbrooke, Department of English Lecturer and author of several poetry collections, is appointed as Logan’s Poet Laureate, a position she will hold for five years before passing the pen to USU English colleague Shannan Ballam.
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USU's First Woman President

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Noelle Cockett named 16th president, and first woman president, of Utah State University.
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Ashley Waddoups is Elected Student Body President


Ashley Waddoups is elected Student Body President.

USU Women in Aviation Student Club Forms


USU Women in Aviation student club forms and is open for all aviation enthusiasts. The club provides programs that include local speakers and tours of aviation facilities and landmarks, community outreach efforts to encourage young people to pursue aviation careers, and regional scholarship opportunities.

First Woman Dean of the Caine College of the Arts

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Rachel Nardo appointed the first woman Dean of the Caine College of the Arts and will also hold an appointment as a faculty member in the Department of Music. Nardo joins USU from California State University, Office of the Chancellor, where she has served as the director of the multidisciplinary, international Summer Arts program.
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First Member of the National Academy of Science

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Dean Maura Hagan of the College of Science is named USU’s first member of the National Academy of Science. The Massachusetts native’s research interests focus on downward penetration of space weather effects in the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the impact of meteorological weather on the near-Earth space environment.
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Idalis Villanueva Receives the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers


Assistant Professor of Engineering Education, Idalis Villanueva, receives the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor awarded by the U.S. Government to scientists and engineers.

Lisa Berreau is Elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society

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USU chemist Lisa Berreau is elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. Berreau, who serves as Interim Vice President for Research, is one of 70 scientists selected from a national pool in the world’s largest scientific society.
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USU Launches the Year of the Woman


USU celebrates the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Utah, the 100th anniversary of national women’s suffrage, and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.


150th Anniversary of Utah Suffrage

February 14, 2020
Utah Event

55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

August 6, 2020
National Event

Statue to be Installed in National Statuary Hall

August 20, 2020
National Event

Statue of Utah’s Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, known as the first female senator in the United States (1896), will be installed in National Statuary Hall in U.S. Congress.

100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment

August 26, 2020
National Event

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