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St. Benedict School of Nursing: 1947 - 1968

St. Benedict's Hospital    Graduating Class of 1963   Sisters on the back steps 

A new photograph exhibit, “Say Little, Do Much: St. Benedict’s School of Nursing 1947-1968,” will open in the Stewart Library on April 8. It will showcase one hundred images from Special Collections and from the Mount Benedict Monastery archives, as well as quotes from oral history interviews conducted with over fifty graduates.

Sarah Langsdon, associate curator of Special Collections, organized the oral history interviews, and says she’s excited to share the stories with the public.

“The women we interviewed were so young when they started their training, but grew into dedicated and talented nurses. They became heads of departments and college professors; their education at St. Benedict’s really prepared them for anything.”

The nursing school was opened in 1947, under the direction of the Benedictine nuns who also ran the hospital. Students received hands-on training that included trips to other hospitals, both in and out of state, to study specialized fields such as pediatrics and psychiatry. By the time the program was phased out in 1968 to join forces with Weber State’s nursing program, over 350 students had graduated from St. Benedict’s.

Kay Francis Crawford, who graduated in 1955, appreciates her years at St. Benedict’s.

“It was a lot of responsibility; we learned very quickly. But I look back on it as one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

The exhibit will be on display on the top floor of the Stewart Library just outside of Special Collections until August 1. It can be viewed during regular library hours, which are listed on the library’s webpage at library.weber.edu. This program has received funding from the Utah Humanities Council and the Utah State History.

Updated March 25, 2011 . Please send questions or comments to Sarah Langsdon, Associate Curator of Special Collections

Stewart Library - Weber State University - Ogden, Utah 84408. (801) 626-6403 - Copyright © 2008 ALL Rights Reserved