Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071
Collection Title: Ruth E. Cole Scrapbook Collection
Series Number: MS06-01
Processed and Cataloged by: Reprocessed by Dieter C. Ullrich on January 6, 2011.
Date Listed: January 6, 2011
Date Span: 1951-1977
Size of Collection: 6.0 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 5 record center boxes and 1 oversized box.
Type of Material: Scrapbooks.
Condition of Material: Good.
Arrangement: Chronological arrangement.
Biographical / Historical Information: Ruth E. Cole served as chairperson of the Department of Nursing at Murray State University from 1954 to 1977. She was born on October 15, 1920 at Harris Grove in Calloway County, Kentucky. She graduated Lynn Grove High School in 1939 and later that same year enrolled at Murray State College. She transferred to the Nazareth School of Nursing at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington in 1941 where she received a nursing diploma in 1944. She was called to active duty in the United States Navy Nurse Corp just prior to the conclusion of the Second World War. Following the war, Cole returned to Murray where she worked as an office nurse for a local doctor. In 1947, she was hired as the first faculty member of the newly formed Department of Nursing at Murray State. During the summers of 1948 and 1949, she attended the University of Texas where she attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing Education. When the Korean War broke out in 1951, she was recalled to active duty and served at various stateside naval bases and aboard the U.S.S. Darby. After the Korean War, she attended Columbia University where she received a Master of Arts degree in Nursing Education in 1954. She returned to Murray State later that year and was selected chairperson of the Department of Nursing. She held that position for 23 years. In 1973, she received a doctorate in Higher Education from Indiana University and in 1977 was named “Nurse Educator of the Year” by the Kentucky League for Nursing. In 1978, Cole accepted a position at Harding University as a professor in Nursing Education. She remained at Harding until 1980 when she returned to Murray and served as Program Director for the Murray-Calloway County Hospital Hospice Program. She retired a year later. Murray State named the nursing school’s auditorium in her honor in 1988 and in 1994 she was inducted into the Alumni Association Nursing Hall of Fame at the University of Texas.
Scope and Content: Collection consists of scrapbooks created and kept by Ruth E. Cole from 1951 to 1977. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, photographs, college programs, flyers and other ephemera related to the nursing program at Murray State University from the 1950s to the 1970s. Included with the collection are scrapbooks of faculty and students that were admitted as interns to the Jennie Stuart Memorial Hospital and Owensboro-Daviess County Hospital from 1948 to 1966, students involved in the Kentucky Association of Nursing Students from 1973 to 1974 and the Student Nurses Association of Kentucky from 1964 to 1967. Biographical information related to Mary E. Ashe, the first African-American to be named “Nurse of the Year” by the Kentucky Registered Nurses Association in 1964, was added to the collection by the author.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Cole, Ruth Elizabeth, 1920-
Ashe, Mary E., 1876-1965.
Murray State University – Nursing Department.
Murray State University – History.
Kentucky Association of Nursing Students.
Student Nurses Association of Kentucky.
Jennie Stuart Medical Center (Hopkinsville, Ky.)
Owensboro-Daviess County Hospital (Owensboro, Ky.)
Nurses and nursing – Study and teaching – Kentucky.