Special Collections and Archives Merrill-Cazier Library Utah State University Logan, UT 84322-3000 Telephone: 435-797-2663 Fax: 435-797-2880 firstname.lastname@example.org
Material in English
Ione Spencer Bennion was born October 6, 1908 in Salt Lake City, Utah. After graduating from the University of Utah in 1930, she worked as a teacher, and married Wayne Bennion in 1937. Tragically, after only five years of marriage, he died in an accident. Soon after her husband's death, Bennion enrolled in graduate school at Stanford University, later transferring to the University of Utah and the University of Washington. In 1945, she became the Dean of Women at Utah State University, where she met and in 1947 married T.W. Daniels, a member of the forestry faculty. Bennion would later divorce Daniels in the 1970s, but remained close friends. She was replaced as Dean in 1952 because of an anti-nepotism law that stated that women could not be teachers or administrators if their husbands were employed by the university. Though she fought to keep her position the university's board stood by their decision, and Bennion began work as a teacher for the Logan City School District. For the next 28 years she worked with disadvantaged and disabled students; her work included the creation of the Young Mothers program, which encouraged teenage mothers to complete their high school degrees.
Bennion also became very politically active at the state and local level. She fought for women's rights, helped to establish Planned Parenthood in Logan, supported the Women's Legislative Council, participated in the League of Women Voters of Cache County, and advocated on behalf of the ultimately unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment. In the 1950s and 1960s, Bennion worked with the Utah Committee on Civil Rights to secure the passage of the Utah Voting Rights Act of 1965. She was a strong advocate for the elderly, supporting the RSVP/Retired Senior Volunteer Program and the Voluntary Action Program, and serving on the Sunshine Terrace board of directors. Also a strong supporter of Utah State University, she was instrumental in the creation of the Women's Center, served as a volunteer on the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum board, and was inducted into the Old Main Society. She was awarded the university's Distinguished Service Award in 1981. When Bennion passed away on November 22, 1997, at the age of 89, her obituary described her life as a “continuous struggle against injustice.”
This collection contains the papers of Ione Bennion which document her considerable contributions as an educator, an activist, and a volunteer. Her professional papers and correspondence detail her work as Utah State University's Dean of Women and a teacher with the Logan City School District. Also included are items related to civic and political events in Utah and Cache County in which Bennion was involved. The collection also contains personal and family materials.
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