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Phyllis Nelson Yuhas Papers


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Phyllis Nelson Yuhas was an emeritus professor of history and one of the founders of international education at Ball State University, Indiana. Phyllis Ann Nelson was born in November 17, 1922, in Grinnell, Iowa, the daughter of Gladys Shand Nelson and Edward L. Nelson. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1944 and received a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.. She taught history at Ball State University, Indiana, from 1952 to her retirement in 1988. In 1974, she became the director of International Studies at Ball State and was instrumental in establishing Ball State a charter member of ISEP (International Student Exchange Program). Phyllis Ann Nelson married Theodore Frank Yuhas who predeceased her..

Her father was a manufacturer, and her mother was a teacher, Iowa legislator, and president of the Iowa League of Women Voters. Gladys Nelson was an avid traveler and after her husband's death, she and Phyllis traveled widely. Gladys Nelson died in 1995 and established an endowment at Ball State to honor her daughter's work in international education, the Phyllis Ann Yuhas International Scholarship Fund. Phyllis Yuhas died February 21, 2006.

The collection contains letters, 1940-1944, from Phyllis Ann Nelson, a student at Swarthmore College, to her family in Iowa. She wrote weekly letters, detailing her daily activities and concerns. Also includes two day books, 1940-1940, and 1943-1944 and snapshots of Phyllis and her classmates, most not identified. Nelson was a conscientious student, involved in many activities such as women's athletics, Gwimp, Mortar Board, Outing Club, and student government, and her letters provide insight to campus life at Swarthmore College.

The collection is divided into three series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Daybooks
  3. Photographs

Donor: Eric R. Nelson

Date: 2007

Accession number: 2007-009

The collection was given by Eric R. Nelson, nephew of Phyllis Yuhas and graduate of Swarthmore College, 1967.

Collection was described and organized as received from donor. Photographs retained with collection.

The following materials are related:

  1. RG6 Swarthmore College Archives
  2. Gladys Nelson Papers in Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. One week delay to view materials.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Collection Inventory

Fall semester, Freshman Year, Sept.-Dec. 1940.
Scope and Contents

Letters recount her first days at Swarthmore, first visit to a Friends worship service, classes and social life on campus; attended inauguration of John Nason as president; Blanshards are important interactions throughout her years at Swarthmore

Spring semester, Freshman Year, Jan.-June 1941.
Scope and Contents

Makes varsity swim team as a freshman; becomes more active socially including Outing Club; describes lectures including Pearl Buck and Eleanor Roosevelt, coursework, student activities; basketball team and takes up golf; bicycling in N.C. for spring break; describes Book and Key and Kwink initiations; firing of Truslow Adams from faculty

Fall semester, Sophomore Year, Oct.-Dec. 1941.
Scope and Contents

Student life and classes; attends Quaker meeting; joined camera club, SSU; adds riding to activities, hockey; walks along Crum, quarry pool; fellow sophomore Fred Richards arrested for draft evasion - had taken off a year to spend in a Friends unit working in Mexico; Dec. 7 letter writes that all the talk is about the War, "here in the hot bed of pacifism."

Spring semester, Sophomore Year, Jan.-May 1942.
Scope and Contents

Managing swim team; many students transferring; discussions about impractical education at Swarthmore; removed by college life, but talk about the war and enlistments; elected fire captain for Parrish Hall; sophomore conference with Mrs. Blanshard about plans after college, certain that she wants to teach. elated over acceptance with Gwimp and honors program; uncomfortable throughout college years because didn't drink

Summer 1942, July-August 1942.
Scope and Contents

Camp counselor, interracial camp

Fall semester, Junior Year, Fall 1942.
Scope and Contents

Fewer upperclassmen so accepted very large freshmen class; worked on O'Rourke election campaign; mentions scholarship from Women's Gov. Association going to a Japanese student - Nason president of assoc. to help relocated Japanese-American and about four on campus

Spring semester, Junior Year, Jan -June 1943.
Scope and Contents

Changed from philosophy to political science major; busy with course work and activities; in Feb., Navy comes in to look over buildings for a program; active in Women's Government; announcement that about 400 Navy will be on campus next semester; Eleanor Roosevelt, Max Lerner, and other speakers on campus

Fall semester, Senior Year, Oct.-Dec. 1943.
Scope and Contents

One of her roommates was Ruth, a Japanese-American in the student relocation program; Pearl Buck and Chinese on campus; made Mortar Board

Spring semester, Senior Year.
Scope and Contents

Spring semester, Senior Year: Working hard and worried about getting a job; critical of College's lack of help for graduates and also its cynicism and lack of school spirit; her roommate Ruth tells her about her father's bitterness in reaction to the Japanese incarcerations; student reaction against Mortar Board while she is on committee to select new members; heard Auden read his manuscript; honors exams; plans for graduation with Forrestal as speaker, Chinese Navy and Navy also on campus; still deciding what to do after graduation.

Daybook, 1940-1942.
Daybook, 1943-1944.

Snapshots, Phyllis and classmates, Swarthmore campus, n.d.
Snapshots, activities, n.d.

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