Collection Title: Ruth E. Cole Collection
Series Number: MS15-01
Processed and Cataloged by: Processed by Austin Desjardins
Date Span: 1923 - 2006
Size of Collection: 13 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 10 large acid free Boxes, 2 medium acid free archival box, 1 small acid free archival box, 2 oversized archival boxes.
Type of Material: Correspondence, research and subject files, photographs, genealogical
Condition of Material: Good.
Arrangement: Arranged by likeness and in the original order that it was brought to the library
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: The collection Consists of Genealogical Research, Genealogical Society information, and Murray State University Nursing History.
Box 1 Genealogy A-G
Box 2 H-M
Box 3 Genealogy N- end (W)
Box 4 Military
Box 5 Military
Box 6 Churches & Schools
Box 7 Obituaries
Box 8 MSU Nursing History
Box 9 Boyd
Box 14 Over-sized
Box 15 Over-sized