Betsey Brodahl Papers

MSS 72
1.5 linear feet (2 boxes)


Brodahl, Betsey.




There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. Audiovisual materials may be inaccessible pending reformatting. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Access points:

Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)--Faculty.
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)--Administration.
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). Augustana Musical Theatre.
Students, Foreign--United States.

Finding aid prepared by:

Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007. Revised by Kelsey O'Connell, 2009; Caroline McPherson, February 2015.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Container List
Related Materials


Materials in the International Students at Augustana College series were received from the Office of International Programs on October 9, 2009. The two letters written by Brodahl in the Miscellaneous series were added to the collection by the Special Collections Librarian in 2004 and 2005.



Betsey Brodahl was born and raised in Wahoo, Nebraska, where she attended grade school and high school and one year at Luther College. Upon the urging of two instructors at Luther College, Brodahl applied at Augustana College to continue her college education. She was accepted, and graduated with a B. A. in history in 1944. Wanting a new experience, Brodahl went on to pursue graduate studies at Syracuse and Stanford. Her studies were interrupted in 1947 when Conrad Bergendoff, then president of Augustana College, asked Brodahl to return to the college to teach history due to a huge influx of students following World War II. She accepted a one-year teaching position with the intention of returning to Stanford to finish her degree. After that first year she was appointed Dean of Women; she would remain at Augustana College for the next 40 years. She retired in 1987 but remained active on the campus.

Throughout her tenure at Augustana, Brodahl took an active interest in music, arts, and historical organizations. She played violin in the Quad-City Symphony, held office in the Augustana Historical Society, American Scandinavian Association at Augustana, American Association of University Women (AAUW), and other groups. Brodahl was also a faculty advisor for the Augustana Musical Theatre (AMT). This student group was formed in 1967 with the purpose of providing acting and directing experience to students as well as entertaining and creating interest in musical theatre on campus and in the community. The proceeds from productions were donated to charity. In 1977, this student group was renamed Augustana Student Theatre (AST).

A large part of Brodahlís work as Dean of Students involved advising international students. Brodahl was dedicated to helping them through their experience at Augustana College. She also wanted to make sure that they received financial and emotional support after they graduated. In May 1976, the King of Sweden honored Brodahl with the Vasa Medal of Gold for her participation in the activities of organizations dedicated to the development of international relationships.

Brodahl lived in the historic "House on the Hill." Once the home of lumber magnate Frederick Weyerhaeuser, the home and property was acquired by Augustana College in 1954 and Brodahl moved in shortly thereafter. She helped to look after the renovation and restoration of the house. Brodahl remained a resident of the house until moving back to her hometown of Wahoo, Nebraska following a stroke in 2003.

In 1997, President Thomas Tredway dedicated a new building in Brodahlís honor: the Betsey Brodahl Student Services Building. Its original purpose was to house The Office of Student Activities, The Office of Residential Life, and The Office of Supportive Services. In 2007, the building became the center for the Communicative Speech Disorders department.



The Betsey Brodahl papersinclude correspondence and other records of her involvement with the Augustana Musical Theatre and international students at Augustana College.



The Betsey Brodahl papers are arranged in the following series:

Series I. Augustana Musical Theatre, 1967-1978
Arranged in three sub-series: Board, Productions, and Faculty Advisor. The Board sub-series contains items created by the student board of the AMT including a statement of purpose composed at the beginning of the formation of the group, the Constitution of the organization, lists of board members at various points in the history of the group, financial statements, and board minutes. The Productions sub-series includes materials from specific productions that were mounted by the AMT and includes programs, notes, press releases, schedules, and financial information pertaining to that production. The Faculty Advisor sub-series includes correspondence between the faculty advisor and the board members of the group as well as outside vendors.

Series II. International Students at Augustana College, 1981-1997
Includes the following sub-series: General Correspondence regarding international students, Brodahlís lists of international students, photographs of international students, contents of files kept on individual international students, information on the International Club, and Brodahlís articles on Ghana.

Series III. Miscellaneous, 1971, 2004-2005
Includes a Chicago Symphony Orchestra program received with a personal letter to Brodahl, two letters written by Brodahl, and documents on international students.

Series IV. Video Recordings, 1989
Includes one video recording of an interview conducted with Rev. K and Betsey Brodahl on January 23, 1989.



Box 1
      Series I. Augustana Musical Theatre, 1967-1978
                  Constitution and statements of purpose, 1970, 1972, and undated
                  Business Manager, 1970, 1973
                  Miscellaneous, 1970-1977 and undated
                  "Camelot," 1967-1968
                  "Guys and Dolls," 1969
                  "The Roar of the Greasepaint -- the Smell of the Crowd," 1969-1970
                  "The Fantasticks," 1970-1971
                  "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," 1971-1972 [2 folders]
                  "Brigadoon," 1973
                  "Celebration," 1973-1974
                  Various, undated
                  Photographs, 1973
            Faculty Advisor
                  Correspondence, 1967-1978
                  Tams-Witmark correspondence, 1969-1973

      Series II. International Students at Augustana College, 1981-1997
            Brodahl's correspondence regarding international students at Augustana College, 1981-1997
            Lists of international students at Augustana College, 1981-1994
            Photographs of international students at Augustana College, 1986-1987
            Files on individual international students
                  Addai, Maxwell, 1981-1987
                  Alalibo, Philip, 1984-1989
                  Ansu, Kwabena, 1981-1989
                  Armattoe, Justice, 1981-1985
                  Balani, Laju
                  Bamson, Owupele M., 1983-1990
                  Bhatia, Amit, 1988
                  Elago, Pauline

Box 2
            Files on individual international students (continued)
                  Haner, Ates and Deniz (Ones), 1986-1993
                  Hong, Da De and Xin-Ming (Shao), 1982-1992
                  Hua, Fang, 1984-1989
                  Hussain, Mohammed, 1985-1994
                  Johnson, Oscar, 1981-1991
                  Kapoor, Sanjay
                  Lawson, Sheron, 1985-1991
                  Minja, Christine, 1988-1989
                  Morris, John, 1984-1987
                  Ocloo, Simon, 1981-1994
                  Osei, Kofi, 1985-1993
                  Paresh, Shah, 1986-1987
                  Sabag, Shemi, 1985
                  Shanmugam, Suganthi (Sue), 1986
                  Sitorus, Bismark, 1985-1986
                  Subbaroyan, Sunder, 1986
                  Suehiro, Reiko
                  Tran, Hanh My, 1991
                  Yankson, Francis, 1983-1994
            International Club, 1987-1990
            Brodahl's newspaper articles on Ghana, 1990-1997

      Series III. Miscellaneous
            Correspondence to Brodahl from Robert D. Johnson, 1971
            Correspondence from Brodahl, 2004-2005
            Documents about international students

      Series IV. Video Recordings
            VT-0072/1: Interview with Rev. K. and Betsey Brodahl, January 23, 1989 [VHS]






Vertical Files: Brodahl, Betsey, Augustana College International Students, Augustana College International Club.


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