Interviewed by Rebecca Ory Hernandez
7 November 2011
Oral History Program
Weber State University
Rebecca Ory Hernandez
7 November 2011
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It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Diane Call, an oral history by Rebecca Ory
Hernandez, 7 November 2011, WSU Stewart
Library Oral History Program, University
Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State
University, Ogden, UT.
Abstract: The following is an oral history interview with Diane Call (b. 1931.) This
interview was conducted on November 7, 2011 by Rebecca Ory Hernandez at
the Call residence in St. George, Utah. The interview covers Diane’s life and her
experiences with Weber State University. Diane graduated from Weber State
University in 1983 and spent time working in the Women’s Career Center on
campus. Diane is retired from Weber State University and lives with her husband,
Dr. Howard C. Call in St. George, Utah.
ROH: We’re speaking with Mrs. Diane Call in her home in Washington, Utah on
November 7, 2011. We’re going to talk about your time at Weber State
University. Tell us about your interviews with prospective nursing students
DC: Here’s a little background, first. I graduated from Weber in 1983 with a Bachelor
of Integrated Studies. A few years later I was hired by the Career Center after
working with Tony Wait as a secretary while she was dean. I worked as a
secretary in the Women’s Center, as well. Then I was hired as a career
coordinator in the Career Center with Dr. Steven Eichmeier. My duties included
interview perspective teachers and doing mock interviews for them. I also met
with school districts. We had a career fair with the school districts every year with
the University of Utah, BYU, USU and Weber. One of the things I enjoyed the
most was a seminar that I held in the Nursing Department with the Radiology
Department and other health departments and the Education Department to tell
people about what we would expect when they were going in for interviews and
how to write resumes and what things were necessary on a resume and how to
present themselves as well as possible. It was my feeling that you always
dressed better than the job you were seeking.
Working with Weber State was a fun experience for me because I had
raised my family—I think I had one child left at home—and everything just fell
into place. I thoroughly enjoyed the years I was there. We used to give forms to
all of the graduating seniors when they would come to pick up their caps and
gowns. They were told they had to fill out the form before they could walk away
with the cap and gown. The form was to tell us whether they were working and if
they were working in their field. We may have asked for information on salary,
but we wanted to know how the employment situation was affecting students in
our university. Not only was I in charge of getting those to the seniors, but I also
had to make a chart that went into our annual report that showed all of those
things. Math is my least comfortable subject, so it was a challenge. It showed
what school they were graduating in, what their major was, how old they were,
how long they’d been in school, if they’d come to the Career Center.
ROH: When did you start at Weber State?
DC: 1985. I retired in 1996.
ROH: What made you decide to retire then?
DC: I was old enough. [Laughter]
ROH: Did you ever work with your husband’s dental practice?
DC: A little bit. I filled in when he needed a receptionist once in a while, but not very
ROH: What were the areas of emphasis in your Bachelor of Integrated Studies?
DC: Education, psychology, and history.
ROH: Do you have any fun stories from the time when you were advising students?
DC: One girl was very pleasant to look at and dressed well, but she had a habit of
giggling—the uncomfortable, self conscious kind of giggling that people do. I
always felt nervous about criticizing anyone, so I was trying to make it a
suggestion and I said to her, “You’re doing a fine job, but I would like to point out
that you have this nervous laugh. I think you might want to work on that.” She
told me her family background and it was good to know why she had this habit.
She did not grow up in a happy home and she was really nervous about herself.
Years later I opened the newspaper and she had a by-line in the newspaper. I
like that because success comes even to people who don’t graduate in their field.
That was one of the things I talked about when I did classes in the Career
Center. We would have classes of sophomores or freshmen who either had a
desire to be something in the future and weren’t sure, or other students who had
no idea what they wanted to do. It was rewarding because if we didn’t pinpoint
something that was really going to work for them, quite often they found out in
the courses or classes that they weren’t cut out to do that particular thing. They
had to interview people in the field. We had guests come and talk about those
particular fields, and that was another gratifying part of the program. Some
people would come into the Career Center and talk to me about their plans and
they would have some reservations about something or they were enthusiastic
about something and they wanted to share. I started having them do portfolios,
which wasn’t something that was done when I first started. They put together
pictures of themselves maybe doing their student teaching or projects that they
had put together for their student teaching.
One young man who came in quite often had an offer from Moab to teach
school down there. He was very nervous about it and I said, “Just go. It will give
you experience and put your foot in the door.” A couple years later we were on a
trip with some friends in Moab and there was a flea market going on. We were
walking around and someone said, “Mrs. Call, is that you?” It was that young
man. He said, “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have come and I absolutely love it
here.” I think I did a pretty good job and in some ways I’m sorry I left as soon as I
did, but there were other things I wanted to do. Did Howard ever tell you anything
about the I.C.L. program down here?
ROH: No. What is it?
DC: I.C.L. is the Institute for Continued Learning. It’s associated with Dixie State
College. We use their classroom and we have forty to fifty classes every
semester that are taught mostly by retired professors on a volunteer basis. We
have 650 members who are mostly retired. It costs them forty dollars a year to
attend any number of these classes that they want to. There are no requirements
for grades, homework, no tests. These people are just so enthusiastic. We have
computer classes, geology classes, psychology, art, history, dance, yoga. There
is no one I know who doesn’t think these are the greatest thing. I think it works so
well down here because there are so many retired people with time on their
hands. I think Weber did something similar when they had that campus down in
ROH: Weber does have a Continuing Education Department, but the community
classes that were offered were cut during the last budget cuts.
DC: I think Weber’s professors were paid, too. We have a professor who teaches
folklore and mythology and digital photography. We’re getting a real bargain.
ROH: Have you heard of anyone in Ogden who is interested in these types of classes?
DC: The friends we have in Ogden always go to classes with us when they come
down to visit. I think the distance is a problem in Ogden. I know the University of
Utah had a program like this but it costs a lot more. The school gave us an office
in the old alumni building to use. They take good care of us. We painted and
ROH: The retired persons run it yourselves?
ROH: Do you go out and find the instructors?
DC: We don’t have to. They submit a proposal and we have a council that selects
ROH: Where were you born?
DC: In Ogden in 1931.
ROH: How did you and Howard meet?
DC: I lived in North Ogden until I was eighteen. We moved back to Ogden and went
to Weber for two years. I wasn’t very aware of my neighbors because I was busy
with school and I was going to church up at school. I didn’t meet Howard for a
while. When I graduated from Weber, I worked for a year and then I went to the
University of Utah. Low and behold, we lived in the same building. He also lived
five houses from me in Ogden. Our paths just hadn’t crossed before.
ROH: What year did you get married?
DC: In 1953.
ROH: What kind of things did you do together? Did you go to campus events?
DC: Yes, and he took me skiing. At that time, Snow Basin didn’t have a chair lift on
the bunny hill. You had to take a hold of a J-bar to get up the hill and when I did, I
fell off. Howard held out his ski pole to drag me up. I thought it was very gallant.
ROH: What made you decide to do a B.I.S. degree?
DC: My main reason was because I loved to learn and when I worked in the Women’s
Center, I dealt a lot with returning women. Someone gave me a paper that talked
about a woman who had gone back to college. She said, “I didn’t know anything.
I didn’t know history or people or countries. I was hungry to learn.” That was the
way I have always been. To go back to college meant I was learning for a
reason. I wasn’t really thinking about a career at all, I just wanted a degree.
When I found out about the B.I.S. degree, I thought it was perfect. I already had
an Associate’s degree because I had been taking classes off and on over the
ROH: What was your Associate’s in?
DC: An Associate of Arts degree required basic classes in academic fields. I went to
the University of Utah for a year after that because Weber was only a two year
school. The B.I.S is good for people who have eclectic interests and aren’t
looking to stick to one thing that they majored in. With the B.I.S. they can come in
and learn about things that interest them and maybe it will lead to a job. I found
out in the course of my schooling that a large percentage of people who were
successful in their working lives are not necessarily working in the field they have
a degree in. I also think the B.I.S. is great for a woman who has a husband and
feels like she wants to learn and progress in her life. When I was teaching the
career development classes, quite often I had young ladies who I could tell were
there to find a husband and couldn’t care less about getting a degree. It became
a desire of mine to inspire these girls that they may need to get a job someday
and have something to say to an interviewer about their education. When you get
an education, you are generally the next in line over someone who doesn’t have
a degree. I have seen many times, women whose husbands have left them, or
their husbands died, or they divorced. My daughter has a friend who is fifty-two
years old and her husband’s business has fallen. She has no college at all and
she wants to go into the nursing program.
ROH: Would you talk a little about Weber State and your time there as a student? Are
there any professors who stick out in your mind?
DC: Oh yes—Gene Sessions and Dr. Sadler, some of the psychology professors. and
everybody in the Education Department. Most of them I worked with in the
capacity of my job. When I started doing seminars for the graduating seniors, I
would invite the directors or the teachers of the senior classes to come in and
see what I was doing. I really had some excellent teachers and advisors. Tony
Waite was a friend of my brothers. She called and asked if I would work for her
while her secretary was taking a maternity leave. Another dean had a secretary
who was pregnant and I substituted for her for another three months. By then, I
was very comfortable on campus. There is no place in the world that an old
person can go and feel as comfortable as on a college campus. You get more
smiles on a college campus than you do in church. I love the feeling of the young
people who are growing up gracious and enthusiastic.
ROH: Who was president when you were there?
DC: Dr. Nadauld. He’s the president here now.
ROH: Did you teach classes?
DC: Only at the Career Center. They were called Career Development. It was a three-hour
elective course. They came to class three days a week. I think the most
important part was that we invited people from the community to talk about the
expectations that student would be facing if they went out into that career field.
ROH: You would have experienced some of the recession while you were at Weber in
the late 1980s. Did you see it affect Ogden?
DC: My feeling is that the women who were coming back were not coming because
their husbands had been laid off. I think we’re seeing a lot of that now—that’s
why Dixie has had such an increase in their attendance. When I was working in
the Women’s Center, I don’t remember talking to a lot of women who were there
because they had to be the breadwinner. I think they wanted to work and it was
important to them to get a job, but it wasn’t the desperation that we’re seeing
ROH: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure talking with you.
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