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Betty Rugen Schutter papers

Identifier: IWA0477

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Scope and Contents

The Betty Rugen Schutter papers date from 1937 to 1980 and measure 9 linear inches. They include four notebooks of letters Betty Rugen wrote to her parents while she was a student at the State University of Iowa; these letters are organized in folders for each year of her collegiate career. A scrapbook containing memorabilia from her years at the State University of Iowa is also included. Two folders of materials related to the campaign to pass the state ERA in Iowa in 1980 complete the collection


  • Creation: 1937-1980


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Speech therapist Betty Rugen Schutter was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1917. Her mother died in 1920, and Betty Rugen was sent to live on her aunt's farm until her father's remarriage reunited the family. Rugen and her father, stepmother, and older sister lived in Glenview, Illinois, where her father was a partner in the family's general store. Rugen attended Glenview District 34 School and New Trier High School. Inspired by speech teacher Maybelle Payton, she decided to pursue a career in speech pathology.

In 1937, Rugen moved to Iowa to attend the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa), where she lived in Currier Hall and studied speech pathology. In 1939, she transferred to Washington University for one semester, but returned to Iowa and completed her bachelor's degree in 1941. During her collegiate career, she wrote many letters to her parents detailing her experiences at the State University of Iowa, including her interactions with African-American students.

Following college, Rugen was hired to teach fifth grade and speech at the South Dakota School for the Deaf, where she remained for one year. In 1942, she married John Maurice Schutter, M.D., and moved to Algona, Iowa, where in addition to rearing five children, she maintained a private speech therapy practice in her home. Schutter participated in many organizations, including the League of Women Voters, and worked for the failed 1980 campaign to pass a state Equal Rights Amendment in Iowa. After her husband's death in 1984, Schutter continued to volunteer with the Crisis Center Food Bank the Free Lunch Program, and other organizations in her new residence, Coralville, Iowa.


9.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Scrapbook and correspondence to her parents during her student years at the State University of Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 771) were donated by Betty Rugen Schutter in 2001 and subsequent years.

Ashley Goulden, 2006.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)