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Dr. Sue Earnest Papers, 1848-2007Add to your cart. | Special Collections & University Archives

Title: Dr. Sue Earnest Papers, 1848-2007Add to your cart.
ID: MS-0454
Extent: 26.46 Linear Feet
Predominant Dates: 1925-2007
expand icon Historical Note

Dr. Sue Earnest (nee Wolfer) was born September 19, 1906 in North Dakota. Her family moved to San Diego when she was four, where she spent most of her life. Earnest received a B.A in 1928 from San Diego State College, as well as an M.A. in 1938 and a Ph.D in 1947 from the University of Southern California.

Earnest married her college sweetheart, Lester Earnest, in 1928. After teaching in local elementary schools, Earnest joined the faculty at Memorial Junior High School in 1934 and taught speech, public address, drama and speech therapy. She adapted and produced six plays during the nine years she spent at Memorial Junior High.

Dr. Earnest joined the faculty at San Diego State College in 1947 as an assistant professor in the English and Psychology departments. In 1948 she became an Associate Professor in the Speech Department and made full professor in 1954. The Speech Arts Department encompassed four areas, Dramatic Arts, Speech Communication, Speech Pathology, Audiology, and Telecommunications and Film. From approximately 1959-1965 Earnest held a special leadership role as professor in charge of Speech Pathology and Audiology. She chaired the Speech Arts department in 1959-1960 and then again from 1970 until her retirement in 1973.

Earnest saw the department through two accreditations, and contributed countless hours of service to San Diego State through a variety of campus organizations after her retirement. Earnest founded the Speech and Hearing Clinic and was the director from 1953-1967. Her work and service inspired many who went on to work in the SDSU and San Diego communities.

Earnest's contributions to the community and San Diego State after her retirement in 1973 are numerous. Her direction at the Speech and Hearing Clinic led to the development of a Speech and Hearing Center for the military  at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Balboa Park. She was involved in various organizations, serving as president of the SDSU Alumni Association in 1940, of which she was a lifetime board member after 1948. She organized the first pre-1950's class reunion and located over 700 past alumni in the "lost alumni" campaign. The SDSU Alumni and Associates awarded Earnest in 1973 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award and again in 1998 with the Distinguished Alumni Service award.

Her involvement in the Mortar Board began in 1950, and prior to her retirement she was Mortar Board's faculty adviser for five years, facilitating the San Diego State Chapter's association with the National Board. In July 2000 the trustees of the National Mortar Board Foundation awarded Earnest as the sixth Distinguished Lifetime Board Member. In 1985 Earnest spearheaded the establishment of the SDSU Faculty and Staff Retirement Association. She was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Delta (debate), Zeta Phi Eta (speech) and Phi Beta Delta.

Throughout her life, Dr. Earnest traveled the U.S. and all over the world. The list of countries she traveled in include the United States, Australia, Austria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Sicily, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Yugoslavia, and Indonesia. She passed away on November 8, 2007.

Author: Emily Floyd
expand icon Arrangement

I. Personal Files

   1. Diary and Scrapbook

   2. Travel Files

a. Journals/ Personal Notes

b. Postcards

c. Country files 

d. Photographs

II. Professional Files

   1. Theater Files

a. Dissertation Research

b. Memorial Junior High Scrapbook

c. Theatrical Production Files

d. News clippings

e. Photographs

   2. Naval Hospital Clinic Files

   3. San Diego State University Files

a. San Diego State University Speech and Hearing Clinic

b. San Diego State University Organizations and Associations

expand icon Administrative Information
Acquired: 03/06/2008. 2009, 2010
Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Rights: The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Note: Lester Earnest
Related Materials:
For more information please see
Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Dr. Sue Earnest Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
Collection Material Type: Personal Papers
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