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Leonard W. Rice letters

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 8888

Scope and Contents

Contains photographs of Rice during his time serving in the Army, an introduction of his life written by his wife Ruth including his childhood in Wyoming, his college experience as a student and faculty member, and his experience in the Army. In addition, it includes a collection of letters Leonard wrote to his family from January 1944-December 1945 transcribed digitally into Word documents.


  • 1944-1945


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Leonard W. Rice letters must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Leonard W. Rice (1913-1986) was an English professor, department chair and dean at BYU, president of Oregon College of Education and an Army veteran of World War II.

Leonard W. Rice was born in Garland, Utah in 1913. His childhood was spent in rural locations in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, primarily on his father's farm in southeastern Idaho. After graduating from high school he attended Brigham Young University where he graduated as valedictorian in 1941. At BYU he met Ruth Diana Miller and they were married in 1941. He completed his master's degree at the University of Washington in 1943. Drafted into the Army in 1944, he was trained to work as a cryptographer in the Signal Corp and served in New Guinea and the Philippines before release from the Army in 1946. While teaching at BYU he earned his doctorate during summer sessions at the University of Washington. Dr. Rice served at BYU as Chair of the English Department and Dean of Humanities. He was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to Yale University in 1957. From there he went to Rhode Island College of Education to teach English and in 1962 was appointed President of Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) in Monmouth, Oregon, a position he held until retirement in 1977. He and his wife settled in Salem, Oregon where he died in August, 1986.

Biographical History

Ruth Diana Miller Rice (1920-2015) was a bacteriologist, pianist, and ballet dancer who was married to Leonard W. Rice.

Ruth Diana Miller was born in Healdsburg, California in 1920. Her family moved to Provo, Utah in 1924. After graduating from high school Ruth attended BYU, earning a degree in Bacteriology with a minor in Botany. Ruth worked as a medical technician at Utah Valley Hospital and taught hundreds of young dancers at her own ballet studio. While attending BYU, she married Leonard W. Rice. Ruth and Leonard had two children (Michael Cutler and Julia Ellen) and were married for forty-five years until Leonard's death in Salem, Oregon in 1986. Ruth died in September, 2015 and was laid to rest beside Leonard in Salem.


1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Julia E. Rice, daughter of Leonard Rice, in February 2016.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Jula E. Rice; February 2016.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.V, August 2007.)

Processing Information

Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2016.

Register of Leonard W. Rice letters
Eric Wolford
2016 September 15
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States