Skip to main content

Doris Hurt Powers papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 2

Scope and Contents

The Doris Hurt Powers papers (1942 – 2008; 2 cubic feet) documents the student, aviation, and business activities of Doris Hurt Powers. Powers’ experience as a woman breaking into the male-dominated fields of engineering and aeronautics is well documented through autobiographical speeches and her memoir Nothing but Blue Skies. One strength of the collection are the speeches delivered by Powers that address the particular challenges and opportunities encountered by women in the engineering field. Powers traveled extensively, including several trips to Russia during and immediately after the cold war. In 1991, she was invited by the Russian Ministry of Aviation and Defense, and that trip is documented through photographs in Series 2. Materials in the collection include newspaper clippings, books, speeches, photographs, pamphlets, and artifacts.


  • 1945-2011
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/04/2009


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

biographical information

Doris Hurt Powers, known as "Dodi," started flying at the age of 14 and received her commercial and flight instructor ratings by the time she was 20 years old. After starting college as a music major at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, she transferred to Purdue University to join the first class of the new School of Aeronautics, graduating in 1945. Powers continued to teach flying in various capacities while living a globally mobile army family life with her husband and three children. After her husband's retirement from the army, the couple started two businesses together and Dodi started her own product research and development company called Shielding Technologies, Inc. Powers served on many boards and committees, was a fellow of the Society for Women Engineers, was recognized as a Purdue "Old Master" in 1995, and received the Outstanding Aerospace Engineer award in 2006. Doris Hurt Powers passed away in February of 2009.


2.00 Cubic Feet

3 mss. boxes, one large flat box other_unmapped

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The Doris Hurt Powers papers are organized into 5 series: 1.  Biographical Information, 1942 – 2011 (0.4 cubic feet) This series includes resume information, newspaper clippings, an autobiography, documentation about the various awards and honors given to Powers, and several early flight log books. 2. Photographs, 1944 – 2006 (0.3 cubic feet) Series 2 documents Doris Hurt Power’s time as a Purdue University student and as a successful alumni receiving awards. There is also a series of photographs, with interesting captions, from her 1991 trip to the Soviet Union. 3. Pamphlets, 1947 – 2006 (0.2 cubic feet) This series includes informational pamphlets from various Purdue awards programs, business venture, astronaut school, and Society of Women Engineers publications. 4. Speeches, 1984 – 2008 (0.2 cubic feet) Many of these speeches are variations of a single autobiographical narrative, about the difficulties and exultations of being a young woman pilot and engineer. Additionally, several speeches give advice on succeeding in business or other careers. 5. Artifacts, circa 1942 – 1990 (0.8 cubic feet) This series contains three items: a sorority pledge paddle, a sorority pendant, and a desk nameplate.

Source of Acquisition

Laura Powers

Method of Acquisition

Mailed to Archives and Special Collections in April, 2009.
Doris Hurt Powers papers
In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States