Oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner

Oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner [Sound Recording 04]

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Reference code

SR 1337

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner


  • 1988-06-18 - 1988-06-18 (Creation)


.1 cubic feet 2 audiocassettes (2 hr., 4 min., 38 sec.)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Marian Jeanette Bruner was born in Vinton, Iowa, in 1915. Her family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1929. She graduated magna cum laude from Coe College around 1936. After graduating, she worked for five years before doing graduate work at the Biblical Seminary of New York, where she graduated with a master's degree in religious education in 1943. She then spent over 20 years as assistant to the board of the Reform Church of America in New York City. She quit in 1965 and moved to Bowie, Maryland, to be closer to her family. She began working as a secretary on Capitol Hill and in 1967, she became a caseworker for Senator Mark Hatfield, and later his executive assistant. She worked at that job until 1981. After her retirement, she remained active in her church and community. She died in 2018.

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Scope and content

This oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner was conducted by Clark Hansen at Bruner's home in Bowie, Maryland, on June 18, 1988. In this interview, Bruner discusses her family background and early life in Iowa. She talks about her schooling and her interest in Christian education; working for the Reform Church in New York City; and how she got a job on the staff of U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield. She talks about the other members of Hatfield's staff, and discusses some of her duties as caseworker early in Hatfield's senatorial career, including correspondence and some of the cases she handled. She then discusses Hatfield's opposition to the Vietnam War and the related cases she dealt with, including conscientious objectors. She then speaks about her promotion to executive assistant and the change in her duties, including making travel arrangements and managing Hatfield's schedule. Bruner discusses the types of engagements she arranged and Hatfield's work-life balance, as well as his hobbies and personal life. She also talks often about Hatfield's Christian faith and his political philosophy. She discusses Hatfield's relationship with his staff, his role in designing a few commemorative medals, and his committee assignments, particularly the appropriations committee. She closes the interview by discussing her decision to leave Hatfield's staff at the end of 1980.

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Conditions governing access

Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and Willamette University. Use is allowed under the following license: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

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Languages of the material

  • English

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Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Marian J. Bruner, by Clark Hansen, SR 1337, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the Senator Mark O. Hatfield Oral History Project.

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Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

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