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Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: A - B: UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Bickel - Burch

This guide will help you find primary source oral history interviews pertaining to the history of the University of Kentucky, its faculty and alumni.

Annotated Guide to the Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Bickel - Brady.

If not available online, audio copies and/or transcripts of the interviews in this project are available in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

 

77OH97 A/F 79

CHARLES A. BICKEL

Date:  November 30, 1977

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Interviewer:  William Cooper

Length:  45 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Charles A. Bickel is a 1905 graduate of the Kentucky State College (now the University of Kentucky).  He attended Manual Training High School in Louisville and explains that he decided to pursue a degree at State College because he received a full scholarship.  He majored in engineering.  Bickel describes his living arrangement while he was a student.  He and a roommate lived in a boarding house on North Limestone next to Hamilton College, which was a woman’s college.  He recalls some of the classes that he took including history and mathematics, and he describes the annual field trips taken by the engineering students.  Bickel discusses his senior thesis and faculty members including Dean F. Paul Anderson.  Bickel also recalls a history professor who was nearly blind and subject to pranks by the students. 

Bickel remembers that the students did not care much for James K. Patterson who was the president of the University.  He describes the strenuous schedule for the engineering students stating that he felt like he was on vacation by the time he got a full-time job.  He recalls where the bars were on North Limestone, but states that he did not see a lot of drunkenness on campus.  He describes student pranks, but sees the students of that time period as more serious than later college students.  He discusses athletics and the rivalry with Kentucky University (now Transylvania University).  Bickel also remembers commencement and the sole female student in his engineering classes. 

  

92OH149 A/F 496

ANIBAL A. BIGLIERI

Date:  April, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Robin Ruf

Length:  2 hours 10 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair 

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Anibal Biglieri is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Italian at the University of Kentucky.  He was born in Argentina in 1942, and states that it was while he was in high school that he decided he wanted to become a professor.  Biglieri studied in Spain for four years and then came to the United States to pursue his PhD at Syracuse University.  He worked in New York State, Ohio, and Alabama, before coming to the University of Kentucky in the late 1980s.  He remembers professors who influenced him during his education including his mentor at Syracuse.  Biglieri describes a typical day for him as a professor.  His day usually consists of doing paperwork, teaching, advising, and attending committee meetings and that is only while he is at the office.  He completes even more work at home. 

Biglieri explains his views of the academic profession and states that it is a career requiring a lot of commitment.  He talks about his enjoyment of research, learning, and exploring new things.  Biglieri also discusses what it is like to be a faculty member at the University of Kentucky.  He talks about problems with buildings on campus especially Patterson Office Tower, which he believes is not the right type of building for the Arts and Sciences because it does not facilitate communication.  He describes problems with staff wages and states that some members of the staff are grossly underpaid.  He compares UK’s Spanish program to that of other institutions, and discusses the organization of the department.  Biglieri describes the student population at the University of Kentucky and states that he carefully reads student evaluations and takes student opinions into account. 

 

76OH44 A/F 38

SARAH BLANDING

Date:  May 23, 1976

Location: Lakeville, Connecticut

Interviewer: William Cooper

Length:  2 hours  

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript: Yes

Restrictions: None

Sarah Blanding, University of Kentucky graduate and former Dean of Women, came to UK in 1919 after attending the New Haven Normal School of Gymnastics.  She was offered a position as an instructor of Physical Education and accepted on the condition that she could also attend classes.  As a student, she pledged the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and majored in political science and international relationships.  By her senior year, she was president of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and she explains how she was involved in accepting a Jewish member to the chapter.  She describes the political science department at UK when she was an undergraduate, mentioning Amry Vandenbosch and J. Catron Jones.  She also describes her involvement with athletics, particularly her role as a basketball coach.

Upon graduation, she was offered the job of Dean of Women.  She states that although she took the position reluctantly, she grew to like it.  Yet, she felt that she needed further education, so she enrolled Columbia University to earn her Master’s degree in Political Science.  Blanding describes her experiences in New York, and mentions Professors Carlton Hayes and Carl Van Doren.  After receiving her Master’s degree, Blanding went back to UK and continued her work as the Dean of Women, although she did later take a leave of absence to study at the London School of Economics.  She describes chaperoning a young woman of the Smith family of Lexington while in London.

Blanding describes events on UK’s campus during the 1920s and 1930s.  She describes the effect of the evolution debate throughout Kentucky on the UK campus.   She provides her opinions of UK President Frank McVey, his wife Frances Jewell McVey, and UK President James Patterson.  She discusses organizing the Faculty Club in 1929.  Blanding describes the effect of the Great Depression on UK when the administration scrambled to find more campus work for students.  She discusses the controversy over a faculty salary cut in 1932, and recalls the lack of women on campus at that time.  She describes herself as a strict disciplinarian.  She remembers colleagues including Dean William Funkhouser and Professor William S. Webb of the physics department.  She recalls the reorganization of the university in 1941 and the abolishment of the university senate.  She also provides her opinion of President Herman L. Donovan.  

 

89OH91 A/F 358

DAVID K. BLYTHE

Date:  April 8, 1989

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Joseph Massie

Length: 2 hours   

Audio Conditions:  Fair 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions:  None

David K. Blythe, at the time of this interview, a University of Kentucky professor of Engineering, was born in Georgetown, Kentucky in 1917 where his father worked as a farmer.  His father died when he was a small child, and Blythe recalls his mother’s struggles to keep the family financially viable.  Blythe explains what it was like growing up in Georgetown in the 1920s and 1930s.  He talks about his schooling and his early interest in math.  He states that in high school one of his teachers would tutor him in geometry after school which helped him to win a state math contest. 

Upon graduation from high school, Blythe had planned to enter the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) when he learned that he had won a scholarship to Georgetown College.  Blythe enrolled at Georgetown in the pre-engineering program.  He did so well that he was urged to go to the University of Kentucky to complete his degree.  He states that he was fortunate enough to receive a job through the National Youth Association (NYA) to help him pay his tuition at UK.  He describes his job in the janitorial department of the university and his involvement with the Pershing Rifles. 

Blythe talks about some of his favorite professors including Professor Daniel Voiers Terrell and Professor Robert E. Shaver.  Blythe became a surveying instructor before he graduated from UK.  He describes the research that the engineering department did for the Commonwealth of Kentucky which allowed him and other students to make some extra money.  Upon graduation, Blythe took a job doing civil engineering working for the Kentucky Forestry Service in Harlan County and he discusses his adjustment to this new atmosphere. 

      

89OH102 A/F 364

DAVID K. BLYTHE

Date:  April 29, 1989

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Joseph Massie

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

In this second interview, David K. Blythe discusses his experience in the military during World War Two.  He explains that he became a 2nd lieutenant in the army while in the ROTC at UK.  He was called for active duty in the summer of 1941 and assigned to a base in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois where he trained new recruits.  Blythe was later assigned to the Army Air Corps in Wichita Falls, Texas.  He was then promoted to 1st lieutenant and took part in an aircraft maintenance officers training program where he met his future wife, Jeannie.  Blythe talks about his assignment to an air depot group at Kelly Field, and although he prepared for going overseas, the war was over before he shipped out.  After the war, he was transferred to the Caribbean Air Force Depot in Miami.  When he was discharged, he and his wife went to live in Cincinnati where he began working as an engineer and land surveyor.

Blythe then discusses how he received an offer to become an instructor at UK.  He states that he found that requirements for professors were changing and he decided to go to Cornell to work on his Master’s degree.  He recalls corresponding with Bill Drake of the Kentucky Highway Department Research Lab to gather information for his thesis.  Blythe describes the early years of his career at the University of Kentucky where the faculty were dealing with an influx of discharged military men.  He talks about his work in aerial photography with the Kentucky Department of Transportation and for the Agricultural Stabilization Commission.  He explains how he became a Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee.  Blythe also mentions some of his colleagues, namely Professor Robert E. Shaver and former president of the University of Kentucky, Frank Dickey.  Blythe served as chairman of the engineering department for twelve years. 

 

89OH103 A/F 365

DAVID K. BLYTHE

Date:  April 30, 1989

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Joseph Massie

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

David K. Blythe, a former professor of engineering at the University of Kentucky, discusses his various jobs at the university from the 1950s until the present day.  One of the major research projects that he worked with in the mid-1950s was for the Kentucky Department of Highways in developing Kentucky’s interstate system.  He explains that he was also involved in drawing the lines for the interstate in the Lexington area.  He recalls issues that arose during interstate planning including the destruction of historic buildings and the displacement of poor people.

Blythe also spent a lot of time traveling while he was a professor at UK.  He describes a trip to England and Scotland with his wife and three children.  He also went to Liberia to teach Peace Corps volunteers and Liberians how to improve and build roads.  Blythe describes the Partners of the Americas, which was developed during John F. Kennedy’s presidential administration, to encourage friendly exchange between countries.  He spent many summers teaching in Ecuador as part of this program.

Blythe discusses his role as chairman of the Department of Engineering.  Blythe remembers former UK President Frank Dickey, and talks about John Oswald who became president of UK in 1963.  He discusses Oswald’s review of deans and chairmen, and states that Oswald shocked people around campus with his “untraditional” ways of doing things.  Blythe discusses Oswald’s “Next 100 Years” plan for the University of Kentucky, and mentions President Lyndon B. Johnson’s visit to UK.  Blythe became associate dean for Continuing Education and Extension and describes establishing distance learning programs.  He recalls a study of a small community in Kentucky called Granny’s Branch and their need for infrastructure.  He also discusses his involvement in the development of a co-op program for engineering students.

 

00OH72 A/F 601

GIFFORD BLYTON

Date:  May 15, 1997

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Sharon Childs

Length:  50 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: Permission of Sharon Childs Required

 

 

92OH124 A/F 483

ANNA R. BOSCH

Date:  March 27, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Michelle Messner

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Poor

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Anna R. Bosch, a professor in the University of Kentucky’s English department, describes her involvement in the academic world.  She was born in Syracuse, New York in 1962, and attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.  She pursued a double major in Linguistics and in the College of Letters.  Bosch then completed her graduate work at the University of Chicago where she earned a PhD in Linguistics.  Bosch talks about the languages that she speaks, stating that she speaks fluent French. 

Bosch describes some awards that she has earned throughout her career.  At the time of this interview, Bosch had only been at UK for two years.  She discusses her decision to pursue a career in academia, noting the importance of education in her family.  She mentions her interest in linguistics, language, teaching, and research.  She describes her typical day and explains that she completes work both in her office and at home.

Bosch discusses her feelings about the University of Kentucky in general and states that the greatest achievement of UK is bringing together students from a wide variety of backgrounds.   Yet, she explains that the biggest problem on UK’s campus is the emphasis on research over teaching.  Bosch feels that the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the country as a whole need to put more emphasis on and funding into education.  Overall, Bosch is happy with her experience at UK and her career choice.

 

92OH95 A/F 474

LAURIE BOTTOMS

Date:  March 11, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Aimee Jones

Length:  25 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Professor Laurie Louise Shafer Bottoms was born in Towanda, Pennsylvania in 1939. She comes from a long-line of educators, and states that she learned early to appreciate literature and writing. Bottoms describes how much she values education and how crucial it is in life to share knowledge with other people.

In 1956, Bottoms entered the College of William and Mary. She graduated in 1960 with a major in English and a French minor. While at William and Mary, Bottoms was an officer of the Woman’s Student Government, and served as a President’s Aide, a privilege granted to six to seven outstanding graduates of the year. In 1970, Bottoms started her graduate work at Fordham University on the Rose Hill campus in New York. She finished her PhD at Fordham in 1979.  In 1980, Bottoms went to Columbia University for postgraduate work and was certified as a school district administrator.

For the last twenty years, Professor Laurie Bottoms has been teaching English in public and private high schools and colleges. She came to UK in July of 1991 to join her husband in Lexington. She is an assistant professor and director of the Bluegrass Writing Project. At the time of this interview, Bottoms was preparing to leave her position and take a new challenging job as the executive director of The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.

 

92OH139 A/F 488

LAURIE BOTTOMS

Date:  March 26, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Aimee Jones

Length:  45 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

In this interview, Laurie Bottoms describes a typical day. She normally observes student teachers in the five high schools in Lexington.  Bottoms then usually spends time in her office answering phone calls regarding the Bluegrass Writing Project, a staff development program for teachers she is directing during the summer.  Bottoms also has frequent meetings for the Language Program faculty since she chairs this committee at UK.

Bottoms talks about her life and her views of her work, including the best and worst elements of her career. She states that she views work as one of the essential elements of human experience. She also describes universities in general, stating that the greatest achievement of a university is to be a place of conflict, contradiction, debate and discussion. In regards to state funding, she feels that universities should go after as much money as they can get to maintain quality education with a low tuition. She explains that universities should be places of discussion and liberal humanity, and she states that UK is attempting to do this.

 

92OH141 A/F 490

LAURIE BOTTOMS

Date:  April 8, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Aimee Jones

Length:  1 hour 5 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Laurie Bottoms, in her third and final interview, discusses her different job titles.  She is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, along with being the chair of the Language Program Faculty Committee. Even though this is her first and only year at UK, Bottoms loves the friendly working environment, the helpful people, and the excellent working conditions.

Bottoms explains the affect that gender has had upon her career. She states that she wants to see women breaking barriers in education and career choices. Bottoms greatly appreciates the challenge in her work.  She describes her greatest professional achievements, which have been completing her PhD, having a recent publication in the National Writing Project magazine, The Quarterly, and being selected to work with the Carnegie Center. She describes a few changes that she would like to make in higher education in Kentucky including creating a writing program.

 

93OH03 A/F 520

BILLY JACKSON BOWER

Date:  January 18, 1993

Location: Jessamine County, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Billy Francis Jackson Bower was born in 1919 in Lexington, Kentucky, but was raised in Jessamine County. She attended Picadome Elementary, Hamilton Elementary, and Henry Clay High School.  Bower states that she had an early interest in horses, and helped her father on his farm. In 1936, she graduated from high school and entered the University of Kentucky with a major in Agriculture.

Bower discusses her decision to enter a male-dominated field of study.  She describes some of the women present in her college career including Francis Jewell McVey, the wife of UK President Frank McVey, and Sarah Blanding, the Dean of Women. While at UK, Bower was a member of the Chi Omega sorority, Xi Chi, the Pep organization, a university representative for the June Dairy Month, and an associate member of Block and Bridle honorary agriculture fraternity.  She explains that she was only an associate member of Block and Bridle because she was a woman.  She remembers that on January 17th, 1941 an article ran in The Kernel, UK’s student newspaper, which recognized her and two other women for their pursuit of a major outside the accepted social realm of the time period. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree, Bower started training horses.  She later opened two barns of her own. She married Alex Bower, the sports columnist for The Leader. The Bowers have four children and own a farm in Jessamine County.

 

76OH13 A/F 523

W.C. BOWER

Date:  January, 1976

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Dr. Maurice A. Clay

Length:  45 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

W.C. Bower’s first association with the University of Kentucky was in 1912 when he was a professor in the College of the Bible. He later became the Dean of the College of the Bible and the Lexington Theological Seminary. In 1926, Dr. Bower became a professor and chairman of Practical Theology at the University of Chicago. In 1943, he returned to Lexington and continued to teach religion at UK.  Dr. Bower describes his work at UK.  He took over the English courses of Professor Edward F. Farquhar after he became ill, and also worked in field of sociology.

Dr. Bower describes his close relationship with Dr. Herman Donovan, who was the president of the University of Kentucky at the time. Dr. Bower gives credit to Dr. Donovan and Mr. Michael Tidings, the director of the Lincoln Institute, for starting the movement of moral and spiritual values in Kentucky.  Bower became director of the Kentucky program of moral and spiritual values in education.  Bower describes the first seminar in the summer of the mid-1940s entitled “Moral and Spiritual Values in Education.”  The seminar resulted in several publications including a book by Dr. Bower called Moral and Spiritual Values in Education. Dr. Bower also discusses his impressive list of publications including sixteen published books and ninety-two articles that have appeared in various scholarly journals.

 

79OH224 A/F 112

ABRAHAM BOWLING

Date:  June 13, 1979

Location: Brighton, Colorado

Interviewer: William Cooper

Length:  30 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Judge Abraham Bowling is a 1948 graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School. He enrolled at UK in March of 1946 after five years in army. Bowling had two years pre-law from Sue Bennett College in London, Kentucky before entering UK.  He states that his first impression of the campus was that it was one of the most beautiful campuses he had seen. He was also very impressed with the instructors. He lists Roy Moreland, Paul Oberst and Dean Alvin E. Evans as his favorite professors.

Bowling states that the law school was generally conservative. There were no female professors and only two women in the law school. Bowling mentions Dorothy Salmon, the librarian of the law school, who was also a lawyer. Bowling remembers that the law school was a bit overcrowded at that time, but that it only got more crowded as men took full advantage of the G.I. Bill. Since graduating, Bowling has kept an active interest in UK. He explains that he is a member of the Denver Alumni Association which is one of the strongest in the country. He states that he believes that alumni stay active with their university.

 

94OH27 A/F 531

KENNETH A. BRABANT

Date: 1972

Location: Unknown

Interviewer: J. Allan Smith 

Length:  45 minutes

Audio Conditions: Very Poor

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Kenneth A. Brabant, a former University of Kentucky extension agent, has been involved in farming and 4-H most of his life.   In Logan County, Kentucky, Brabant helped organize community clubs and went to all 127 one-room school houses.  In 1930, Brabant and Roy Procter began helping farmers keep records on various farms around Kentucky. Brabant discusses his use of the farm management records for teaching.

In 1933, Brabant helped organize the Agriculture Adjustment Administration (AAA) in Kentucky and he describes his work.  Brabant also helped found the Agents Service of Suburban Organization in 1934. Brabant remembers that when the AAA was declared unconstitutional in 1938, the Agriculture Conservation Program (ACP) was formed. The ACP focused on land use planning and organized a volunteer program with the university.  In 1948, the Farm and Home Development Program was started in Kentucky which was very similar to Missouri’s farming program.  In 1953, Brabant moved to Henderson, Kentucky to start a similar program. He also helped organize the Farm and Housing School which opened in 1961 with eighty men enrolled.

 

84OH100 A/F 156

LAWRENCE A. BRADFORD

Date: November 2, 1984

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Mike Duff

Length:  40 minutes

Audio Conditions: Excellent

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Professor Lawrence Alan Bradford was born in Fleming County, Kentucky in 1895. He enrolled in 1913 at the University of Kentucky and graduated in 1917 with his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Agriculture. Bradford later obtained a Master’s degree in Education.  By 1918, Bradford was a county agent in Bath and Carroll counties completing emergency seed demonstration work.  Bradford explains that his first experience in county agricultural agent work was in 1917, a year that the corn crop was late in Kentucky.

Bradford discusses the agricultural situation of the time. He remembers that two fundamental acts were passed in 1914 and 1918. The County Agent Act enabled the states to hire men to work with farmers. The other act allowed the teaching of agriculture in high schools. In 1922, after returning from service in World War One, Bradford was hired by school board of Flemingsburg as a high school agriculture teacher. In addition to his teaching, Bradford states that he spent a great deal of time working on tobacco disease control and developing the hay and pasture land of Kentucky. He describes the Green Pasture Program, through which great advancements were made in developing plants and fertility programs. Bradford also talks about starting the Future Farmer’s of America program in Kentucky, and describes certain organizations he feels were key to improving agriculture and education.

 In 1938, Bradford joined UK’s College of Agriculture in the Department of Agriculture Economics. Bradford remembers that around 1940, when dams were being built in western Kentucky, some of the best farm land was flooded. Farmers became displaced and so he wrote a pamphlet, Farming is a Business, for those displaced farmers. Later, Bradford and Ben Johnson wrote Farm Management Analysis.  After Bradford retired, he wrote The History of the Department of Agriculture Economics of the University of Kentucky.

 

76OH19 A/F 28

GEORGE K. BRADY

Date: March 8, 10, 12, and 19, 1976

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: William Cooper

Length:  4 hours

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Dr. George K. Brady served as a professor at the University of Kentucky from 1925 to 1963.  He received his PhD from the University of Illinois in the spring of 1923. Brady was appointed as an assistant professor in English department in 1925 where he taught comparative literature and a graduate course in bibliography.  While at UK, Brady experienced three different university presidents and large changes throughout the university.  Brady remembers Frank L. McVey, during whose administration the university expanded, although salaries were reduced due to the Great Depression.  Herman L. Donovan became president in 1941, and Brady describes Donovan’s fundraising techniques and lack of restrictions upon faculty.  At the end of World War Two, the university saw a substantial increase in enrollment, and Brady notes the strain on the university and the City of Lexington.

In 1945, Brady took over as acting head of English department.  He states that he was also asked to take over the humanities courses, and the ancient language department at about the same time.  Brady describes holding three departmental head positions for twenty months.  During this time period, the first African-American graduate students were admitted to UK.  Brady remembers this experience and also discrimination against female professors.  In 1951, Brady became the director of orientation for foreign students at UK, and he recalls entertaining foreign students.

Dr. Frank G. Dickey became president of the university in 1956. Brady described Dickey as very cautious and states that later President John W. Oswald made a better impression on Brady.  Throughout this interview, Brady discusses the power of the University Senate, faculty committees, and various organizations affiliated with UK. He explains his drive to improve all the libraries on campus, and talks about the old Romany Theater and the Guignol Theater. He addresses the University Press of Kentucky, athletics, the Lexington community and its association with UK. He speaks about the English department and how the quality of the department improved through the years.  Brady discusses how when he first arrived at UK, there was little emphasis on intensive research for publication purposes, which has changed greatly. Brady has one publication which is a translation of Japanese folklore.

 

90OH324 A/F 423

GEORGE K. BRADY

Date: June 29, 1972

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Charles Talbert

Length:  55 minutes

Audio Conditions: Poor

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Dr. George K. Brady first came to the University of Kentucky in June of 1925 from Toledo, Ohio. He mentions that his first impression of UK President Frank L. McVey was that he was very diplomatic.  Brady discusses his many experiences with President McVey throughout the years.  Brady also explains that he felt sorry for McVey in the last two years of his presidency because the majority of the faculty suddenly turned against him although Brady does not know why.

Brady also describes his experiences with the theaters at UK. He performed in Macbeth and one of George Bernard Shaw’s plays. Brady was even offered a job as a professional actor but turned it down because he wanted to teach.  Yet, Brady explains how he resented administrative work throughout his career. When he first came to UK, the core members of the English department were Professors Dantzler, Edward F. Farquhar and Grant. When Dantzler had a heart attack, Brady became acting chairman for the English department for eighteen months and then organized the humanities courses until he retired. Two years before Brady retired, he became the head of the ancient language department as well. He held that position for nineteen months until he could find someone qualified to take over for him.

Annotated Guide to the Charles T. Wethington U.K. Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Breckinridge - Burch.

If not available online, audio copies and/or transcripts of the interviews in this project are available in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

 

89OH259 A/F 382

HELEN B. BRECKINRIDGE

Date: October 6, 1989

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 10 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Helen B. Breckinridge grew up in Louisville and came to Lexington to attend the University of Kentucky. She graduated from an all-girls high school in 1939 and Breckinridge comments on having men in the classrooms during her college experience. Breckinridge’s mother, father, and younger brother attended Purdue. She followed her older sister to UK and joined the Kappa sorority where her sister was president. Breckinridge later became secretary and vice president of Kappa. She was also a member of the French club and an usher at the Guignol Theater.  She majored in French.

Breckinridge states that her first impression of UK was that it was an inviting campus. Her freshmen year was spent in Patterson Hall, and then during her sophomore year she moved into the Kappa house. Breckinridge describes social life on campus. She discusses the different regulations for men and women, and mentions the curfews for women. She talks about various classes like zoology and evolution as well as her favorite teachers. Breckinridge also comments on the effects of World War Two on campus.  Breckinridge graduated in 1942 and married. Her husband, Scott, was in the navy and Breckinridge traveled to wherever his ship would come in. Since graduating, Breckinridge believes UK has advanced academically.

 

77OH02 A/F 48

STEVE BRIGHT 

Date: February 1, 1977

Location: Washington, D.C.

Interviewer: William Cooper

Length:  1 hour 45 minutes

Audio Conditions: Excellent

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Steve Bright began his freshman year at the University of Kentucky in the fall of 1966.  He states that there was a feeling that UK was improving academically and making progress, but explains that this changed radically once Louie B. Nunn was elected governor and more political influence was felt upon the university. Bright remembers that he was very fond of President John W. Oswald and states that the first significant student demonstration on campus was organized in favor of Oswald.  Bright’s opinion of President Albert D. “Ab” Kirwan is not as positive.  In 1969, Dr. Singletary became president and Bright feels that the emphasis of this administration was focused on building a new football stadium.

Although Bright originally declared his major as journalism, he changed to political science after his first year.  He also became involved in student government and became student body president.  In the fall of 1968, Bright sponsored the “Dixie Bill” in the student government assembly to cease the playing of the song Dixie at Kentucky football games.  In Bright’s junior year, he joined the Sigma Nu fraternity and recalls his positive experience and his concern at the lack of diversity within the fraternities on campus. In 1970, Bright made a push toward full integration of the fraternities. Most fraternities did not integrate while he was there, but Bright states there was a great effort within Sigma Nu.

Bright remembers that social life on campus was separated into two distinct classes of students. There were the traditional students and the radical students.  He also believes that there was too much emphasis on athletics throughout the university. Bright also discusses women’s presence on campus and the role of the Black Student Union.  Bright describes other controversies and activities on the campus including politics, drugs, the City of Lexington’s involvement with UK and the Kentucky Kernel.

 

79OH117 A/F 95

JAMES BRONSON

Date: November 7, 1978

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: John Jason Peter

Length:  1 hour 10 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

James Bronson came to the University of Kentucky in 1969 as a freshman political science major. Bronson describes the broad range of people who were interested and concerned about the war in Vietnam. He believes that about a third of the students on campus were considered protesters. Around 1970, Bronson joined the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and later the Student Mobilization Committee (SMC). He was extremely active with the demonstrations and marches on campus.

Bronson describes the general feeling on campus after President Richard M. Nixon sent troops into Cambodia in April of 1970 as well as the outrage felt after the Kent State University killings. He discusses the sense of urgency he felt and describes a march on UK’s campus held right after these events. Bronson recalls being arrested for throwing a rock through a window. He also recalls the burning of the old ROTC building.

Bronson believes that the `60s radicalized people in general. He states that these ideas have expanded into women’s rights and the labor movements.  He recalls that one of the worst aspects of the peace movement was the frustration that he and others felt when the government would not respond. Yet Bronson states that he was very impressed with how people could come together and become a powerful group.

 

85OH153A/F 259

MARGIE B. BROOKSHIRE

Date: June 14, 1985

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Mike Duff

Length:  50 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Margie Brookshire was born in Hardyville in Hart County, Kentucky in 1922. She attended Western Kentucky State Teacher’s College (now Western Kentucky University) and majored in home economics.  Brookshire’s mother was a member of the Homemakers Club, and she describes growing up around the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. She states that she was interested in 4-H very early in her life and has stayed active with the organization. Brookshire also discusses changes programs such as 4-H camps and the Homemakers program over time.

Brookshire has participated in all levels and areas of agriculture. She has served on county, area, and state decision councils, and has worked with home economics, agriculture, 4-H, and development. Brookshire has also been involved with the Community Pride project as well as serving on the extension council and agriculture advisory committee.  Brookshire discusses her most satisfying and dissatisfying experiences.  She talks about the large number of awards and recognitions she has received and is very humble about all of them.  Brookshire was the first woman to win the L.P. Guess Award, the Thomas Poe Cooper Award, and numerous other awards in 4-H and agriculture.

 

85OH132 A/F 244

HENRY CORLEY BROWN

Date: June 10, 1985

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Interviewer: Professor Mike Duff

Length:  1 hour 20 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Henry Corley Brown was born in 1902 and grew up on a farm. He was the youngest of eight children. He recalls that four of his teachers at Elizabethtown High School were University of Kentucky alumni and encouraged him to attend UK.  He describes visiting UK during their Farm and Home Week where he met Dean Thomas Poe Cooper and prominent farmers. Brown went to UK in the summer of 1924 to obtain a job before classes began. He was able to work in a greenhouse on the UK Research Farm.  He states that he took care of the greenhouse all four years he attended UK. Brown graduated in 1928 and was interested in getting a county agent job right away.

Brown states that agriculture was always a large part of his life.  After graduation he received additional training as a self-titled emergency county agent in Harrison, Fleming, Scott, Bath, Fulton and Graves County. Brown later became an assistant agent and an associate agent. Among other positions, he also served as a horticulture area agent. Brown describes the differences between central and western Kentucky counties and the impact of the Great Depression.

Brown lists some of the awards he received including those from the National County Agent Association, and Epsilon Sigma Chi Award.  He talks about his membership with the Kentucky Farm Person’s Radio Association, and his retirement.  More recently, he has worked as a land consultant and written a book with Barney Arnold called Gardening with Confidence.

 

75OH41 A/F 11

T.R. BRYANT, SR. 

Date: December 3, 1975 and February 3, 1976

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Thomas R. “T.R.” Bryant first came to the University of Kentucky in 1902 after winning a scholarship through a competitive examination held by the county superintendent.  Bryant graduated in four years and obtained his first staff job at the university in 1908 as an assistant in animal science.  Throughout this interview, Bryant discusses life on campus both as a student and staff member. He describes the classes, the relationship between the Lexington community and the UK community as well as the importance of sports. Bryant had experience with the football and basketball team. He also discusses changes that occurred as women began attending UK.

In 1910, Bryant was chosen to organize the Cooperative Extension Service.  He explains that the extension work was based on the demonstration method.  By 1912, the extension service received $50,000 and Bryant was able to employ two specialists; one in horticulture and one in agronomy. Bryant remembers consistent growth from that point on. He discusses the importance of the Farm Bureau to the extension services. Also, Bryant recalls controversies with funding, the investigation committee appointed by the governor to observe UK, and salary reductions. He touches upon the evolution controversy on campus during the 1920s and how women came to play an important role on campus during World War II.

Bryant officially retired in 1955 and describes his major accomplishments including organizing the Cooperative Extension Service and maintaining a proper relationship with the Farm Bureau and other statewide agencies. He states that has continued to stay active within the extension service and still works with county agents. Bryant reflects on various presidents of UK and commends Presidents Frank McVey and Herman Donovan for making the greatest strides for the university.

 

85OH07 A/F 176

T.R. BRYANT, SR. 

Date: September 10, 1976

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  30 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Thomas R. “T.R.” Bryant was the associate director of the Cooperative Extension Service within the College of Agriculture at UK. He was born in 1885 in Fayette County, Kentucky and started his formal organization of extension work on July 1, 1910. At the time of this interview, Bryant was the only remaining living administrative pioneer in extension services.  Bryant discusses how extension work began. He believes that the experiment stations had made progress with new ideas in agriculture, but their new discoveries were not known to farmers.  Bryant explains that cooperative extension work was necessary to convey information and suggestions to rural men and women.

In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act made extension work a national activity. Between 1910 and 1914, U.S. Department of Agriculture funds were available for projects to increase crop production and improve farm management, but these funds had to be matched by the counties themselves. Bryant states that his most difficult job was convincing the counties to match the money offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  At the end of 1912, seven counties had raised the necessary money.

Bryant discusses the ways in which extension work has evolved to include marketing, cooperative work, and more youth projects. Bryant talks about the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation as a very wise and careful organization, and describes the relationship between the Kentucky Farm Bureau, the University of Kentucky Extension Service, and other agricultural organizations.  Bryant gives credit to Dr. Steven A. Knapp, whose demonstration of cotton production showed that the way to teach someone was to let them teach themselves.  Bryant believes that future extension directors will create good and useful projects for the communities, but warns them to keep a watchful eye on the economic and political situation of the country.

 

90OH334 A/F 432

T.R. BRYANT, SR. 

Date: June 23, 1972

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Charles Talbert

Length:  40 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Dr. Thomas R. “T.R.” Bryant, the first associate director of Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Kentucky, discusses the investigation of UK President Henry S. Barker. Bryant describes the problems with the Board of Trustees and Barker’s resignation.  Bryant also provides details on his close relationship with Frank McVey.  Bryant states that he owes a lot to McVey for hiring Thomas Poe Cooper as the Dean of the College of Agriculture. Bryant gives McVey credit for bringing in a talented staff as well as pushing for an adequate library for the university. He believes McVey was the first president at UK with a vision of a good university. Bryant also compares McVey and Patterson and the difficulties faced within their respective administrations.

 

94OH24 A/F 528

T.R. BRYANT, SR.

Date: Spring, 1972

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: J. Allan Smith

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions: Poor

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

In this interview, T.R. Bryant describes his experiences at UK as a student and then as director of the Cooperative Extension Service.  Bryant explains how he won a scholarship to attend UK, and he states that he was the only agriculture graduate in 1908. Bryant discuses his classes in agriculture and the attention he received from his professors.

Bryant describes his work under Dean M.A. Scovell, director of the Experiment Station. Bryant explains that Scovell was a great administrator in whom the public placed a large amount of confidence.  In July of 1910, Scovell suggested that Bryant be put in charge of extension work.  By 1912, when the General Education board gave the U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to reallocate to the states, Kentucky already employed eight county agents. Around the same time, Scovell became dean of the College of Agriculture. When the Smith-Lever Act was passed in 1914, extension work was nationwide and continued to expand. Bryant also discusses the importance of extension work during the First World War.

Bryant describes Fred Mutchler who was put in charge of extension work around 1914, and the difficulties that this created within the department.  Thomas Poe Cooper eventually dismissed Mutchler. Bryant believes that from that point on, extension services have seen continual improvement.  Bryant describes the Farm Bureau and it’s affiliation with extension work.  He also talks about the Grange organization within Kentucky, the Farmers Institute, moveable schools, and the railway exhibits that traveled throughout Kentucky.

 

77OH71 A/F 73

JACQUELINE P. BULL

Date: October 6, 1977

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 50 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Jacqueline P. Bull, former head of the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives, discusses her education. Bull grew up in Greenville, Mississippi and recalls the Great Flood of 1927 during which her family was forced to evacuate.  She also remembers the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1920s against Catholicism.  Bull and her family moved to Lexington in the fall of 1927.  Bull attended Henry Clay High School where she was a member of the first graduating class.  Bull began classes at UK in the fall of 1929 and she describes the week-long orientation as well as the lectures she received from Ms. Sarah Blanding, the Dean of Women, on how women at the university should conduct themselves, and Dr. Frank McVey, president of UK, on the university in general. Bull also explains how she lived at home in order to save money.

Bull describes how she became interested in library science and how she had been fascinated with the library at Henry Clay.  She discusses some of the professors she had during her academic career in Library Science as well as in general courses.  She recalls that Margaret I. King taught administration and book selection while Ms. Simmons taught cataloging. Bull was able to obtain a job as a student assistant in the library in her third year at UK. Bull graduated in June of 1934 with a Bachelor’s degree in Library Science and recalls having breakfast the day before commencement at Dr. McVey’s house. Bull describes Ms. King and Dr. McVey, and gives them credit for establishing the new library on campus in 1931.  She recalls the construction of the Margaret I. King Library.  Throughout this interview, Bull describes the Greek organizations on campus, the relationship between UK and the Lexington community, The Kentucky Kernel student newspaper, athletics, women’s roles on campus, and the social life. She also touches on the effect of the Great Depression and World War II upon the university.

 

81OH82 A/F 139

JACQUELINE P. BULL

Date: July 20, 1981

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Bruce Denbo and Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  50 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Jacqueline P. Bull, former head of UK Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives, became a typist in the library in 1934. In 1937, she became assistant reference librarian under Norma Cass and she worked in reference and graduate reading room. Then, in 1942, Bull decided to obtain a doctorate in History.  After completing her coursework, she was employed in the library while writing her dissertation.  In 1948 Bull began working in the University Archives.

She describes the development of the University Archives.  She recalls that the archives brought together the manuscript collections that the library already had including the Laura Clay papers, country store records that Dr. Thomas D. Clark had donated, and material on the history of education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky collected by Mr. Ezra Gillis.  Bull describes Ms. Margaret I. King as someone who had the vision of a true professional and remembers that Ms. King was dedicated to improving the quality of service and the quality of the collection at the library.

Bull remembers moving into the new King Library building in 1931 and changes in the use of the library by the students at this time.  She talks about directors of the library after Margaret King including Lawrence Thompson and Stuart Forth.  She describes how Forth was eager to allow the faculty participate further in the administration of the library.  She also mentions the acquisition of the Alben W. Barkley papers, and the controversy over the library’s one millionth volume.

 

86OH163 A/F 295

JACQUELINE P. BULL

Date: June 18, 1986

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

In this interview, Jacqueline P. Bull discusses her professional career as a librarian and as head of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Kentucky.  After her graduation in 1934, Bull became Ms. Margaret I. King’s secretary and a typist in the cataloging department. After three years, Bull became the assistant reference librarian while she continued to work on her master’s degree.  She recalls that Dr. Thomas D. Clark encouraged her to obtain her doctorate instead and was able to find Bull a fellowship. Through this fellowship, she was able to travel to other universities to see their archives. Bull was able to visit Vanderbilt, University of Georgia, Duke, and the University of Virginia.  After finishing her degree, Bull became head of the new Department of Archives which later became known as the Department of Special Collections and Archives.

Bull describes many of the collections that were accessioned while she worked in the library and how they were obtained. The Henry Clay letters and the Dr. Thomas D. Clark’s country store records were the first collections that Bull started working with, although her first big collection was Judge Samuel Wilson’s library. Bull also describes how Professor Ezra Gillis tried to preserve the history of the university by interviewing retired professors and former students. She recalls other important collections and artifacts like the Alben W. Barkley collection, various state documents from the state library, Judge Lindsey’s library, and the Pratt diary.

Bull reflects on the advancement of UK’s Special Collections and Archives.  She states that during the Great Depression the library had no money in their book budget. Bull talks about her strong appreciation for the library and states that she believes that good primary research materials are needed to create great graduate students. She also describes how UK’s Special Collections and Archives was able to promote the university and save some of the history of the commonwealth.

 

80OH201 A/F 117

JOSEPH T. BURCH

Date:  November 14, 1980

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Michael Hall

Length:  35 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Joseph Burch was the director of Public Safety at the University of Kentucky from the fall of 1969 until 1974.  He was also the Assistant Dean of Men, and worked in the Vice President of Student Affairs Office, Vice President for Business Office, and in 1975 became Dean of Students at UK. Burch was the director of Public Safety in the spring of 1970 when campus unrest permeated the country.

The University of Kentucky campus was not as violent as some other colleges, but Burch describes how he witnessed and dealt with some serious problems in the final weeks of the spring semester of 1970. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) sponsored many anti-war and anti-draft demonstrations, lectures, meetings, and they even planned a candlelight march in which they paraded around campus carrying caskets. Burch describes how the group of nearly 500 students ended up at Buell Armory, the ROTC building.  He states that even though some of the leaders of the group wanted to burn down the building, it was only subject to a few stone throws.

In reaction to the students’ protests, Burch states that he had help from campus police, and he also called in reinforcements from the City of Lexington police, Kentucky State Police, and even the National Guard.  Although the students did not set fire to Buell Armory that night, within the next two weeks a seldom used building on North Campus caught fire and even managed to spread to parts of Blazer Hall. Burch explains that the National Guard was very helpful in protecting university property, but the Kentucky State Police were the ones actually doing the arresting. Burch just wanted the students to get through finals week, and once they did the momentum behind the protests died down. 

 

92OH136 A/F 485

JOSEPH T. BURCH

Date:  February 7, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Joseph Burch graduated from Covington Holmes High School in 1956 and instead of going to college, followed his older brother into the military and served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1959. Burch states that he did not have any plans for going to college after high school, but he had a great military experience and recalls his travels to California, Germany, Turkey, and Greece.  He even monitored Russian radio waves and missile flights. After returning home, Burch wanted to attend the University of Kentucky.

In 1959, UK required that all incoming freshmen to live in the dormitories and did not allow freshman to own automobiles. However, Burch explains that the Dean of Men granted him an exception since he was a 21-year-old military veteran with an automobile. Because his father was killed in action in World War Two, Burch also had his full tuition paid for as well as a monthly stipend from the War Orphans Act. After graduating with an economics degree in only three years, he entered the University of Kentucky Law School in the fall of 1962.

Burch describes some rather rowdy male law students who harassed women on campus and came out in droves for football games clad in black bowler hats and canes. Burch finally graduated from law school in 1966 and the University of Kentucky offered him a job in the Legal Council of Student Affairs in addition to the position he already held as Assistant Dean of Men.

 

92OH173 A/F 511

JOSEPH T. BURCH 

Date:  April 21, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer: Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 45 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Former University of Kentucky student, Joseph Burch discusses funding, which he feels is the biggest problem at UK.  He states that funding actually can unify all the colleges, and provides the case of William T. Young Library as an example.   Burch also mentions the UK basketball scandals, and discusses his opinion that athletics may not belong in universities.  Burch explains that UK is one of the only schools in Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference in which athletics are not subsidized by the university. Burch then describes the changes in fund-raising approaches from administration to administration.

Burch briefly explains some of the events in student life on campus between 1972 and 1992. Burch describes beer busts and large concerts on campus, but states that campus is no longer the center of social life.  He does feel, though, that it is the center of academic life. Burch also talks about the development of the Student Code of Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities, the movement from having a Dean of Men and Dean of Women to just a Dean of Students, and the switch to co-ed dormitories. He ends the interview discussing the image of campus police, the parking dilemma, and the escalating drug and alcohol problems on campus.

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