Interview with Chloe Gifford, October 14, 1977

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Chloe Gifford was the first female graduate of the University of Kentucky's College of Law. Gifford attended UK's College of Law during the 1920s, when women were still not received well at the law school. She recalls the campus at that time, and mentions Miss Clara White, the law librarian, and Judge William T. Lafferty, Dean of the College of Law. She remembers daily activities in her classes, and notes that she was allowed to leave some of the criminal law classes if the subjects discussed were considered inappropriate for a woman. Gifford talks about Frances Jewell, Dean of Women and Ezra Gill, the Registrar. She recalls her memberships in various student organizations, including Mortarboard and Alpha Delta Pi. She talks at length about her experience of taking the Bar, a two day exam, which she passed.

Gifford earned her three degrees (A.B., J.D. and M.A.) from UK. She was Dean of Sayre School for twelve years. In 1940, President Frank L. McVey offered Gifford a position at UK designed to help promote the university. She accepted the job, later titled Director of Community Services, which was to plan, develop and implement programs and activities for groups across the state as well as encourage more students to come to UK. She mentions working with Dr. Howard Beers in the Department of Rural Sociology. Gifford helped set up a state-wide recreation program during President Herman L. Donovan's tenure and talks about her working relationship with Donovan.

Gifford was President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, traveled world-wide, and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of the Philippines. She talks about President Frank Dickey, and remembers the desegregation of the campus. Gifford talks about John T. Oswald and his administrative style. She describes her work style and states that she felt she worked as a "lone wolf." She talks about politics, and how her law degree helped her to maintain her perspective, develop her political acumen, and her well-known propensity to speak her mind when necessary. She mentions that Adolph Rupp and Kentucky basketball were known world-wide and explains how this publicity helped Kentucky. Gifford recalls that she helped with the formation of Kentucky Educational Television (KET), and that she served as the only woman on the Committee for Kentucky. She also discusses her interaction with the students.

Interview Accession

1977oh073_af074

Interviewee Name

Chloe Gifford

Interviewer Name

Cathy Cooper

Interview Date

1977-10-14

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Gifford, Chloe Interview by Cathy Cooper. 14 Oct. 1977. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Gifford, C. (1977, October 14). Interview by C. Cooper. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Gifford, Chloe, interview by Cathy Cooper. October 14, 1977, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt741n7xp97q