Interview with Helen G. King, June 28, 1977

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Mrs. Helen G. King attended high school at the Cardome Visitation Academy in Georgetown, Kentucky. She mentions her music teacher, Sister Jane Frances Blakely, who encouraged King to become a writer. King states that she always knew she wanted to be a newspaperwoman. She attended the University of Kentucky, where she received her B. A. degree in Journalism.

King recalls President Frank L. McVey married Frances Jewell McVey during her sophomore year at UK, and describes the qualities that made the McVeys so "beloved" among the students and faculty alike. King remembers various activities at Maxwell Place such as the Wednesday afternoon teas, and the Senior Breakfasts held on the lawn. She mentions Sarah Blanding, who became Dean of Women after Frances Jewell McVey. King was President of Kappa Delta Sorority, and Secretary for the Strollers, which later evolved into the Guignol Theatre. She belonged to the Catholic Club, which later became the Newman Center. King recalls social life during the 1920's and the relationship between UK and the Lexington, Kentucky community. She mentions that Albert D. Kirwan, A. B. "Happy" Chandler, and the daughters of Governors Edwin P. Morrow and Flem D. Simpson attended UK while she was a student.

After graduation, King worked in advertising at Wolf Wile's, the Lexington Herald, and Shillito's in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1929, she was appointed UK's Assistant Director of Publicity. She talks about the responsibilities of this position, and discusses the situation at UK during the Depression. She recalls she interviewed Dr. and Mrs. Herman L. Donovan after he was appointed UK's President in 1941. King compares Donovan's administrative style to McVey's. She discusses how World War I & II affected both UK and the community. She King describes how she and M. E. Potter, UK's Head of the Department of Physical Education, organized the present UK Athletics Association, which was later incorporated in 1946.

King talks about her work with the UK Alumni Association and her duties as President. She recalls how the Alumni Association handled the integration issue and the UK Presidential appointments from members. She talks about the establishment and growth of the Alumni/Faculty Club, first located at Carnahan House on Coldstream Farm, which was later moved to Spindletop Hall. The Alumni Association eventually obtained a house on campus. King mentions Governor Chandler's support of UK. She talks about working with Presidents Frank G. Dickey and John T. Oswald. King also discusses the Joint Alumni Council of Kentucky, which began during Dickey's administration.

Interview Accession

1977oh046_af066

Interviewee Name

Helen G. King

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1977-06-28

Interview Partial Date

July 11 1977, October 3, 1977

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.

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.

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King, Helen G. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 28 Jun. 1977. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

King, H.G. (1977, June 28). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

King, Helen G., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. June 28, 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/xt74mw289s88