Interview with Thomas D. Clark, March 20, 1992

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

Interview Summary

In this interview, Professor Thomas D. Clark describes his earliest experiences on the University of Kentucky campus. The focus of the interview is the layout of campus buildings, but Clark expands to include significant events that occurred within those buildings. Clark joined UK's faculty in 1931, but attended graduate school at UK in the late 1920s. He recalls the original buildings on campus, the administration (Main) building, the White Hall dormitory, the Presidents Home, and the Neval Hall classroom building. He states that the administration building was the first center of campus and recalls an important janitor, who became very much a part of the structure.

Clark states that the first time he laid eyes on the administration building was in September of 1928. He describes the President's office and the layout of the building. He recalls the Stenographic Bureau on the first floor, and states that there was a reading room and chapel on the second floor. The Dean of Men, the Dean of Women, and the cafeteria were all in the basement. Clark recalls the dedication of McVey Hall in 1929. In 1930, the history department was moved to Frazee Hall, and Clark describes an assembly room that was on the third floor of this building at the time. He discusses some scandals within the political science department when a faculty member had an affair with a secretary.

Clark describes his interview for the job at UK. Dr. McVey told him he had to convince three people he could do the job, which Clark proceeded to do. Because Dr. McVey had bypassed the usual procedures for hiring a faculty member, Tuthill, the head of the history department, loaded him with classes in British history. Clark also describes when Tuthill threatened to cut his salary. Clark describes the establishment of the University Press, writing for a magazine that lambasted the Kentucky Utilities Company, and dealings with the Board of Trustees. Clark discusses a basketball scandal, football coach, Bear Bryant's resignation, and the desegregation of the basketball team. He talks about the Taylor Building, and a fire in the administration building in the 1950s. He describes the campus during the Great Depression and states that he taught in Paris, Ashland, Salyersville, Frankfort, and Louisville for the University Extension. Clark recalls that in the early years of his career, the faculty was small and like a family.

Interview Accession

1992oh137_af486

Interviewee Name

Thomas D. Clark

Interviewer Name

JoAnn Smith

Interview Date

1992-03-20

Interview Keyword

Nature of Academic Work

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.

Restriction

No Restrictions

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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Clark, Thomas D. Interview by JoAnn Smith. 20 Mar. 1992. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Clark, T.D. (1992, March 20). Interview by J. Smith. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Clark, Thomas D., interview by JoAnn Smith. March 20, 1992, 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/xt7hmg7ftr7c