Interview SummaryAnn S. Gillig was born in 1924. She talks about her parents who were from Greenup County, and her family. Her father practiced law in Pikeville, but met her mother in Cynthiana, Kentucky. Gillig's grandfather was Congressman Joseph Bentley Bennett. She recalls her family's interest in politics, their political backgrounds, and the local elections. Her father ran for the Senate several times in Pike, Floyd, and Knott counties in Kentucky. In 1941, Gillig enrolled at Ward-Belmont College. She describes the daily routine, the social life, some of the restrictions imposed by the school, and her trips back and forth by train. When the Kentucky legislature was in session in Frankfort, Kentucky, during Governor Keen Johnson's administration, she would visit her parents and attend the assembly balls.
Gillig left Ward-Belmont after two semesters and enrolled at the University of Kentucky. She compares the curricula of both schools. She stayed in Boyd Hall, but later pledged Delta Delta Delta and moved to the sorority house. She talks about daily life in the house and how the girls formed lifelong friendships. Gillig states that she was discouraged from majoring in Chemistry, so chose English. She talks about social life on campus during World War II, and college "hangouts" such as Joyland Park and the Canary Cottage. She mentions Sarah Holmes, Dean of Women, and Jane Haselden, who was Assistant Dean of Women. She remembers that Holmes organized the female students to help with the war effort. Gillig worked at the company store in Pikeville, Kentucky during the summer, which was part of the family's coal mining business. She recalls that while at home, Dr. Dantzler asked her to assist him on a research project concerning the Elizabethan English used in the mountain areas.
After graduation in 1945, Gillig went to New York City for three months. She returned to live with her brother and his wife in Elkhorn City, Kentucky, where she taught English and typing for one year. Dean William Taylor called and offered her a job in the English Department at UK. Later, President Herman L. Donovan offered her a position as an assistant secretary. She talks about the duties and responsibilities of this job. She mentions Nell Donovan, President Donovan's wife. She recalls John T. Gillig, her father-in-law, and a partner in Gillig-Merriweather-Johnson, the firm that designed Memorial Coliseum. She mentions that she is a Phi Beta Kappa. She talks about her children.