Interview with Lewis W. Cochran, July 29, 1985

Project: University of Kentucky: Extension Service Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Dr. Lewis Wellington "Bud" Cochran is the retired former Dean of the Graduate School and Vice-President of the University of Kentucky. He was born in 1915 at his grandfather Martin's home, part of a farm and country store, near the Mercer County-Boyle County line in Kentucky, "next to the Perryville battlefield". He received his B. S. degree from (now) Morehead State University in 1936, his M.S. in Physics from UK in 1939, and his Ph.D. in Physics from UK in 1952. He first became aware of UK's Cooperative Extension Service, when they visited the farmers in the area, and when he took one year of Vocational Educational training with Watson Armstrong at Perryville High School.

Cochran was taught in the Department of Physics from 1946-1958, when it was located in Pence Hall, and was Acting Head of the Department of Physics until 1963. Cochran remembers there was not much research work, but a good teaching department. He mentions Professor William S. Webb. Cochran was made the Acting Head when several faculty members went overseas with the first Indonesian project. He remembers the fight to keep the replacements when the other faculty members returned. He recalls obtaining a nuclear accelerator with the new physics building. Cochran talks about meeting most of the people from the College of Agriculture through the "research aspect". Cochran is considered a "principal architect" of the new academic plan, and he recalls the College of Agriculture was the most interested and involved of all the colleges in this process.

Cochran describes the Appalachian Educational Satellite Program. He discusses his most satisfying and dissatisfying experiences, and his participation in Extension activities. Cochran expresses his concerns for the small farmer, the importance of the land grant mission, and talks at length about the philosophical nature of the institution. He mentions visiting a different building every day to learn what work is being done, and that it helped him to make better financial decisions. Cochran talks at length about his family and their farm operations near Hustonville, Kentucky. He is asked to mention his professional memberships for the record. Cochran discusses the Kentucky Research Foundation, including the Main Chance Farm controversy. He describes the work of the Graduate and Senate Councils. He talks about his work with the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). He discusses some of his military experiences during World War II. Cochran humbly states that he is proud to be a native of Kentucky, and due to his modest upbringing, he never expected to attend the university, much less attain his level of involvement.

Interview Accession

1985oh183_af268

Interviewee Name

Lewis W. Cochran

Interviewer Name

Mike Duff

Interview Date

1985-07-29

Interview Rights

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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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Cochran, Lewis W. Interview by Mike Duff. 29 Jul. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Cochran, L.W. (1985, July 29). Interview by M. Duff. University of Kentucky: Extension Service Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Cochran, Lewis W., interview by Mike Duff. July 29, 1985, University of Kentucky: Extension Service Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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