Interview with Betty Tevis Eckdahl, September 22, 1989

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Betty Tevis Eckdahl attended Henry Clay High School and graduated in 1943, where she was "an honor student and a debater." She says her parents would not send her away to school, so U.K. was the obvious choice. Eckdahl wanted to be a journalist and talks about her experiences at the University of Kentucky. She graduated from U.K. in 1946 with a B.S. degree in journalism. Her father worked for the Bluegrass Army Depot. She says her mother was originally from Elmira, New York.

Eckdahl talks about the homogeneous nature of the student body at U.K. and says that most religious and ethnic representations were a rarity on campus. She discusses the quality of the curriculum and mentions a few of the faculty members, especially Dr. Thomas D. Clark, who knew her family. She says she felt there was really no difference in the academic environment between men and women. Eckdahl describes the social life on campus during World War II. She worked as a reporter for the Kentucky Kernel and talks about her experiences. Eckdahl says the story that she was first woman reporter to interview a basketball player at U.K. in the dressing room was for public relations purposes and did not actually happen, but states the story that she was the first woman to sit at the press table at Madison Square Garden is true.

She wrote news at WLAP radio for one year and worked in radio publicity in Cincinnati, Ohio and New York City. She married and had a child, but moved back to Kentucky with her mother in 1964 after the marriage failed. Eckdahl worked in public relations at Eastern Kentucky University, received her Master's degree in English from E.K.U., went to Berea College in the same field for a short time then returned to UK after she was offered a job. Eckdahl later remarried. She talks about the "good old boy approach" at U.K. and how women in the administrative and academic ranks have been treated shabbily. She said she would like to see the personal approach return for students at UK.

Interview Accession

1989oh240_af377

Interviewee Name

Betty Tevis Eckdahl

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1989-09-22

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.

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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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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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Eckdahl, Betty Tevis Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 22 Sep. 1989. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Eckdahl, B.T. (1989, September 22). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Eckdahl, Betty Tevis, interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. September 22, 1989, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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