Interview with Berkley Davis, January 15, 1976

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Berkeley Davis was from Lewisport, located in western Kentucky. He states that he was always interested in engineering and met other graduates of the University of Kentucky while in high school, which influenced him to attend UK. He enrolled at UK in 1929 and majored in Engineering. Davis recalls this was during the Depression, where there was an underlying seriousness on campus about getting an education during this time. He recalls Dean of Engineering F. Paul Anderson as the "vision man", who was in ill health, and Assistant Dean William E. Freeman as the "inside man", who became Acting Dean when Anderson died. Davis remembers corporations providing research grants, and that Carrier Corporation did much of their research work with heating, ventilation, and cooling systems (HVAC) on campus. He notes the company's founders, Willis Carrier and Irvine Lyle, were UK engineering graduates. He recalls several professors, in particular Daniel V. Terrell. Davis states that "most students accepted professors for what they learned from them and not for what their ideologies were". He recalls that classes and lab work were in small groups.

Davis describes fraternity life with Alpha Sigma Phi, when the Dean of Men used to visit the fraternity houses, have dinner, and observe their decorum. He discusses the political climate at UK, states that students overall were not that involved while he was there, and mentions the "technocracy movement", where many people felt that the "technocrats" were moving too fast. He felt that the community relationship between U.K. and Lexington was poor and emphasized that the same situation existed with Transylvania University. Davis talks about daily life and social activities on and off campus during this time. He refers to bootlegging, and notes that students did not have a problem getting what they needed for parties, mostly grain alcohol, which they mixed with gin. He remembers playing on the basketball team his freshman year when John "Sonny" Mauer was the coach, and that Adolph Rupp became coach in his sophomore year. Davis talks about Rupp and describes the team's road trips, usually by train, where they were expected to keep up with their studies.

Interview Accession

1976oh006_af017

Interviewee Name

Berkley Davis

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1976-01-15

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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Davis, Berkley Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 15 Jan. 1976. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Davis, B. (1976, January 15). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Davis, Berkley, interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. January 15, 1976, 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/xt7x3f4kpx3b


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