Interview with Ruth D. Wehle, February 1st, 1977

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Interview introduction and impressions of UK

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Segment Synopsis: Ruth D. Wehle is an alumna of the University of Kentucky. She talks about her early impressions of the university as someone who grew up in Lexington, and how she decided to transfer to come to UK.

Keywords: German Americans; Irish Americans; St. Catherine's Academy; St. Louis; academic preparation; homesickness; music; professors; sororities; starting college; students; teaching

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky.

00:04:09 - Adjusting to the culture of UK and the different backgrounds of the student body

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about how UK differed from her small private high school, and how not all of the new students were as well educated in grammar and spelling as she was.

Keywords: English; George K. Brady; academic culture; acting; classes; examinations; grammar; plays; professors; spelling; students; writing

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

00:06:59 - Relationship with professors

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Segment Synopsis: She describes her relationship with her professors, especially with Dr. Funkhouser and Dr. Brady. She also talks about her English courses.

Keywords: Beowulf; Bible; Dr. Funkhouser; Dr. Knight; English classes; George K. Brady; Mr. Faulkner; Tennessee Valley Authority; William Shakespeare; anthropology; archeology; authors; classes; construction; discipline; field trips; heredity; jokes; lectures; literature; novels; poetry; professors; sexism; students; teachers; teaching; zoology

Subjects: Education.; University of Kentucky.

00:12:47 - A socialist speaker and contemporary novels

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Segment Synopsis: She describes an incident involving one of her professors and a socialist speaker, and mentions some of the authors she studied in her classes on the novel. She also discusses the quality of UK's English department.

Keywords: Dr. Knight; English Majors; Ernest Hemingway; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Frank Galway; George K. Brady; Henrik Ibsen; Mr. Faulkner; Richard Brinsley Sheridan; Titanic; arguments; comedies; contemporary novels; controversies; discussions; fascism; graduate students; lectures; novels; plays; socialists; teachers; teaching; women's club; writers

Subjects: University of Kentucky.; World War, 1939-1945.

00:17:41 - History professors, Sarah Blanding and social events

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about other professors she liked, Sarah Blanding, who had a reputation for severity and some of the dances and social events that were popular while she was a student.

Keywords: Canary Cottage; Dean Boyd; Dr. Brady; Dr. Funkhouser; Dr. Webb; Frances Jewell McVey; French language; Mrs. Holmes; Sarah Blanding; alcohol; astronomy; chaperones; classes; dances; dean of men; dean of women; discipline; dress codes; history; house mothers; money; physics; professors; rules; sorority houses; women

Subjects: Depressions-1929; University of Kentucky.

00:23:54 - Housing arrangements during the Depression

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about housing arrangements for female students, and how lack of finances during the Depression resulted in them making alternate meal arrangements with some of their classmates' families.

Keywords: Margie Faulkner; anniversary meetings; clothing; coal; coal mines and mining; dresses; farms; food; fraternities; meals; money; sororities; sorority houses; strikes; tobacco

Subjects: Depressions-1929.; University of Kentucky.

00:27:24 - Mrs. and Dr. McVey

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about Dr. McVey, his wife Frances Jewell McVey, and their relationship with UK's students.

Keywords: Bill Ramsey; Frances Jewell McVey; Maxwell Place; Sarah Holmes; Tennessee; chaperones; feet; informality; invitations; open houses; pageants; parties; students; teas; university presidents

Subjects: McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; University of Kentucky.; Vanderbilt University.

00:32:17 - Belonging to a sorority

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Segment Synopsis: Wehle talks about belonging to a sorority (Alpha Gamma Delta) and the politics involved in being elected beauty queen and other competitions for students. She talks about winning a competition and the parade that she was in afterwards.

Keywords: "rebel yell"; Alpha Gamma Delta; Civil War; Colonel Dick Red (??); Confederate Army; Opal Hubble; beauty queens; carriages; elections; fraternities; friendship; horses; pageants; parade floats; parades; politics; social events; sororities; sorority sisters; voting; womens' organizations

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky.

00:36:58 - The politics of getting into a sorority and their positive influences

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about the positive influence that fraternities and sororities had on the university campus and some of the complications behind deciding who got into them.

Keywords: academics; administration; alumnae; alumni; dean of women; elections; exclusivity; faculty; faculty members; fraternities; house mothers; house presidents; penalties; political power; politics; robberies; scholarship; sororities; standards

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

00:39:49 - UK in the 1930's

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Segment Synopsis: Wehle talks about what campus life was like in the 1930's, some of her classmates and social activities she participated in. (poor audio quality)

Keywords: "Shipwreck"; Alpha Gamma Delta; Frank Stone; Margie Mclaughlin; Tennessee; The New Yorker; athletes; basketball; camps; chaperones; classmates; dean of women; debates; faculty; football; football games; freshmen; friends; gatherings; history; journalism; learning; picnics; recreation; socialization; sorority activities; students; studying; swimming

Subjects: Education.; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977.; University of Kentucky.

00:45:05 - Cultural activities

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Segment Synopsis: Wehle talks about some of the cultural events that she attended, both in Lexington and in Cincinnati.

Keywords: Lexington Womens' Club; Memorial Hall; ballet; concerts; evolution; lectures; matinees; movies; opera; opera houses; pacifism; performances on campus; plays; public speakers; symphonies; zoos

Subjects: Cincinnati (Ohio).; Lexington (Ky.).

00:47:18 - Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to UK

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about Eleanor Roosevelt's unscheduled visit to the UK campus and how she was introduced by Dr. McVey.

Keywords: Memorial Hall; Theodore Roosevelt; first ladies; grandchildren; illnesses; poets; secretaries

Subjects: McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.; University of Kentucky.

00:48:40 - Politics and Wehle's Catholic background

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Segment Synopsis: Wehle talks about her earliest memories of politics related to her father, and her experience as a Catholic at a mostly Protestant university. She also talks about how her experiences differed from her sister's, who was somewhat younger than she was.

Keywords: Al Smith; Catholicism; Catholics; Christianity; Democrats; Dominican sisters; Georgetown; Mr. Harrowin (??); Republicans; Trinity; University of Cincinnati; campaigns; distilleries; elections; finances; freshmen; horse racing; horses; politicians; politics; prejudice; religion; rush; sororities; sponsorship; student organizations; whiskey; yearlings

Subjects: Depressions--1929.; University of Kentucky.

00:55:40 - Student enrollment, liberal professors and outdoor plays

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Segment Synopsis: Wehle talks about the increasing number of students at UK while she was there, some of her more liberal professors, and a play that she was involved in around graduation time. (poor audio quality)

Keywords: Mr. Faulkner; actors; censorship; classes; crowding; deans; enrollment; graduation; inconvenience; liberalism; outdoor ampitheaters; plays; professors; students; universities

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky.

00:59:33 - UK's relationship with the community and plays

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about the positive relationship between the city of Lexington and the university. She also talks about plays that the students put on and the Strollers, a well known campus organization that was involved in this.

Keywords: George K. Brady; Joey Jordan; The Strollers; communities; community relations; journalists; newspapers; plays; universities

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky.

01:03:22 - Sexism on the UK campus

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about the roles of women on the UK campus and the female professors there. The interview ends abruptly.

Keywords: Dr. Funkhouser; Frances Jewell McVey; Sarah Blanding; Sarah Holmes; class trips; faculty; female professors; funding; gender roles; professors; salaries; sexism; sexual discrimination; teaching; women

Subjects: Frankfort (Ky.).; McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; University of Kentucky.