Interview SummarySarah Blanding, University of Kentucky graduate and former Dean of Women, came to UK in 1919 after attending the New Haven Normal School of Gymnastics. She was offered a position as an instructor of Physical Education and accepted on the condition that she could also attend classes. As a student, she pledged the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and majored in political science and international relationships. By her senior year, she was president of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and she explains how she was involved in accepting a Jewish member to the chapter. She describes the political science department at UK when she was an undergraduate, mentioning Amry Vandenbosch and J. Catron Jones. She also describes her involvement with athletics, particularly her role as a basketball coach.
Upon graduation, she was offered the job of Dean of Women. She states that although she took the position reluctantly, she grew to like it. Yet, she felt that she needed further education, so she enrolled Columbia University to earn her Master's degree in Political Science. Blanding describes her experiences in New York, and mentions Professors Carlton Hayes and Carl Van Doren. After receiving her Master's degree, Blanding went back to UK and continued her work as the Dean of Women, although she did later take a leave of absence to study at the London School of Economics. She describes chaperoning a young woman of the Smith family of Lexington while in London.
Blanding describes events on UK's campus during the 1920s and 1930s. She describes the effect of the evolution debate throughout Kentucky on the UK campus. She provides her opinions of UK President Frank McVey, his wife Frances Jewell McVey, and UK President James Patterson. She discusses organizing the Faculty Club in 1929. Blanding describes the effect of the Great Depression on UK when the administration scrambled to find more campus work for students. She discusses the controversy over a faculty salary cut in 1932, and recalls the lack of women on campus at that time. She describes herself as a strict disciplinarian. She remembers colleagues including Dean William Funkhouser and Professor William S. Webb of the physics department. She recalls the reorganization of the university in 1941 and the abolishment of the university senate. She also provides her opinion of President Herman L. Donovan.
Interview RightsAll 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 UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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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Blanding, Sarah G. Interview by William Cooper. 23 May. 1976. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Blanding, S.G. (1976, May 23). Interview by W. Cooper. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Blanding, Sarah G., interview by William Cooper. May 23, 1976, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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