Robert R. Martin


Robert R. Martin, born in 1911 in Lincoln County, served as state superintendent of public instruction, president of Eastern (1960-1976), and state senator from Kentucky's Twenty-second district.

Martin and his friends and associates were interviewed, including Wendell P. Butler, Tim Lee Carter, A.B. "Happy" Chandler, Earle C. Clements, Bert T. Combs, Adron Doran, Louie B. Nunn, Carl D. Perkins, Edward F. Prichard, Jr., and many teachers at Eastern. They focus on the life and career of Martin, his influence on higher and public education in Kentucky, and the history of Eastern during its tremendous growth years of the 1960s and 1970s.


Robert R. Martin

Project Interviews

Robert R. Martin talks about retiring from Eastern Kentucky University presidency and his time serving as a State Senator.

Robert R. Martin and John D. Rowlett talk about the development of the Law Enforcement programs at Eastern Kentucky University.

Robert R. Martin and John D. Rowlette talk about the implementation of the nursing program at Eastern Kentucky University.

Professor of Education and Dean of the College of Education at EKU

Dr. Robert R. Martin is President Emeritus of Eastern Kentucky University and retired Kentucky State Senator. Dr. Martin discusses his years in the legislature and views on Kentucky government.

Vice President of Business Affairs at Northern Kentucky University

Mr. Robert E. Tarvin was born in Kentucky and educated in the public schools of Williamsburg, Ohio. He came to Eastern Kentucky University as a football player and obtained his A.B. and Ma. He completed a doctorate at Indiana University. Mr. Tarvin worked closely with Dr. Martin when he was Director of Student Activities during Martin's presidency…

Dr. William E. Sexton is a native Kentuckian born and raised in Harrison County. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky State College and received his Ed.D. at the University of Missouri. He has been employed at Eastern since 1957, serving as Chairman of the Department of Industrial Technology (1965-1969), Dean college of Applied Arts and Technology…

Ralph Whalin is a native Kentuckian, born in Edmonson County. He attended Western Kentucky University and did graduate work at the University of Missouri. He came to Eastern in 1936 and worked 37 years, retiring in 1973. Thirty of those years he served as Chairman of the Department of Industrial Education. He was the first faculty member of the…

Dr. Thomas Myers is a native of Ohio. He helped develop the Allied Health Program at Eastern and he is now serving as Vice President of Student Affairs. Dr. Myers worked under Dr. Robert Martin for 14 years.

Mr. Charles Combs replaced his father on the Board of Regents in 1974. He has known Dr. Martin for many years. Mr. Combs graduated from Eastern in 1964 and he is a Richmond resident.

Mr. John DeMarcus, a native Kentuckian, attended Eastern Kentucky University in the 1960's. He served as a legislative assistant and currently is Vice-President of Business Affairs at Northern Kentucky University.

Mr. J.C. Powell has worked with Dr. Martin for many years, dating from Dr. Martin's tenure as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dr. Powell served as Vice President of the Office of Business Affairs.

Congressman Tim Carter is a physician and helped establish the nursing program at Eastern. He currently is a United States Representative from the Fifth Congressional District in Kentucky.

Mr. Stephen Wilborn attended Eastern Kentucky University in the late 1960's and graduated with a B.A. in political science in 1969. He was elected president of the student body twice and Mr. Wilborn served as a student regent, the first student ever to do so. This tape recording contains his memories and views concerning his years at Eastern,…

President Otis Singletary is a native of Texas and graduated with a Ph.D. in History from Louisiana State University. He was appointed President of UK in 1969. Prior to his appointment as President, he served as Chancellor, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and as director of the Job Corps in the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration.

Dr. John Rowlett is a native of Texas and currently serves as Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Research at Eastern. He came to Eastern during the 1950's. During Dr. Martin's tenure as President he worked very closely with Dr. Martin in the development of various new programs- especially the nursing and law enforcement program. Dr. Rowlett is…

Beverly Yeiser is a native of Daviess County, Kentucky. He attended both Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky. Mr. Yeiser owns and operates a poultry business. In 1974, Mr. Yeiser was appointed to the Board of Regents.

Mr. Wilson Bond was born in Richmond, Kentucky. He attended Center College and the University of Michigan. Mr. Bond was the principal architect of the building boom at Eastern during the 1960's.

Mr. Craig Ammerman is a native Kentuckian from Richmond. He attended EKU from 1966-1969. Mr. Ammerman was a prominent editorial and staff writer for the Eastern Progress and he was very involved with the major issues of the late 1960's.

Mr. John Vickers was the former Director of Placement Office at Eastern. Mr. Vickers is a native Kentuckian. He received his B.A. from Western Kentucky State College and he received his M.A. from the University of Kentucky. Mr. Vickers served in various capacities in the state government before coming to Eastern with Dr. Martin in 1960.

Mr. Gerald May is originally from New York, but moved to Kentucky to become a student at Eastern during the 1940's. He has served on Eastern's Board of Regents since the 1960's where he became acquainted with Dr. Martin.

Dr. Rufus Atwood is from Hickman, Kentucky. He served from 1929-62 as President of Kentucky State University. Dr. Atwood worked with Dr. Robert R. Martin while Dr. Martin served as Superintendent of Public Instruction

Dr. T.C. McDaniel is a native of Burning Springs, Kentucky. He was born in 1914 and attended Eastern from 1930-34. Dr. McDaniel is a close personal friend of Dr. Robert R. Martin and yhey had been classmates together at Eastern. Dr. McDaniel is currently a practicing physician in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mr. Donald Feltner received his B.A. and M.A. at Eastern and has served as Director of Public Affairs since the mid-1950's. He had a close working relationship with Dr. Martin on many important projects.

Mr. Leonard Taylor was the registrar at Eastern Kentucky University. He is a native Kentuckian from Ohio County. He graduated with an M.A. from the University of Kentucky. He retired from his registrar position in 1976.

Mrs. Polly Gorman worked as Dr. Martin's secretary while he was Superintendent of Public instruction in 1956. She also helped Dr. Martin in the Bert Combs gubernatorial campaign. Mrs. Gorman then became Dr. Martin's secretary while he was Commissioner of Finance and later at Eastern Kentucky University.

Mrs. Mabel Adams was a teacher of Latin at Eastern Kentucky University during the 1920's and 1930's. She helped write Five Decades of Progress concerning the history of Eastern Kentucky University. Mrs. Adams was a very good friend of Robert R. Martin.

Mr. Robert Begley is the President of Begley's Drugs company and serves as Chairman of the Board of Regents

Mr. Lyman Ginger, a native Kentuckian, was born in 1907. He received his A.B. at Kentucky Wesleyan College and his M.A. and Ed.D. at the University of Kentucky. From 1929-39 he was a teacher and coach at Winchester High School. He then served as principal at Owingsville Consolidated School from 1939-42. Mr. Ginger then served in various capacities…

Mr. Shirley Castle is a native Kentuckian born in Lincoln County. He was a classmate of Robert R. Martin at Stanford High School. Mr. Castle served for a considerable amount of time in the United States Army. He has also served as Director of Personnel at Eastern Kentucky University.

Mr. Kelly Thompson is a native Kentuckian born in 1909. He received both his B.A. and M.A. from Western Kentucky University. He also received an honorary degree LL.D. from Morris Harvey College in 1957. From 1935-44 Mr. Thompson served as Public Relations Director and from 1946-54 he served as Assistant to the President at Western Kentucky…

Mr. Dero Downing is a native Kentuckian born in 1921. He received his A.B. at Western Kentucky Teachers College and he received his M.S. and Ed.S. at George Peabody College. IN 1972 Mr. Downing was awarded an honorary L.L.D. at Murray State University. From 1946-56 he was a teacher and coach at College High School in Bowling, Green, Kentucky. Mr.…

Dr. William Moore holds a diploma from the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School, and the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Mater of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy from UK. For two years he was a student of the College of Law of the University of Kentucky. His experience includes rural school teaching; principal of the Corinth, Kentucky, Independent…

Mr. Harry Sparks is a native Kentuckian born in 1907. He received his A.B. at Transylvania College and his M.A. and Ed. D. at the University of Kentucky. From 1934-41 Mr. Sparks served as Superintendent of Irvington, Kentucky schools. He worked as professor of Education at Murray Kentucky State College from 1948-52 and he served as Superintendent…

Mr. James Burnett is a native Kentuckian and he was a classmate of Robert R. Martin during the 1930's. He attended Eastern from 1930-34. After graduating from Eastern, he became a teacher, coach, and administrator in Shelbyville for over forty years. Mr. Burnett knew Dr. Robert Martin, although relatively little, during those depression years as a…

Mr. Casey and Mrs. Thelma Morton attended EKU during the 1930's. They recollect about their years at Eastern and their friendship with Dr. Robert R. Martin during those Depression years.

Mr. Russell Todd was born in 1901 and attended Berea College. He received his D.D.S. at the University of Louisville. He is a dentist living in Richmond, Kentucky. Mr. Todd has written numerous articles and the book This Is Boone Country. He has served on the EKU Board of Regents.

Mrs. Charles Whitman was born in Lincoln County Kentucky. She is the sister of Robert R. Martin, former President of EKU.

From 1950-53 Mr. James Sublett worked as Director of Instruction of Jefferson County Schools and from 1953-56 he was Assistant Superintendent of Jefferson County schools. In 1955 Mr Sublett was State Campaign Chairman for Robert R. Martin's race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. From 1956-58 he served as Assistant Superintendent of Public…

Mr. A.D. Albright served on the Tennessee Department of Education from 1939-49. From 1950-54 he was a Professor at George Peabody College and Professor of Education at UK from 1954-57. Mr. Albright served as Executive Dean from 1957-61, Provost from 1960-62, and Executive Vice President from 1962-71. From 1971-76 he served as Executive Director of…
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