Interview with Rufus Atwood


  • Identifier1978 OH 035
  • Date3/14/1978
  • InterviewerWilburn, Mark S.
  • IntervieweeAtwood, Rufus
  • DescriptionDr. 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
  • LocationCincinnati, OH
  • Duration1:27:44
  • Time Summary0-0:40 Pause in tape
    0:40-01:30 Interviewer's introduction
    01:30-13:05 Atwood's general background. His childhood days, family, and educational background
    13:05-24:45 Atwood's educational background and how blacks were educated in Hickman, Kentucky.
    24:45-40:50 Atwood's years at Fiske University
    40:50-47:00 Atwood's years after leaving Fiske and his participation in World War 1
    47:0 End of side 0-07:50 Continuation of side 1
    07:50-10:0 Years of WWI, he attended Iowa State University and worked at Prairie View College in Texas
    10:0-12:45 Atwood recalls how he was hired as President of Kentucky State
    12:45-14:35 Atwood describes Kentucky State when he became President
    14:35-17:0 Kentucky state during the 1930's
    17:0-20:0 Dr. Atwood's association with Dr. Martin while Dr. Martin was Superintendent of Public Instruction. The implementation of the Brown decision.
    20:0-24:35 Improvement of Educational opportunities for blacks during Atwood's tenure
    24:35-28:00 Atwood's comparison of Dr. O'Donell with Dr. Martin
    28:0-29:50 The Day Law
    29:50-32:50 Financial aid to black students
    32:50-37:0 Kentucky's financing of education and Atwood's relationship with Kentucky governors
    37:0-38:40 Atwood evaluates Dr. Martin's personality
    38:40-42:50 Education and politics in Kentucky
    42:50 End of tape
  • Restrictionsno
  • RightsContact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.


“Interview with Rufus Atwood,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed January 27, 2023,