Share / Discuss

Spotlight on … Frank Cochran ’66

Frank Cochran ’66, inspired by the notion that his current events are now history, dredged up family letters saved by his late mother, Elizabeth Blair Cochran ’35, and reread them as background for two oral history projects.

“The Dorchester County (Md.) Historical Society oral history project and Swarthmore’s caused me to look at the same experiences—my involvement in the civil rights struggles in Cambridge, Md.—with two perspectives, but both led to the perception that our naïve effort to participate in a study of underlying social and economic facts actually had historical significance: The statistics in the report helped lead the Kennedy administration to sense that civil rights was about much more than sit-ins and ‘freedom rides.’

“Our trial in Cambridge also led me to change my Swarthmore major to political science and to choose a profession, the law, that I thought would be one of service in the cause of social justice. 

“My advice to a younger Swarthmorean is not to follow my path but get some practical experience in choosing your own.”