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Their words live on

William Howard Taft, Law 1880, Hon. doctorate '25



I don't remember that I ever was president.

An effective administrator and distinguished judge, Taft did not enjoy politics or campaigning. Despite tumultuous White House years (1909-13), the 27th president initiated 80 antitrust suits, standardized interstate railroad rates and offered states amendments for federal income tax and direct election of senators. Later, he was content to be a Yale law professor until President Harding appointed him U.S. Chief Justice, a post the UC alumnus considered his greatest honor.

Tennessee Ernie Ford, CCM '39


We've done some great shows, but we've about milked it for all it's worth. I want to say good-bye before the audience starts to feel the same way.

Ford's natural friendliness made the UC grad welcome in American homes throughout his 50-year career, from local radio in Tennessee to a network TV variety show that was No. 1 for its entire five-year run. Honors included a Grammy for hymns sung in the rich, deep voice that made "Sixteen Tons" a hit; membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame; and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Bless his little pea-pickin' heart.

Jerry Rubin, A&S '61


We create revolution
by living it.

A social revolutionary and anti-war activist, Rubin staged both outrageous demonstrations and interviews to capture press coverage for civil rights. A co-founder of the Youth International Party (yippies) and one of the "Chicago Seven" charged with conspiracy at the 1968 Democratic Convention, he mellowed and reinvented himself as a Yuppie businessman. The UC alum remained a "peaceful, but passionate" advocate of nuclear disarmament until his death in 1994.

Louise McCarren Herring, Eng '32


It's not about money, not about accumulating capital. It's about helping people's lives be better.

UC alumna Herring was 23 when she heard about a new kind of financial institution where Depression-era workers could pool resources to borrow money. With her company's encouragement, she set up 13 small credit unions for fellow Kroger employees and eventually launched nearly 500 credit unions in Ohio. Named the "Mother of Credit Unions" by the state of Ohio, Herring was a charter member of the national credit union movement, first managing director of the Ohio Credit Union League and a member of both the national credit union's Hall of Fame and the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.

Paul Herget, A&S '31, MA '33, PhD  '35, ScD (hon.) '78



A lot of people spend their time playing bridge. I'd rather program a computer.

One of the first to use computers for astronomical calculation, the Cincinnati Observatory director was influential (late 1940s-70s) in defining their educational and research uses and in directing thousands of orbit calculations for the International Astronomical Union. During World War II, Herget computed the location of enemy submarines, reducing Allied convoy losses from 30 to 6 percent, then lent his expertise to the Manhattan Project. Among the UC grad's many honors are a gold medal membership in the National Academy of Sciences and a minor planet that bears his name.