Helen Crawford, Friend


Helen Crawford, Friend


This is an oral history interview with Mrs. Vernon (Helen) Crawford, Honarary Alumni 1984 and wife of Dr. Vernon Crawford, conducted by Marilyn J. Somers on March 20, 1996, at Mrs. Crawford's home in Atlanta. The subject of the interview is Dr. and Mrs. Crawfords' lives. Mrs. Crawford begins the interview by discussing her early life in Korea with her family. She says that her father and grandfather were medical missionaries, and she lived in the Orient until she was seventeen years old. Mrs. Crawford recalls that she left her family and moved to Canada to attend a finishing school and go to Alma College. She remembers the first time she met her late husband Dr. Crawford. He was her Physics instructor, and her first impression of him was not a good one. Helen says that she and Dr. Crawford began dating and were married on her college graduation day two years later. She recalls that Dr. Crawford worked on his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia while she remained in Canada with her mother-in-law. Helen claims that Dr. Crawford chose his first job offer, the one from Georgia Tech, because he liked the climate of the South. Neither Dr. Crawford nor Helen had ever been to Georgia. Dr. Crawford, she recalls, loved the Physics department at Tech. He enjoyed the classroom, but soon was asked to fill in administrative positions. Mrs. Crawford remembers some of her husband's titles while at Tech: Acting Deans of Architecture and Industrial Management, Dean of Physics, Vice President, and Acting President after Harrison. Helen talks about what it was like to be a faculty wife in those days. She remembers Mrs. Pettit, Mrs. Griffin, and Mrs. van Leer and discusses them at length. Helen talks about some of the activities and events in which Dr. Crawford participated while Acting President. She discusses her and her husband's community involvement, especially the arts and literacy programs. Mrs. Crawford describes her life as the Chancellor's wife when Dr. Crawford was chosen Chancellor of the University System of Georgia. Helen talks about the family's involvement with many of the Tech students, especially SGA and the class of 1969. She fondly remembers their "Chinese Son" Prof. C.S. Chiang (Physics) and his life with the Crawfords. Helen reflects on her life as a whole and on her family, including her daughters and grandsons. She wraps up the interview discussing Dr. Crawford's passing in September 1994. The interview ends with a conclusion and thank you.


1996 March 20