The John E. Cochran Memorial Education Foundation was formed
in1953 during the first real reunion of the Cochran Clan at the
Methodist Youth Camp at Ocean Park on July 3-4, 1953.
The plan was to assist young family members obtain a good
education. The "hat was passed" and enough was collected
to provide two loans - about $50 each. A committee composed of Omie
Cochran, Ethel Shinn, and Robert Cochran were appointed to set up
the rules for the fund and they guided its progress until Omie's
death. It was agreed that since this was family and the recipients
would join the givers in the future there would be no interest.
There have been great changes in society and the attitudes of our
family over the half-century—but our rules have remained nearly
the same. Students promise to pay back loans over a 9 year period
with the percentage of payment increasing each year.
What has the fund done in the last half century? A total of 64
loans have been made to 26 different family members. Family members
from 7 of the 8 active branches of the family have had utilized the
loan fund. The smallest individual loan was $50 and the largest
$5000. The fund has assisted Cochrans seeking educational at all
levels…GED, technical training, two Masters Degrees, and two
doctoral degrees. However most borrows have been working toward
The Education Fund got another great financial assist when an
anonymous donor provided $5,000 a year for scholarships to honor
Zenna Cochran Higgins. Over a period of 17 years $85,000 was donated
to provide 39 scholarships to12 different young people – all but
three of these also borrowed from the JEC fund. This was a great
addition to our overall plan for providing education for the family.
Many thanks go to that individual.
For more information, family members can contact members of the
Education Committee listed in the "Family Only" section.