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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 baccalaureate degrees.

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 to 12 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.

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