Title

It Takes a Koch to Stir Things Up: How One Man Affected Change for the LGBTQ+ Community

Presenting Author Name/s

Krista Brant

Faculty Advisor

Cathleen Rhodes

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

Description/Abstract

This presentation explores change and its importance to marginalized communities. At a time when gays and lesbians were persecuted and oppressed by the vast majority of society, James V. Koch, the sixth President of ODU, made the decision to act on his belief that all people should be treated equally by being one of the first university presidents in Virginia to include sexual-orientation in ODU’s anti-discrimination policy. This was the first of many efforts he made to treat LGBTQ+ people the same as everyone else. This research focuses on the accomplishments of President Koch, on the methods and unique aspects of his position as a university president, and how those aspects enabled him to promote these changes. By conducting a thorough search of archived newspapers, obtaining President Koch’s personal perspective through an interview, and consulting secondary sources I discovered connections that could further impact similar changes in the future. I will discuss how this type of research is vital to the possibility of change and even more vital to the communities these changes affect.

Session Title

LGBTQA

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1311

Start Date

2-2-2019 11:30 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 12:30 PM

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Feb 2nd, 11:30 AM Feb 2nd, 12:30 PM

It Takes a Koch to Stir Things Up: How One Man Affected Change for the LGBTQ+ Community

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1311

This presentation explores change and its importance to marginalized communities. At a time when gays and lesbians were persecuted and oppressed by the vast majority of society, James V. Koch, the sixth President of ODU, made the decision to act on his belief that all people should be treated equally by being one of the first university presidents in Virginia to include sexual-orientation in ODU’s anti-discrimination policy. This was the first of many efforts he made to treat LGBTQ+ people the same as everyone else. This research focuses on the accomplishments of President Koch, on the methods and unique aspects of his position as a university president, and how those aspects enabled him to promote these changes. By conducting a thorough search of archived newspapers, obtaining President Koch’s personal perspective through an interview, and consulting secondary sources I discovered connections that could further impact similar changes in the future. I will discuss how this type of research is vital to the possibility of change and even more vital to the communities these changes affect.