William C. Cochran


Honorary Degree (2012)
Doctor of Humane Letters
IU Southeast Commencement
Location: New Albany
Distinguished Service Medal (2011)
IUAA Reception at IU Southeast
Location: New Albany
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie
IU Southeast Chancellor's Medallion (1996)
IU Southeast Chancellor's Medallion
Location: New Albany


Born in New Albany, Indiana, William C. Cochran graduated from New Albany High School, and attended classes at IU Southeast. Cochran's career began with a position at Western electric and National Life Insurance. He was appointed Floyd County Deputy Sheriff in 1957 until 1962 when he was elected Deputy Clerk of Circuit Court. He continued to advance and eventually became State Representative in the Indiana House of Representatives, where he served for over 30 years.

As a State Representative, during his 34 years of service, he obtained various funding projects that improved the city and the IU Southeast campus tremendously. Throughout New Albany, Cochran's accomplishments are well-known, and range from establishing funding for the Providence Retirement Home and a number of road projects to advancing various developments to initiating funding legislation for IU Southeast, and Ivy Tech Community College. He obtained funding for seven classroom buildings as well as permission for student housing at IU Southeast. Funding for Proton Therapy at IU Bloomington and a spinal cord and head injury at Purdue was also made possible by Cochran. Cochran served on standing committees including Ways & Means, Judiciary, and Public Policy, and his influence in the establishment of the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau, a reduction in property taxes, and the creation of the Magistrate Court of Floyd County all serve as outstanding examples of his commitment to the southern Indiana area, and his dedication as an advocate for IU Southeast.

In 2000, Cochran received the Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Award from Hoosiers for Higher Education for significant contributions to higher education and Indiana University. In 2002, Cochran was appointed as Special assistant to the Chancellor at IU Southeast. As part of the Alumni and Community Relations staff, he was instrumental in helping to further the mission of the University. He championed several issues and secured financial support for several IU Southeast projects over the years, including the IU Southeast Library, Knobview Hall, and the IU Southeast Lodges. He also collaborated with local organizations on projects that benefited both the University and the community, such as the new lighting on the IU Southeast baseball field.

He was honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash award in 2009, and was also awarded an honorary degree from Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg, Indiana that year to highlight his commitment to higher education during his 34 years in office. Mayor Douglas England honored Cochran with a City of New Albany Proclamation to recognize his continued service to the community.

After nearly a decade as the Special Assistant to the Chancellor, longtime state legislator Cochran retired from IU Southeast in December, 2011.