Upcoming John Sherman Cooper Lecture at SCC to Feature Judge Walter F. Maguire

Oct 26, 2017

Judge Walter F. Maguire, retired Pulaski Co. Family Court Judge, will be the featured speaker for the 13th Annual John Sherman Cooper Lecture at Somerset Community College (SCC). The event will be held on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 2 p.m. in the Harold Rogers Student Commons Citizens National Bank Community Room, located on the SCC Somerset North Campus at 808 Monticello Street in Somerset. Admission is free and the public is invited.

About Judge Walt Maguire

Judge Walter F. Maguire was born in May 1943 and raised in Somerset. He is the son of Ethelberta Flippin Maguire who was a long-time home office secretary for United States Senator John Sherman Cooper. Additionally, Maguire’s grandfather, Judge Walter N. Flippin, was a county judge, state senator, state representative and Commonwealth attorney for the 28th Judicial Circuit.

Judge Maguire showed a commitment to service and achievement from a young age, beginning during his days in public school as a student body president, co-captain of his football team and a state record holder in track. Judge Maguire received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky in 1965 and his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1968.

Selected as a Congressional intern for the former U.S. Representative Dr. Tim Lee Carter, Judge Maguire showed interest in government service and politics early on in his career. He later worked in the Washington offices of U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper before serving as an executive officer and staff attorney in the Kentucky departments of commerce and personnel.

In 1969, Judge Maguire took the position of assistant to the vice-president for student affairs at the University of Kentucky and then later served as associate dean of students where he was responsible for administration of the university’s code of student conduct and as an information liaison with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Military.

Judge Maguire accepted appointment as a special assistant in criminal justice with the Council of State Governments in 1973 where he worked closely with state and regional legislative groups. During his tenure with the council, he also served as secretariat for the Association of State Correctional Administrators, the National Association of Juvenile Compact Administrators, the State Juvenile Delinquency Program Administrator’s Association and the Parole and Probation Compact Administrator’s Association.

Maguire and his family returned home to Somerset, KY in 1974 where he has been involved in civic, service, political and church activities. From 1974 to 1978 he served as a public defender representing indigent citizens in Pulaski County in addition to his private practice. In 1977, Judge Maguire was elected as one of Kentucky’s original 113 district court judges where he served as judge of the 28th District Court. During his time as District Court Judge, Maguire was the Assistant Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Associate Director for Administration UK Tobacco and Health Research Institute at the University of Kentucky. Judge Maguire was a Family Court Judge from 2006 until he retired in 2013.

Judge Maguire will be discussing his personal and professional experiences regarding Senator John Sherman Cooper and his family at the 13th Annual John Sherman Cooper lecture series. The event is open to SCC students, faculty, staff and the community.

About John Sherman Cooper

Cooper was born in Somerset on August 23, 1901. He graduated from public schools and attended Centre College in Danville, but graduated from Yale College in 1923. Cooper attended Harvard Law School from 1923 to 1925, was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1928 and then set up his law practice in Somerset.

Cooper was elected to the Kentucky Legislature in 1927 and began his service in 1928. He served as judge of Pulaski County from 1930 to 1938. He was a veteran and served in World War II and rose to the rank of captain in the Army. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1946 and served until 1949. He was elected to the Senate a second time from 1952 to 1955. On Nov. 6, 1956 Cooper was elected a third time to the Senate and was reelected in 1960 and 1966. His Senate service ended on January 3, 1973 when he declined to run for reelection.

Cooper was a member of the board of trustees of the University of Kentucky from 1935 to 1946, served as a delegate to the United Nations, and was appointed Ambassador to India, Nepal and the German Democratic Republic. He died on February 21, 1991 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The inaugural Cooper Lecture was given by Senator Mitch McConnell in August 2005. At that time McConnell said, “One of the greatest senators in Kentucky history, and certainly the greatest of my adult lifetime, is John Sherman Cooper. He stood fast for what he believed was right, no matter how large the opposition or great the cost. He taught me how to be a senator. And he taught everyone who knew him the value of integrity, forthrightness and moral character.”

john sherman cooper poster