October 28, 2008
In honor of the 2008 Homecoming theme, “Ranger Heroes: Legends of Northwestern,” it’s only proper that a true legendary, Cherokee-native be chosen as parade marshal. Donald Coppock, a 1941 Northwestern Oklahoma State University graduate, fits this role perfectly.
A new book titled "The Journey & the Solution to the Illegal Alien Problem" by Donald R. Coppock is now available. The author tells how he was able to control the illegal entry of aliens while he was in the field and while he was Chief of the Border Patrol. He also tells how the present illegal alien problem should be solved. It would be humane and effective.
Coppock was born on Dec. 8, 1910. He attended Cherokee High School and played football, tennis and basketball. Basketball was by far his favorite sport, as he continued to show his love of the game by attending Northwestern and playing on the varsity team for two years.
After a short period at Oklahoma State University and also playing with the Wichita Henrys in Wichita, Kan., he returned to Northwestern and graduated in 1941. After graduation, Coppock intended to teach and coach. However, he continued his basketball career and applied for a job with the Southern Kansas Bus Company in Wichita and played for their semi-pro team. After playing for a year with the Southern Kansas Stage lines and then for a year with Gridley Motors, Coppock decided to hang up his jersey as he decided to no longer play basketball.
He continued to work with the Southern Kansas Stage Lines for seven years before joining the United States Border Patrol.
Coppock married Shirley Sheridan on Aug. 28, 1940. The Coppock’s have been married for 68 years.
“Marrying Shirley was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Coppock said.
He recalls many years of marriage where his wife has taught him many great things including gratitude, generosity and humility, just to name a few.
Throughout his life’s journey, Coppock has had the opportunity to meet an array of many well-known individuals. In 1960, he became the Chief of the United States Border Patrol. He was involved in many historic events, such as providing protection at the Civil Rights conflict at Ole Miss, 1961 Bay of Pigs war in Cuba, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C.
Even though Coppock has been all around the United States, he still holds Northwestern pride in his heart.
“My degree at Northwestern opened up many doors for me,” Coppock said. “I want to give back and we are trying to set up a scholarship program for Cherokee students.”
Coppock will serve as the 2008 Homecoming marshal in this year’s parade, which begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1. There also will be a reception held for Coppock on Saturday at the alumni tent on the north side of the square from 9-10 a.m.
Mon, October 27, 2008
by Valarie Case