Many area students have benefited from the generosity of Douglas E. Cochran. Mr. Cochran's concern for the welfare of the community's students and families, and his commitment to the importance of education led him to create the fund. "Over my career, I have always promoted the concept of improving the education process," he said at the time of the Fund's creation. "I have always felt a college education is a bridge to the future."

Mr. Cochran was born in Winchester, Virginia, in 1932. He graduated cum laude in 1952 from Strayer College, with a major in accounting. After graduation, he served for two years with the United States Army. When he returned to his hometown, he acquired a management training position with Winchester Knitting Mills. Donald E. Martin, then Vice President and Treasurer of the Parkersburg-based McDonough Co., recruited Mr. Cochran, an accountant, in 1956.

After holding several different positions with McDonough Co., Mr. Cochran was elected the company's President and CEO in 1974. After McDonough was acquired via merger by Hanson PLC of London in 1981, he continued to served as President and CEO of the McDonough Group until 1984, when he was appointed Group Chairman and CEO of the Hanson Building Products Group. Mr. Cochran assumed the position of Chairman and CEO of the Ames Company in mid-1991. At Ames, he was instrumental in developing the company as a leading manufacturer and distributor of non-powered lawn and garden tools in North America.

Throughout the years, Mr. Cochran has been active in various civic and professional organizations, with special interests in education, business development, and agencies committed to improving the quality of life in our area.