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Checking in

Former Key Club member dishes about the role Key Club played in his life


This photo appeared in a January 1952 KEYNOTER article. It shows street signs in Billings, Montana, which were being repaired by Dave Cohen and Larry Gaughan, members of Billings Senior High School Key Club.We followed up with Larry Gaughan, one of the men who inspired our March 2010 cover. Now 76, he works in the Washington, D.C., area. When we reached him via e-mail to ask him if it was him in the photo, he had this to say: “That was me.  A lot of my hair is gone, and I'm missing part of my right ear (due to surgery for melanoma—the surgery was successful).  I'm in good health and still working.”

Gaughan, a Key Club member from 1949–51, attended the University of Montana law school and entered the Air Force as an attorney. From 1964–87, he was a law professor at University of Virginia Law School, Washington & Lee Law School, Georgetown University and George Mason Law School.  He cites “civic responsibility and service, problem solving and cooperation with friends,” as life lessons he learned in Key Club.

“Key Club was my first real opportunity to relate with the outside world,” Gaughan says. “I had gone to a one-room rural school in Minnesota through the eighth grade and a small town school in Minnesota in the ninth grade. As a junior in Billings Senior High School, I was honored to be chosen to be a member of Key Club. It was my first important organization.”