Meet the First Lady Kathryn Cochran Cole

Kathy Cole

MUSC First Lady, Kathy Cole, is a devoted advocate for MUSC who builds lasting relationships within the MUSC family, as well as with partners and extended community across the state and nation.

Kathy grew up in a military family and as a graduate of Texas Christian University (TCU), Kathy pursued her passion for pediatrics as a pediatric oncology nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital at Emory University in Atlanta. She now continues to live out her heart's calling through volunteer work at the MUSC Children’s Hospital, rocking babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and offering her support to the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic.

At the heart of Kathy’s volunteerism is her passion for students and children’s health. Kathy makes it a priority to interact with and support students within all six colleges, hosts student groups at her home and participates in various student celebrations, ceremonies and events. Kathy was instrumental in creating "Wired Wednesdays," which provides therapy dogs to MUSC’s students in the library during stressful exam times. Kathy has also volunteered with students in the community at Meeting Street Academy for a program called Read365, where volunteers read weekly to elementary school students to increase literacy skills.

Kathy enjoys participating in various community events that intersect with MUSC’s mission to build healthy communities. She served as the 2019 Super Peloton Captain for the MUSC One team with LOWVELO, a bike ride fundraiser that contributes 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to cancer research at the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. In addition, Kathy has been a dedicated supporter of the Charleston Medical District Greenway, which provides healing green space for patients and the community. The CMD Greenway is a partnership among MUSC, Roper St. Francis Hospital, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and the City of Charleston.

In memory of her father, Colonel Henry J. “Jack” Cochran, Kathy and her family created the Jack Cochran Medical Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support for four years to a deserving student in the College of Medicine. Kathy is also an active member of the MUSC Women’s Club which supports MUSC through volunteerism and by awarding scholarships to selected students from the university’s six colleges.

If you happen to see Kathy on campus, in the community or around the state, please say "Hello" – that’s a direct quote!


Fun Facts about Kathy

Q: What is something that many people don't know about you?Dr. Cole and Mrs. Kathy Cole
Kathy: I flew in a F105 when I was in ROTC in college while they were doing bomb runs. 

Q: How did you and Dr. Cole meet?
Kathy: Shortly after graduating, I was hired by Egleston Children's Hospital to work in pediatric oncology, where I truly found my passion in pediatric health care. It was during this time that I met Dave while he was doing his residency at Emory Healthcare.

Q: What is your goal as “First Lady”?
Kathy: I'm focused on deepening and building relationships with employees and students because a strong MUSC family is crucial todelivering excellence across the MUSC mission. 

Q: Where is your favorite place to eat when on campus?
Kathy: Wickliffe House. It’s just so pretty, and I like the option of sitting on the porch and enjoying the scenery.

Q: What are your interests and hobbies?The Cole Family
Kathy: Dave and I have three grown children: Paige, Bryan and Andy, and we have two dogs: our black lab, Lily, and Cairn Terrier, Ella. Andy married my bonus daughter, Alex, in 2019, so we're excited for them and their families. Aside from spending time with my family, I love to garden, cross stich and read. A recent guilty pleasure is the Outlander series—just finished it!

Q: Where would you like to see MUSC go in the future?
Kathy: I would love for MUSC to continue to excel in new innovations, making it the go-to institution where patients and families receive the best possible care.