Langston University

Last updated
Langston University
Langston University seal.png
Former names
Oklahoma Colored Agricultural
   and Normal University
MottoEducation For Service
Type Public, Land-grant, HBCU
EstablishedMarch 12, 1897 (1897-03-12)
AffiliationOklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical Colleges
Endowment $45 million (2015)
President Kent Smith
Location, ,
Campus Rural
Colors Blue and Orange
Nickname Lions
Sporting affiliations
NAIARed River Athletic Conference
Langston University logo.png

Langston University (LU), is a public university in Langston, Oklahoma. It is the only historically black college in the state. Though located in a rural setting 10 miles (16 km) east of Guthrie, Langston also serves an urban mission, with University Centers in both Tulsa (at the same campus as the OSU-Tulsa facility) and Oklahoma City, and a nursing program set to open in Ardmore. The university is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

A public university is a university that is publicly owned or receives significant public funds through a national or subnational government, as opposed to a private university. Whether a national university is considered public varies from one country to another, largely depending on the specific education landscape.

Langston, Oklahoma Town in Oklahoma, United States

Langston is a town in Logan County, Oklahoma, United States, and is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,724 at the 2010 census, an increase of 3.2 percent from 1,670 at the 2000 census. Langston is home to Langston University, the only historically black college in Oklahoma.

Guthrie, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Guthrie is a city and county seat in Logan County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City Metroplex. The population was 10,191 at the 2010 census, a 2.7 percent increase from the 9,925 at the 2000 census.



The school was founded in 1897 and was known as the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University. From 1898 to 1916 its president was Inman E. Page. Langston University was created as a result of the second Morrill Act in 1890. The law required states with land-grant colleges (such as Oklahoma State University, then known as Oklahoma A&M) to either admit African Americans, or provide an alternative school for them to attend as a condition of receiving federal funds. [1] The university was renamed as Langston University in 1941 in honor of John Mercer Langston (1829–1897), civil rights pioneer, first African American member of Congress from Virginia, founder of the Howard University Law School, and American consul-general to Haiti.

Inman E. Page

Inman E. Page was a Baptist leader and educator in Oklahoma and Missouri. He was president of four schools: the Lincoln Institute, Langston University, Western University, and Roger Williams University and principal of Douglass High School in Oklahoma City. He and George Milford were the first black students at Brown University.

Land-grant university institution of higher education in the United States designated by a state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890

A land-grant university is an institution of higher education in the United States designated by a state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890.

John Mercer Langston American politician

John Mercer Langston was an abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat, and politician in the United States. An African American, he became the first dean of the law school at Howard University and helped create the department. He was the first president of what is now Virginia State University, a historically black college.

Through the years Langston University has developed slowly but surely. Some of the most serious problems have been political influences, financial stress, and lack of adequate space and equipment. During the 1960s the campus underwent a complete makeover. New buildings appeared, and additions were made to the library and auditorium.

Poet Melvin B. Tolson taught at Langston from 1947 until 1964. Tolson was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film The Great Debaters .

Melvin B. Tolson American poet

Melvin Beaunorus Tolson was an American poet, educator, columnist, and politician. As a poet, he was influenced both by Modernism and the language and experiences of African Americans, and he was deeply influenced by his study of the Harlem Renaissance.

Denzel Washington American actor, screenwriter, director and producer

Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, director, and producer. He has received two Golden Globe awards, one Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory (1989) and Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001).

<i>The Great Debaters</i> 2007 film by Denzel Washington

The Great Debaters is a 2007 American biographical drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington. It is based on an article written about the Wiley College debate team by Tony Scherman for the spring 1997 issue of American Legacy.


Six schools house the degree programs of Langston University: Agriculture and Applied Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education and Behavioral Science; Nursing and Health Professions; and Physical Therapy. A total of 29 undergraduate and six graduate degree programs are offered at LU. [2]

The university offers the Edwin P. McCabe Honors Program for highly motivated undergraduate students with exceptional academic records. [3]

The university was accredited with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in 2005. It is the university's only doctoral program and one of two in the state. [4] [5]

Langston University is accredited by seven different college accreditation agencies. [6]


Langston University teams, bearing the sport name of the Lions, are part of the Sooner Athletic Conference. Men's sports include basketball, football, and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading,softball, track & field and volleyball. There is also a co-ed club soccer program. The present athletic director is Donnita Rogers. The Lions won the 1939 and 1941 HBCU National Championships in football. Langston won two HBCU National Championships in basketball in 1944 and 1946.

Marching Pride

Langston's marching band is known as the "Langston University Marching Pride". It is a major ambassador of the university, a supporter at athletic events, and serves as a training center for students interested in pursuing a career in music and/or developing pertinent life skills. Charlie Wilson, of GAP Band fame, once served as Drum Major. [7]

As of 2017, the band has won three bids to the Honda Battle of the Bands in the Georgia Dome since the inaugural event in 2003.

Notable alumni

NameClass yearNotabilityReference(s)
Maurice "Mo" Bassett Former fullback for the Cleveland Browns
Bessie Coleman The first African American woman pilot and the first American woman to obtain an International Pilot's license. Coleman enrolled in 1910, but could only complete one term due to financial issues.
Brendan Crawford 2013Football quarterback
The Delta Rhythm Boys Jazz vocal group inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame
Robert DoQui Actor
Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher 1945Civil rights activist; stood at the forefront of the fight to integrate historically white law schools in the South
Nathan Hare Founding publisher of The Black Scholar (1969-1975) and author of The Black Anglo Saxons. Also wrote the conceptual proposal for the first department of black studies, and was the first person hired to coordinate a black studies program in the United States (1968).
Matthew Hatchette 1997 Wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Amsterdam Admirals (1997-2003)
Marques Haynes Basketball Hall of Fame inductee; basketball and football star before going on to captain the Harlem Globetrotters
Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson 1975 Pro Bowl linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys (1975-1979) [8]
Jennifer Hudson 2003Professional singer, actress (attended for the 1999 fall semester, but did not graduate)
Clara Luper 1944Civil rights leader best known for her leadership role in the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-in Movement
Dr. Henry Ponder Former president of Fisk University, Talladega College, Benedict College, NAFEO and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Nancy Riley Former member of the Oklahoma Senate from the 37th district
Colonel Michael C. Thompson OHP Major in Oklahoma Highway Patrol; member of Oklahoma Army National Guard. Nominated in 2010 to be Oklahoma Secretary of Safety & Security as well as Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. [9]
Dr. Austin Lane Current president of Texas Southern University


See also


  1. "OHS Publications Division". Archived from the original on 2014-10-07. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  2. "Langston University -" (PDF).
  3. "The Edwin P. McCabe Honors Program - Langston University" . Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  4. "Doctor of Physical Therapy Program". Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  5. "Langston University Welcomes Largest Freshman Class". 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  6. "Accreditations - Langston University" . Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  7. "Marching Pride - Langston University" . Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  8. "Thomas Henderson". Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  9. "Michael Thompson as DPS commissioner nominee". Retrieved January 24, 2011.

Coordinates: 35°56′41″N97°15′41″W / 35.94472°N 97.26139°W / 35.94472; -97.26139

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