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Oklahoma Educators and History of Education

Hear and learn from the oral histories of Oklahoma teachers, superintendents, and other educators and how their work affected education in our state.

Learn From These Influential Oklahomans

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher

Civil Rights Activist

In 1946 the University of Oklahoma College of law denied admission to Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher because she was African American. The OU law school was an all-white institution in …

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Angie Debo

Angie Debo

Teacher, Historian, and Author

Oklahoma’s “greatest historian” was nine years old when she first set foot on Oklahoma soil on November 8, 1899, having arrived by covered wagon with her family from Kansas. Angie …

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David L. Boren

David L. Boren

Politician

Since his inauguration as president of the University of Oklahoma in 1994, he has initiated twenty major new programs while increasing the donor base from 18,000 to over 100,000 friends and alumni.

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Dean VanTrease

Dean VanTrease

Tulsa Community College

Until 1969 Tulsa was served by two private higher education institutions. State lawmakers addressed the lack of a public post-secondary institution for Tulsa area residents by chartering Tulsa Junior College …

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Dr. Ben G. Henneke

Dr. Ben G. Henneke

Professor and President, TU

In 1931 Ben Henneke was a freshman at the University of Tulsa. It was the beginning of a long-standing relationship with the school. As an undergraduate, his accomplishments were many, …

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Dr. Bruce Howell

Dr. Bruce Howell

Superintendent, Tulsa Public Schools

Dr. Bruce Howell’s career as an educator began in a one room country school in Southwest Iowa when he was 18 years old. Over the next forty-two years he was …

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Dr. Clarence G. Oliver

Dr. Clarence G. Oliver

Educator, Journalist, and Army Officer

Clarence G. Oliver, Jr., Ed.D., Emeritus Professor and former Dean of the College of Education at Oral Roberts University and retired Superintendent of Schools for Broken Arrow Public Schools, has …

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Frosty Troy

Frosty Troy

Journalist and Editor

Forrest J. “Frosty” Troy was the founding editor of the Oklahoma Observer. A member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, Frosty has covered state and national politics, government and …

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George Henderson

George Henderson

University of Oklahoma

George Henderson, Ph.D., joined the University of Oklahoma faculty in 1967. He and his wife, Barbara Henderson, were the first African-American couple to purchase a home in Norman. In this …

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James L. Gallogly

James L. Gallogly

President of OU

Jim Gallogly is the fourteenth president of the University of Oklahoma. He is a 1977 alumnus of the OU College of Law, and is the first CEO from a Fortune …

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Jeannie McDaniel

Jeannie McDaniel

Former Oklahoma Congresswoman

A longtime Tulsan, Jeannie McDaniel has worked to better her city for more than twenty-five years. She worked at the Citizens Crime Commission from 1981 to 1991—serving as director from …

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Jenny Brouse

Jenny Brouse

Business Owner / Community Leader

Brouse’s Shoe Store in Utica Square was a prominent business for many years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jenny Brouse was partner, buyer, and secretary/treasurer for the family-owned business from 1975 until …

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Joyce Henderson

Joyce Henderson

Educator and Civil Rights Activist

Joyce Henderson was an Oklahoma City high school student in the mid-1960s. She served as the song leader on Saturday mornings at Calvary Baptist Church when the city’s civil rights …

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Keith Ballard

Keith Ballard

Superintendent, Tulsa Public Schools

Dr. Keith Ballard’s education career started in Coweta, Oklahoma in 1972. Two years later Keith moved to Oologah, Oklahoma where he was a teacher, administrative assistant, assistant high school principal, …

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Ken Neal

Ken Neal

Journalist and Editor

Ken Neal joined the Tulsa World as a copy boy in 1953, and his numerous positions on the paper won him recognition as one of Oklahoma’s outstanding journalists. He has …

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Loretta Young Jackson

Loretta Young Jackson

Community Leader

Verden, Oklahoma resident Allen Toles was an African American farmer who had become the owner of his land through the Homestead Act of 1862. He built Verden Separate School on …

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Marina Metevelis

Marina Metevelis

Rosie the Riveter / TCC Educator

Marina Metevelis answered the call to defend the United States as one of the iconic bandanna-clad Rosie the Riveters. Marina was sixteen when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941—an event …

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Nancy McDonald

Nancy McDonald

Community Activist

Community volunteer Nancy McDonald’s service to Tulsa has touched the very soul of the state of Oklahoma. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Nancy began her career as a …

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Robert Henry

Robert Henry

Judge

Listen to the oral history of Robert Henry, a lifelong champion of justic, former US circuit judge, and the 17th president of Oklahoma City University.

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