Langston Lions football

Langston University
Langston University seal
Motto Education for Service
Established March 12, 1897 (1897-03-12)
Type Public
President Kent J. Smith, Jr.
Students 3,922
Location Langston, Oklahoma,
United States
Campus Rural
Former names Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (1897-1941)
Colors Brilliant Blue and Opulent Orange
Athletics NAIA
Nickname Lions
Affiliations Red River Athletic Conference

Langston University is a public university in Langston, Oklahoma, USA. It is the only historically black college in the state and the westernmost historically black college in the United States. Though located in a rural setting just 10 miles (16 km) east of Guthrie, Langston also serves an urban mission with University Centers in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


The school was founded in 1897 and was known as the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University. 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 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] Langston University is named for 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. It was renamed Langston University in 1941.

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. Thus, despite the problems, Langston has braved the storms and produced outstanding graduates. Langston alumni are scattered throughout the nation and are serving humanity with pride.

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


The university offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a variety of disciplines. It is known as a leader in the field of agricultural research, and hosts the internationally recognized E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research. The School currently has an open doors admissions policy. LU has nearly 3,000 students from several states representing a diverse student body at an Oklahoma college.

The university was accredited with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in 2005.[2]

Student activities

The student life at Langston University garnered the attention of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the second season of the reality television show College Hill was filmed there.

The university boasts one of the nation's top choral programs and its nearly 150 piece show band is sought after for bowl games, parades, government ceremonies and marching competitions across the nation and abroad.

The Langston University Quiz Bowl team won games against Spelman and an all-star team from the City Colleges of Chicago on the 2009 nationally televised "Black College Quiz" show airing nationally throughout Black History Month in 2009 to make the championship game.


Langston University teams, nicknamed athletically as the Lions, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), while its football team competes in the Central States Football League (CSFL). Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, softball, track & field and volleyball. The present athletic director is Mike Garrett. On April 30, 2014, Cheryl Miller was hired as its women's basketball coach.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
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, lacking funds, she only completed one term. [3]
Maurice "Mo" Bassett Former NFL fullback for Cleveland's Browns
Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher 1945 Stands at the forefront of the fight to integrate historically white law schools in the South
Dr. William H. Hale Past President of Langston University and of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity
The Delta Rhythm Boys Jazz vocal group inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

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; the first person hired to coordinate a black studies program in the United States (1968).
Marques Haynes Basketball and football star before going on to captain the Harlem Globetrotters and induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame .
Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson 1974 Pro-Bowl linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys (1974-1979). [4]
Dr. Ernest L. Holloway Past President Langston University
Clara Luper 1944 Civil rights leader best known for her leadership role in the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-in Movement
Nancy Riley Former member of the Oklahoma Senate

from the 37th district

Dr. Henry Ponder Past President of Fisk University, Talladega College, Benedict College, NAFEO and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Rep. Mike Shelton 1996 Member of Oklahoma House of Representatives
Norma Tucker Past President of Merritt College
William Hytche Past President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, formerly Maryland State College
Colonel Michael C. Thompson member of Oklahoma Highway Patrol with the rank of OHP Major and is a member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. 2010 Nominee to be Oklahoma Secretary of Safety & Security as well as Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety [5].
James Rosser President of California State University at Los Angeles for almost three decades; attended Langston University for a year on a basketball scholarship
Matthew Hatchette 1997 wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Amsterdam Admirals (1997-2003).
Robert DoQui Actor
Brendan Crawford 2013 Football quarterback
Kenneth " Little Tug" Payne 1974 Football quarterback of Green Bay Packers From 1974-1977


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Doctor of Physical Therapy Program". Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  3. ^ Texas Roots -
  4. ^ "Thomas Henderson". Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  5. ^ "Michael Thompson as DPS commissioner nominee". Retrieved January 24, 2011. 


External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website

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