New Scholarship Program for Black Studies Majors at the University of Oklahoma Made Possible by Family of Former Governor

Next fall the African-American studies department at the University of Oklahoma will offer three scholarships each year to students of any race who have excelled in black studies and are in financial need. The scholarships are made possible by a donation from the family of Raymond D. Gary, a former governor of Oklahoma. The family hopes that money will be raised to expand the program to 10 scholarships each year.

Gary, a Democrat, served from 1955 to 1959. He was the first governor of Oklahoma to be born in the state. Upon taking office, one of his first acts was to remove “whites only” and “colored only” signs from restrooms in the capital. He also ordered the state’s public schools to comply with the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling.

Gary served one term and was barred by state law from seeking reelection. He died in 1993.