First African-American Graduate of Oklahoma State University Honored With Life-Size Statue

Nancy Randolph Davis, the first African-American student to attend what was then Oklahoma A&M College, has been honored with a life-size sculpture outside the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University.

Davis enrolled at the college in the summer of 1949 while teaching at Dungee High School in Spencer, Oklahoma. She earned a master’s degree in 1952 making her the first Black student to graduate from the institution. Davis passed away in 2015 at the age of 88. In 2018, her legacy was honored by the state of Oklahoma with a three-mile stretch of Interstate 35 west of Stillwater, designated as the Nancy Randolph Davis Memorial Highway.

This new bronze statue is not the first time Davis has been recognized by the university. She had been awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Enhancement of Human Lives Award from the College of Human Sciences. Additionally, a building on the Oklahoma State University campus is named in her honor.

“I think that’s a very important statement to make about Oklahoma State and our value of people like Nancy,” said university president Burns Hargis. “I was very pleased to know her. She was a very gracious, lovely lady. I think this says a lot about our values at Oklahoma State University, and you couldn’t get better values than what Nancy had.”

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