David Ross Boyd stepped off the train in Norman, Oklahoma, on August 6, 1892, and looked toward the southwest. There was not a tree or shrub in sight, wrote the former Kansas school superintendent just hired to serve as the University of Oklahoma s first president. Behind me was a crude little town of 1,500 people, and before me was a stretch of prairie on which my helpers and I were to build an institution of culture.
By 1895, five years after the University s official founding, the school boasted four faculty members (three men and one woman) and 100 students. Today the campus is home to more than 30,000 students and 2,700 full-time faculty and is one of the most respected public universities in the nation, with twenty-one colleges offering hundreds of majors at the bachelor s, master s, and doctoral level.
OU s remarkable journey from that treeless prairie to its present standing as a world-class institution of learning unfolds in "e;The Sooner Story. "e;Arriving upon the university s 125th anniversary, the book updates a history that last left off in 1980, when William Slater Banowsky was at the helm. Author Anne Barajas Harp examines the school s history through the lens of each presidential administration from the beginning of David Ross Boyd s tenure to the present moment in David Lyle Boren s presidency, now in its third decade. In describing what each president encountered in his turn, she captures the unique character, challenges, and accomplishments of each administration, as these reflect the university s growth and progress through the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Discouraged? Boyd wrote at his arrival in 1892. Not a bit. The sight was a challenge. "e;The Sooner Story"e; conveys the inspiration and excitement of meeting and renewing that challenge over the past 125 years."e;
The Sooner Story
University of Oklahoma Press
The University of Oklahoma, 1890-2015
Non Fiction /