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Place Category: Memorial & Statue
In 1949, after getting rejected twice, Nancy Randolph Davis made history when she became the first African-American student at Oklahoma A&M College, today Oklahoma State University.
Davis was not allowed to reside on campus and during the first weeks was not allowed to sit inside the classroom, so she sat in the hallway. Only after she got the second-highest score in the first test, her white classmates convinced the teacher to allow her to sit inside. In 1952, Davis graduated with a master’s degree in home economics (now Human Sciences), continuing as a high school teacher in Oklahoma’s public system for 43 years, educating and influencing thousands of students. She was also a civil rights activist, promoting desegregation in business in Oklahoma. She passed away on March 23rd, 2015 when she is 88 years old.
The famous and talented sculptress, Jane DeDecker, created the statue which depicts Davis in her graduation cap and gown from OSU. The dedication ceremony took place on January 31st, 2019, with the participation of her three children, the OSU president, OSU vice-president, and the dean of the College of Human Sciences.
Other honors Davis received:
- OSU has three scholarships bearing her name.
- May 31st, 1991, was proclaimed Nancy Randolph Davis Day in Oklahoma.
- In 2001, OSU named a residence hall in her honor.
- In 2008, Oklahoma Human Rights Commission honored her with the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.
- In 2020 the University decided to rename the Human Sciences buildings after her.
- Each February, OSU celebrates Nancy Randolph Davis Day with special events commemorating her legacy.
Address: Human Sciences at OSU, 122 N Monroe St, Stillwater, OK 74075
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Photo credit - WWP team