By Fred L. Jones, Jr.

Eagle Staff Writer




George McLaurin was the first African American student admitted to the University of Oklahoma. In 1948, McLaurin applied for admission to the doctoral program in the College of Education, directly challenging the state’s current segregation laws. McLaurin held a master’s degree in education from the University of Kansas and had taught for 33 years at Langston University before retiring in 1948. By the time of his application to the University of Oklahoma, McLaurin’s three children had each earned a master’s degree.

Sylvia A. Lewis was the first African American to serve on the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents. She was appointed in 1986 by then-Governor George Nigh. She established a long record of achievements as an educator, administrator, and civic leader.

Guest speaker Dr. Tiffany Crutcher stated, “I’m truly honored to speak alongside my high school classmate and fellow Activist Etan Thomas at the University of Oklahoma and influence the next generation of Black leaders.”

Guest speaker and Activist Etan Thomas stated, “I’m looking forward to this event Sunday at Oklahoma University with Dr Tiffany Crutcher for the George McLaurin and Sylvia A. Lewis Leadership conference. It is named for the first African American student to attend classes at OU and the first African American to sit on their Board of Regents.”

Thomas also said: “The conference targets African American high school seniors that have been admitted to OU. They invite them to spend a day and a half with us right on campus where we discuss topics that range from Academic Readiness to Leadership in the Black community on campus, to becoming spokespersons and active agents for social justice.”

The event is sold out for more information on event such as this logon to


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