Dear Langston U. Let's Celebrate You at 115

Established on March 12, 1897 as the Colored Agricultural and Normal University (CANU), Langston University was founded in the all-black town of Langston, Oklahoma. Led by its first President Inman Edward Page–who is known as “the grand old man of education”–the university grew in size and in student body. The school also notably boasted both industrial-agricultural training and a liberal arts curriculum.

Notable alumni include pioneering woman pilot Bessie Coleman and Fisk, Talladega, Benedict, NAFEO and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. former president Dr. Henry Ponder.


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A historian and storyteller whose research interests include black higher education and college student activism, DR. CRYSTAL A. deGREGORY is a research fellow at Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Historic Preservation in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A graduate of the historic Fisk, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee State universities, she is a passionate Historically Black College and University (HBCU) advocate, convener of the HBCUstory Symposium, and editor-in-chief of The Journal of HBCU Research + Culture. Follow her online at @HBCUstorian.