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OSU to induct first honorees to Diversity Hall of Fame

STILLWATER -- The late Nancy Randolph Davis, the founding members of the first historically black fraternity at OSU and Howard J. Shipp Jr. will be the first honorees to be inducted into the Oklahoma State University Diversity Hall of Fame.

The inaugural event will be Thursday at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center as part of the African American Student Association Homecoming Gala. The event is sold out, but it will be broadcast live online at 6 p.m. on

Davis was the first black student to enroll at OSU in 1949 and earned her master’s degree in 1952. She is recognized as a trailblazer in the field of education, and OSU has named several scholarships and one of the newest residence halls in her honor. 

 The Epsilon Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was established in 1958, paving the way for other organizations at OSU. Four of the 11 founding members, along with the chapter’s adviser, Henry Ponder, will attend Thursday’s event.   

Shipp became the first black counselor at OSU in 1971, and his work to improve the racial climate at the university led to the creation of the office of minority programs and services in 1985. His leadership also expanded the office of multicultural affairs in 1992 and its mission to focus on minority retention, recruitment and outreach. Shipp retired in 2005 after 34 years of service to OSU.

Jason Kirksey, vice president and chief diversity officer for OSU, said the OSU Diversity Hall of Fame will induct two additional alumni in spring 2016. "The inaugural class, as well as subsequent classes of inductees, will reflect the breadth of diversity at OSU," Kirksey said.

K.S. McNutt

Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from... Read more ›