Robert J. Barker served as the first president of the Oklahoma A. and M. College from 1891 to 1894.
He established the school’s first academic departments, which included agriculture, chemistry, English literature, mathematics, natural science and physical science. Barker oversaw the construction of temporary college buildings, selection of faculty and the establishment of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station.
A participant in the land run of 1889, which opened the Unassigned Lands to settlers in the Oklahoma Territory, Barker’s preoccupation with his homestead led to difficulties. His eventual dismissal was reportedly a matter of politics. Barker’s final act as president was presiding over the dedication of the brand new (Old) Central Building.
Additional photos include Barker and his wife riding into Stillwater as well as his formal introduction as president, which included a local processional headed by men with horns to "trumpet" his arrival.