In 1949, Nancy Randolph Davis became the first black student to enroll At OSU, then Oklahoma A&M College.
Though segregation was the law at the time, after much talk, Davis was permitted to attend the school, but limits were placed upon her when it came to being seated. For two classes she sat in the back of the room. For a third, she had to sit in the hallway to listen to the instructor. That changed after the first exam when Davis earned the second highest grade.
Davis said it was her classmates who stood up for her "...(They) told the professor they disagreed with the law. They stood up for me."
Davis earned her master of science degree with honors from the Division of Home Economics in 1952 and pursued a successful career in education, inspiring thousands.
She retired from Oklahoma public education after 43 years of service, which included 23 years at Star Spencer High School in Oklahoma City.
Davis was honored as a Distinguished Alumna of OSU in 1999, and the university named one of its newest residence halls Davis Hall in 2001.
OSU also offers three Nancy Randolph Davis Scholarships for freshmen, continuing students and graduate students in honor of her efforts and commitment to education.
As Davis put it, "My legacy is for young people to be honest, hard workers with integrity, love, and respect for mankind."
Nancy Randolph Davis died in March of 2015 at the age of 88.
“She believed strongly in the power of education, and her courage and persistence paved the way for countless African-American students,” said OSU President Burns Hargis.