1969 First tenured black professor

Dr. Earl D. Mitchell became the university's first tenured black professor in 1969 after joining the biochemistry faculty in 1967.

In addition to his research, Mitchell is known for his work to support diversity as assistant dean of the OSU Graduate College (1978-82) and associate vice president for Multicultural Affairs (1994-2004). He was also instrumental in helping establish the Oklahoma School of Science and Math.

The Oklahoma Human Rights Commission recognized Mitchell for his work in 2003 with the Human Rights Award. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2005. After four decades as a respected faculty member, researcher and administrator, he retired from OSU in 2007.

Some of the photos in this series show Mitchell during a research project on metabolism focused on the oil found in catnip, which Mitchell conducted with George Waller and Gary Price. The study made the cover of Science magazine.