This book, the first in a projected three-volume definitive history, traces the University’s progress from territorial days to 1917. David W. Levy examines the people and events surrounding the school’s formation and development, chronicling the determined ambition of pioneers to transform a seemingly barren landscape into a place where a worthy institution of higher education could thrive.
The University of Oklahoma was established by the territorial legislature in 1890. With that act, Norman became the educational center of the future state. Levy captures the many factors—academic, political, financial, religious—that shaped the University. Drawing on a great depth of research in primary documents, he depicts the University’s struggles to meet its goals as it confronted political interference, financial uncertainty, and troubles ranging from disastrous fires to populist witch hunts. Yet he also portrays determined teachers and optimistic students who understood the value of a college education.
Written in an engaging style and enhanced by an array of historical photographs, this volume is a testimony to the citizens who overcame formidable obstacles to build a school that satisfied their ambitions and embodied their hopes for the future.