Category: Langston Campus


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By Langston University Office of Public Relations

LANGSTON, Okla. – Inasmuch Foundation has awarded Langston University a $200,000 grant for its “Forward Together Project,” a solutions-based media initiative designed to bring the historically rich and diverse communities within and surrounding its Langston, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City campuses.

Langston University is a historically black institution founded in 1897. With an enrollment of approximately 2,000, Langston University is the only HBCU in Oklahoma; and its core mission is education for service.
That dedication to service is at the heart of the Forward Together Project.

The history of Oklahoma, particularly the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, is well documented, and its impact continues to be palpable, influencing perceptions, relationships and interactions among locals and people far beyond the region.

Through storytelling, social media tools, engagement analytics and community forums; Langston University’s Broadcast Journalism program, known for award-winning student work, will house the Forward Together Project. Students under the direction of professional journalists and professors will provide a collaborative platform for residents and civic leaders who, while ever mindful of the painful scars of the Oklahoma’s past, are inspiring hope and changing the narrative.

“We are immensely proud of the accomplishments of our students and our faculty. This generous gift will allow them to utilize their talents and training to advance this important work,” said Langston University President Kent J. Smith, Jr.

Inasmuch Foundation, based in Oklahoma City, champions journalism, education, human services, and community to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans. Founded by Edith Kinney Gaylord in 1982, The Foundation has funded programs and initiatives at several other universities, and this is the first project Inasmuch Foundation has funded at Langston University.

“The Forward Together Project will provide first-hand professional opportunities to Langston University journalism students,” said Robert J. Ross, Inasmuch Foundation Chairman and CEO. “Forward Together will produce impactful stories and showcase the beginning of a talent pipeline of Black Oklahoma journalists.”

Production on the project is expected to begin immediately, with the first stories expected to air sometime in mid-2023. Langston University is planning a community engagement event for early 2023 to solicit ideas for future projects.

LU student after donating blood


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TULSA, Okla. Langston University and the American Red Cross announce Sickle Cell Awareness blood drives on April 5 at their Langston, Oklahoma City and Tulsa campuses. The blood drives are being sponsored by ONEOK. “I’m blessed to work with three great institutions, and I saw this as an opportunity to partner together to help address the need for donations of rare blood types – in particular those needed to help treat sickle cell disease,” said Mike Clark, Vice President, Controller – Natural Gas Liquids, for ONEOK.Right now, the Red Cross is asking for your help to address a critical need for African American and Black blood donors. African American and Black blood donors have a unique ability to help sickle cell patients and support the health of their community.

Red Cross blood drive cancellations – mostly due to the pandemic – have significantly impacted the ability to collect lifesaving blood donations from the Black community. Unfortunately, disproportionately high COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalization and fatalities within Black communities have deterred many donors from giving, and the cancellation of drives at educational institutions and businesses where most of these individuals give has made the problem worse. Despite the steep decline in blood donations from African American and Black blood donors, the need for blood products for patients with sickle cell disease has remained relatively steady.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the American Red Cross and ONEOK for this historic multi-campus blood drive event,” said Joshua Busby, Dean of Students, Langston University. “The importance of hosting this event at an HBCU is significant because we have a direct reach to the communities of color. We know that Sickle Cell Disease impacts those communities at a higher rate, and the type of outreach we can provide is important.”

Donors of all blood types are encouraged to donate blood Monday, April 5, to help save lives. All those coming to give at any of the April 5 Langston University blood drives will receive a commemorative T-shirt courtesy of ONEOK, while supplies last.

• Langston Campus | 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM | Multipurpose Building Gym


• Langston Tulsa | 2:30 – 7:30 PM | Classroom 207 & 208


• Langston OKC | 2:30 – 7:30 PM | Atrium


Sickle cell disease is the most common blood disorder in the U.S. and impacts about 100,000 people, most of which are of African or Latino descent. Blood transfusions from Black donors help to provide a lifesaving treatment for patients during a sickle cell crisis by increasing the number of normal red blood cells in the body and helps deliver oxygen throughout the body and unblock blood vessels.

Blood transfused to patients with rare blood types, like those with sickle cell disease, must be matched very closely to reduce the risk of complications, and these patients are more likely to find a compatible blood match from a blood donor of the same race or similar ethnicity. A single sickle cell patient can require multiple blood transfusions per year throughout their lifetime to treat complications from sickle cell disease.


The Red Cross is testing blood, donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Plasma from routine blood donations that test positive for high levels of antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood product collected from COVID-19 survivors who have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.

The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive antibody test and sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at


Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.


Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.


The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


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Written by Christina Gray

Langston University has received a grant of $473,820 to preserve the historic cottage row district on the Langston campus. Dr. Nancy Alexander led the grant team that wrote in their proposal that the “preservation of this precious landmark not only results in the recognition, understanding, and preservation of the HBCU story but it keeps a flame burning that we should not ever let become extinguished.” Click here to learn more about its history and to read the full excerpt of the proposal.

The projected start date for the design and planning phase of this project is on July 1, 2020. “We wisely requested some time to design, develop and plan to be completed within the first 6 months,” said Dr. Nancy Alexander, Chair of the LU Business Administration Department.

“All of the renovation and restoration of the cottages will take place in year one which includes replacing doors, insulating the attics, and replacing the wiring. In year two, we are undertaking the campus beautification projects, which includes the installation of benches, new signage, and the installation of a storm shelter.”

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to preserve our historic cottage row district,” said Mautra Jones, LU Vice President of Institutional Advancement and External Affairs.

“The grant will provide support to maintain the integrity of the original structures and make necessary upgrades to the cottages. One of the crown jewels of the Langston campus, we take great pride in our cottages as our very own students helped build them in the 1930s. The grant team led by Dr. Nancy Alexander is elated to embark upon this special journey and looks forward to continuing showcasing Historic Cottage Row District to the entire state and nation. Additionally, we appreciate the Oklahoma Historic Preservation Society for its assistance in providing valuable guidance through the years regarding this Oklahoma treasure.”

The Historic Cottage Row District project is supported by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities grant program. It is funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service Department of Interior. For more details, please refer to the National Park Service press release.

Mrs. Alice Strong Simmons, Dr. Ricco Wright, and Mr. Desmond Harvey


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University announced that three alumni were chosen for new administrative and faculty appointments for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Ricco Wright, Ed. D., was named assistant professor of Mathematics in the School of Arts & Sciences at the Langston campus. Wright started teaching at the university this past August. His efforts in his first semester have already had a positive impact on the campus community.

“On a personal level, I plan to keep my students engaged all semester, make a difference in their lives, and enjoy my first year as an assistant professor of mathematics at my alma mater,” Wright said.

“On a professional level, I plan to increase the number of mathematics majors at Langston by recruiting at least three freshmen to join the Mathematics Club and by serving as their advisor this academic year,” Wright said.

It is also his goal to increase the intellectual campus climate by starting a book club on campus called Bibliophilism, by participating in monthly dialogues in the Harrison Library, and by giving talks on campus about different topics ranging from philosophy to literature to politics to music.

He is dedicated to making things better than when he came to the university and makes it his goal to continuously become more active in the fields of mathematics and mathematics education. Prior to LU, Wright taught mathematics at two universities in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Langston University in 2004 and a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2014.

Desmond Harvey was appointed as the new director of Student Life at the Langston campus.

“I am looking forward to returning to my alma mater,” Harvey said.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and graduated with honors from Langston University in 2006.

“During my first year as Director of Student Life, I plan to learn more about the student organizations, programs, and events that are hosted through the Office of Student Life, while establishing a relationship with the student leaders on campus,” he said.

Prior to Langston, he was the coordinator of prospective student services in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology for one year at Oklahoma State University. Before that, he served as an academic advisor, Coordinator of the Multicultural Engineering Program, Coordinator of African American Affairs, and Coordinator of Prospective Student Services for two years at Oklahoma State University.

Alice Strong-Simmons was appointed as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Oklahoma City campus. Coming from a long line of teaching professionals, Strong-Simmons describes herself as an “educator at heart.” As a trained educator, she was Director of Child Development and Adjunct Professor at Langston University.
She currently serves as Central Area Director of The Links, Incorporated and holds life memberships in the Langston University National Alumni Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Strong-Simmons prides herself on being a “Country Girl” whom God has endowed with an extraordinary passion for Langston University and its students, and working to assure the best education possible for the youth and children of the Great State of Oklahoma. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Langston University and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Langston University President, Kent J. Smith, Jr., is confident that the experience and expertise these new appointments will bring to the roles will serve our students in and out of the classroom.

“As Langston University continues to blossom, it is vital we have the right leadership in place,” Dr. Smith said.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including five masters’ degrees and one doctoral program. For more information about Langston University giving please contact the LU Foundation Office at (405) 466-3482.


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By Kaylie Wehr, Digital Marketing Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla.—Langston University homecoming, Forever A Memorable Experience, will kick off with Rep. Mike Shelton as the grand marshal. Homecoming is Oct. 13-18, 2014, with Shelton leading the annual parade and kicking off festivities on Saturday.

“We are pleased to have representative Shelton as our homecoming grand marshal,” said Kent J. Smith, Jr., President of Langston University. “He embodies the quality of leadership that we strive to teach at Langston. Shelton has dedicated his life to serving others and has always been a great supporter of Langston University.”

Shelton is a native of Oklahoma City and a Langston University alumnus. It was by studying under a former state representative that Shelton became interested in politics. Shelton mentored and worked with several organizations, including Langston University’s Oklahoma City campus. As the Community Outreach Coordinator for Langston University – Oklahoma City, he launched the first adult scholarship program for the campus.

In 2004, Shelton was elected to Oklahoma District 97 and currently serves as the Assistant Democratic Floor Leader.

Homecoming is an anticipated tradition at Langston University. Events are scheduled every day during the week of homecoming, such as the annual Gospel Fest, President’s Scholarship Gala, Greek Step Party and coronation of Mr. and Miss. Langston University. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on October 18, while the football game begins at 2 p.m. against Wayland Baptist University.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, OK. Langston offers over 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. For more information on Langston University homecoming and to purchase tickets, visit