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A Special Message from President Ruth Ray Jackson, Ph.D.

President Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson
Published 05/01/2024

Dear University Community,

I am honored to greet you today as the 17th president of Langston University. This marks a very important day in my life and for that of my family. My husband John, our daughter Leah, and I are thrilled to continue our service to this great institution.

After spending my entire career in education and having been raised by educators, this presidency represents much more than the culmination of a professional pathway. I am the product of a Historically Black institution and have a deep appreciation of the work we do and the students we serve. I am so grateful to the distinguished leaders who came before me in this role; those who led our institution and positioned Langston University for a bright future. I am incredibly humbled to continue the work of those sixteen individuals and so many others who care deeply for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community for their support throughout my tenure as interim president and now upon my appointment. I also extend my thanks to the presidential search committee for their significant contributions to the search process, and to the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents for placing their confidence in my vision to lead Langston University.

I am thrilled to participate in the 124th Commencement with our graduates, their families, our faculty, and staff this weekend. Commencement is my favorite day of the year. It is fitting that presiding over this most special of ceremonies is among my first official duties as president. I hope you will join us on Saturday, May 4, for the celebration!

During my term as interim president, I introduced my presidential priorities to guide us through a transitional year. These priorities include people, programs, processes, partnerships, and public relations all rooted in our purpose. I am excited to continue this work into my tenure as president.

People – We will cultivate a culture allowing for the continual recruitment of bright students and talented employees who understand and support our mission.

Programs – We will invest in the right academic programs leading to career attainment for our students, support dynamic co-curricular experiences aimed at leadership development, expand our online presence with academic and certificate programs, and offer professional development opportunities for all employees.

Processes – We will modernize and streamline our administrative functions, support student success through excellent customer service, and implement effective and routine training for employees.

Partnerships – We will build strong relationships with academic and community partners throughout the state of Oklahoma and beyond as we continue to build strategic relationships with corporate, philanthropic, advocacy, and shared services organizations.

Public Relations – We will continue to elevate our brand visibility and reputation by sharing our accomplishments and by leveraging our individual influence and networks as members of our university community to highlight and share the good news that happens on our campuses.

Purpose – We will remain true to our mission of access and opportunity for all people, serve as a model for student success, and build upon our momentum to foster innovation and research globally.

I invite all of you to join me for a come-and-go reception today, Wednesday, May 1, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Building on the Langston Campus. There will be no formal program for the reception, as my hope is that it will serve as a time for our university community to celebrate the conclusion of the academic year. This reception will also serve as an opportunity for me to express my gratitude for your continued support of Dear Langston.

Our work together begins now. I am excited to listen and engage with you to continue the success of Dear Langston far into the future.

I very much look forward to serving our institution with purpose, together.


Ruth Ray Jackson, Ph.D.

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