Who knew that the class of 1915 would produce two of the most prominen alums in ECU’s history

? Out of a class of 41 students, Ernest McFarland prominent would go on to be the governor of Arizona, 1955-1959. His political career also included serving as a United States Senator from 1941-1953 and serving on the Arizona supreme court from 1964-1970. Robert S. Kerr was in the same graduating class of 1915. Kerr served as the governor of Oklahoma from 1943-1947. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1948 and served until his death on Jan. 1, 1963. Kerr’s chief legacy for the state of Oklahoma is a series of water projects and dams that made the Arkansas River into a navigable inland waterway system beginning at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and going to the Gulf of Mexico. He died before he saw the commission’s work come to fruition as the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. www.ecok.edu/centennial

James Marcus Gordon was selected as the second president of East Central State Normal d School on May 20, 1916. Gordon had previously served as the dean of Trinity University in Waxahachie, Texas. Gordon’s term is marked by the effects WWI had on campus. He is credited with the establishment of a Student Army Training Corps on campus that helped keep the college’s doors open and the commissioning of the memorial gateway in front of Science Hall that is dedicated to the ECU students who died in the war. President Gordon served at ECSNS until June 1, 1920, at which time he took the position as president at Henry Kendall College in Tulsa.

President’s Home

The president’s home was built in 1918. Throughout the years the home was occupied by d t’ h b ilt i 1918 Th h t th th h presidents Gordon, Linscheid, Spencer, Wagner and Cole. During the late 1990s, the president’s home was remodeled and a 3,200 foot expansion was added. On Sept. 2, 1999, the former home was rededicated as the Sterling L. Williams Foundation and Alumni Center which now houses the office of Alumni, Advancement and the ECU Foundation Inc. www.ecok.edu/centennial

World War I effects ECU
Upon the United States involvement in WWI, the male students on campus at East Central disappeared as they enlisted in the war effort. Fall enrollment for 1917 showed a 19 percent drop from the previous year. The students and faculty who remained on campus participated in Liberty Loan drives and planted victory gardens north of Science Hall. In 1918 the State Board of Education made military training a compulsory requirement. Drills consisted of one hour of military formations for the boys, followed by 30 minute sessions for the girls. Pictured at left are the female students at East Central as they participate in their daily military drills. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Original Horace Mann

The legislative session of 1919 approved funds for the second classroom building at East Central. Originally called the Education Building, its name was later changed to ed Central Edu honor famous educator Horace Mann. The new building, which was located where the current Physical and Environmental Science Building is, housed the teacher training school g s, s gs headed by John Zimmerman. In 1925, Horace Mann became an accredited four-year high school in addition to the junior high and elementary divisions of the school. In 1953, the new Horace Mann (now Faust Hall) Building was completed and the original Horace Mann was used by the departments of art and music for a few years. In the early 1960s the building was used as a men’s dormitory. In 1969 – 1970 the original Horace Mann Building was torn down. In 1957, a three-story addition was added to the new Horace Mann Building. While the older part of the building is now known as Faust Hall, the new wing is still called Horace Mann.


May Day Fete During the 1920s at East Central, Anna Weaver Jones, assistant professor of physical education, held an annual May Day Fete. Students from Horace Mann participated in a variety of dances in addition to the actual May Pole Dance. Music was provided by both the Horace Mann High School Band and the East Central Band. www.ecok.edu/centennial

East Central University’s third president, Adolph Linscheid, was born near Mannheim, Germany. He is the longest serving president with a total of 29 years at East Central, from 1920 until his death in 1949. Linscheid carried the university through both the trying times of the Great Depression and p U.S. involvement in WWII without ever losing the support of East Central’s students, faculty, staff and the community. Linscheid was a respected educator not only in Oklahoma, but throughout the nation.

Completed in 1926, the Administration Building housed the library, all administrative offices and the departments of English and history. A two-story addition, close to the original size of the building, was added on the west side with a center hallway connecting the old and new parts of the building. In 1976, the building was named the Charles F. Spencer Administration Building in honor of ECU’s fourth president. Today, the Administration Building is home to the majority of the administration offices including Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Student Development and the Bursar’s Office. The second floor www.ecok.edu/centennial is home to the School of Business.

McBride Gym
Completed in 1927, and originally named the Health Education Building, the gym featured a basketball court and swimming pool in addition to classroom space. In 1974, the Health and Education Building was renovated and renamed the Mickey McBride Health Building in honor of ECU legendary basketball coach Mickey McBride. During construction of the University Center in 1997, the building underwent renovations once again and was connected to the new University Center. The swimming pool is still in much use and the upper floor features a basketball court with an upper level walking track. The Career Development Center and GOLD program are currently located in the building as well. www.ecok.edu/centennial

ECU Orchestra from the 1927 Pesagi Yearbook - “Th orchestra is one of the livest organizations th P i Y b k “The h t i ft in East Central. Under the direction of Mr. Siebs it has grown to be an orchestra of which any school could rightly feel proud. The orchestra has played for several public services and has often played for the student body.” Top Row, L-R: A.H. Siebs, Bernece Payne, Junius Ridling, Lewis Thomas, Cecil Berkhart, Wadlington, J.N. Carter, Otis Clark. Bottom Row, L-R: Ben Chaney, Ora Faust, Garwood, Helen Emerick, Imogene Russell, Vernon Kamp, Thelma Ward, Bill Mackin, Mrs. Ruth N. Johnson, Dorothy Turner. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Callixyon Tree
In the years between 1913 and 1936, ECU and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. were vying for a 250,000,000 year-old petrified tree. 6 DC At the time, everyone was interested in the discovery of the tree at a near-by farm because it was the largest example of the oldest tree ever found. Dr. David White, head of the U.S. Geological Survey came from Washington D.C. to examine the fossil and decided it should be displayed at the p y Smithsonian, not ECU. ECU supporters raised money for erecting the tree fragments into a tree shape and moving it to campus. Dr. White died before enough funds had been raised to move the tree to the Smithsonian and as a result the tree was given to East Central. The Callixylon tree was formally accepted by President Linscheid in March, 1936. The plaque at the base of the tree is dedicated to Dr. White. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Enrollment at East Central stayed steady and even saw a slight increase throughout the years of C t l t d t d d li ht i the Great Depression. Many students couldn’t find a job so they decided they might as well get their education. The biggest expense at East Central during the 1930s was room and board. At the time, there were no dormitories on campus so students rented rooms from local citizens. Some students couldn’t afford to rent a room and as a result a “Hooverville” was formed of students living on campus in tents.

Knight Hall

The first two dormitories built at East Central were Knight Hall for women and Fentem Hall for men, both of which were completed in 1937. The buildings were named after original faculty members Kate K. Knight and Alfred L. Fentem. Knight Hall featured a lounge area and a dinning hall that was used by male and female students. Today, Knight Hall is used as the residence hall for honors students and upper classmen. Fentem Hall is home to ECU’s Child Development Center, Center of Continuing Education and Community Services, the School of Graduate Studies and the McNair Scholars Program. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Fentem Hall

Students returned en masse to East Central after WWII. Returning G.I.s were older than the typical college student and several of them brought their wives and children with them. With this demographic change came a loosening of social rules. Men and women could now interact together in a more casual manner. Pictured at left is a group of East Central students bowling in the basement of Knight Hall, 1946. Pictured at right is a dance in the Knight Hall Lounge, 1948. www.ecok.edu/centennial

After 40 years of being housed in other buildings, the Linscheid Library was dedicated on Oct. 23 1949, and named in buildings honor of long-time ECU President Adolph Linscheid. The library was enlarged and remodeled in 1963 and 1976, respectively. Today, the Linscheid Library is housed in a new building that features a lot of natural light, is warm and welcoming and located along the eastern hillside of campus. Dedicated on Oct. 23, 1997, in a ceremonial reenactment of the original dedication, the new Linscheid Library has 74,020 square feet of library space that houses numerous materials including an audiovisual department, periodicals, reference, circulation, instruction and special collections. The library is opened seven days a week and most services are opened to the public. A patron card can be purchased by individuals wishing to check out material. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Charles F. Spencer joined East Central’s faculty in 1929 as a professor of history and government and later served as ECU’s fourth president, from 1949 – 1969. Spencer’s tenure saw many changes to East Central, most notably the addition of the graduate program, technology enhancements (first computer in 1967) and the construction of the Memorial Student Union, the Horace Mann and Education Buildings, Boswell Chapel and Briles, Pontotoc and Pesagi Halls.

Built in honor of East Central students who died during WWII, the Memorial Student Union was completed in 1951. It included a ballroom, snack bar, recreation rooms, lounges, book store and bronze plaques featuring the photos and names of the men whose memory the MSU is dedicated. The MSU became the place to be when students were not in class and, as some former students have admitted, it was the place to be instead of class. With the completion of the new University Center in 1997, the MSU underwent a $550,000 renovation that created space for meeting rooms, expanded the university book store and created a health services clinic. The ballroom was also refurbished and named in honor of ECU’s fifth president Dr. Stanley P. Wagner. r. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Built in 1953, on the west side of campus between 12th and Main Streets, the new Horace Mann building was home to the teacher training or laboratory school until its discontinuation in 1960. In 1967, a three-story addition was added on the Main Street side which tripled the floor space. The original part of the building was renamed Faust Hall after ECU alum and long-time registrar Harvey Faust. Today, Horace Mann is home to the Hayes Native American Center, the departments of English, history, political science and legal studies, human resources, sociology, cartography and geography. Faust Hall is y g g p y home to the music, dance and family and consumer sciences programs. Both parts of the building are in the process of a two-year renovation that includes the updating of 14 classrooms. The project is part of a $2.4 million, two-year grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Students visiting in the Rock Garden, 1955

During the 1930s, East Central gardener Roy “Pop” Harris was busy improving the appearance of st impro campus. With the help of student workers through the National Youth Administration, Harris reclaimed the hilly slope that runs north to south through the campus. Rock terraces were built on the hill along with water ponds and a colorful array of plants and shrubs were added. The Rock Garden soon became a favorite hang-out for students, especially those looking for a romantic rendezvous. It remained a popular meeting place on campus for many decades. www.ecok.edu/centennial

The Rock Garden

The Kathryn P. Boswell Memorial Chapel, a gift to East Central University by Mr. S.C. Boswell in P Chapel Mr S memory of his wife, was completed in 1957. Mr. Boswell was a prominent citizen of Ada and was a member of the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges. He wanted the chapel to be used by student religious groups, and for weddings and other formal ceremonies. Today, the Boswell Memorial Chapel is still used for small weddings, sorority/fraternity ceremonies and special occasions. At left is a photo of the chapel as it looks today. At right is a photo www.ecok.edu/centennial from the 1957 yearbook of the first wedding held in the chapel.

In 1954, East Central was authorized to institute a fifth-year program in education that led to a master’s of teaching degree. This, along with an h i d t i tit t fifth i d ti th t l d t increase of enrollment, made it obvious that more space was needed for the education program. Completed in 1957, the Education Building housed the Departments of Education, Psychology and Industrial Arts. Prior to its construction, education and psychology classes were held in Science Hall and the Industrial Arts Department had been housed in temporary war surplus buildings after moving from the sub-basement of Science Hall. Over the past 52 years the ECU Education Building has been enlarged twice to meet the needs of a growing student population. Its halls and classrooms have witnessed the preparation of thousands of teachers who have taught and currently teach throughout the country. www.ecok.edu/centennial

“Fight on East Central, Fight on for your fame, Fight on East Central Tigers, win this game. We’re cheering for you, Cheering to the end. f Fi ht E t C t l Ti i thi W Fight on East Central Tigers, Win, win, win.”

“Fight on East Central” has been a tradition at East Central University as the fight song for close to 50 years. Before the adoption of the song, the band would play a marching song called “On the Mall” and “The Tiger Rag,” but in 1962 ECU band director Don Gant penned the words to the now legendary spirit song. He pulled the tune from a Lutheran hymn that also had been adapted in the 1930s by the Nazis as a marching song called, “Heil Deutschland.” Pictured at left are members of the 1962 Tiger Marching Band. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Stanley P. Wagner was East Central University’s fifth president, serving from 1969 – 1988. A native of Pennsylvania, he served as vice chancellor for academic affairs of Minnesota State Colleges and was professor of history and political science at Oklahoma City University. Wagner introduced the campus to the computer age, oversaw the implementation of a barrierfree campus for students with disabilities and was instrumental in the construction of the Kerr Activities Center. www.ecok.edu/centennial

While the campus of East Central University has grown and changed over the past 100 years, two popular spots on campus during the 1960s and 1970s are no longer to be found. The gazebo and duck pond at the bottom of the hill between Pesagi Hall and Norris Field were a natural retreat for students. The small open-air gazebo stood where Tiger Commons is now. The rock-walled duck pond slopped to the south from the gazebo. www.ecok.edu/centennial

East Central University has a history of being home to students with disabilities and in the 1970s, was Oklahoma’s premier barrier free campus. Based on the premise that if ECU, with its 80-foot difference in elevations and old buildings without elevators, could remove obstacles then any place could. The university received funds from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to begin the process of making campus accessible to all persons. The elevator located behind the Memorial Student Union was the first step in linking the lower and upper campus together. Academic buildings were improved and Fentem Hall was renovated to house persons with disabilities. Programs for teaching hearing and visually impaired students in traditional classrooms were also developed. www.ecok.edu/centennial

While unrest and protest were taking place at many college campuses across the nat ng nation during the late 1960s and early 1970s, East Central University’s campus was rather peaceful. There were some protests, but overall, students were calm. As a result, the army contacted ECU about placing a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) unit on campus. The first classes in military science were held in the fall semester of 1971. The Journal, ECU’s student newspaper, recounts watching the members of the ROTC unit rappelling off of Briles Hall and swimming in the pool at McBride Gym while in full uniform and carrying weapons. A rifle range was constructed under the west bleachers at Norris Field for ROTC use as well. ROTC was a mainstay on campus until the late 1990s. www.ecok.edu/centennial

By the early 1970s, it was obvious that East Central University’s basketball games had outgrown the aging h McBride Gym. As discussion of building a new facility began, President Wagner knew he wanted a design that would be unique and attract visitors to ECU’s campus. After a long search of possible architectural designs, it was decided the new building would be modeled after a geodesic dome in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Kerr Activities Center was named in honor of ECU alum, Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator, Robert S. Kerr. The building was dedicated on Oct. 14, 1974. Today the Kerr Activities Center is home to the athletic offices and is still in frequent use for events ranging from basketball and volleyball games to science fairs and ECU’s commencement ceremonies. www.ecok.edu/centennial

A celebration to commemorate East Central University’s 75th anniversary was held on April 3, 1984. There was a parade on Main Street as Gov. George Nigh rode into town on a rubber-tired train loaned by Burlington Northern in a re-enactment of Gov. Haskell riding the train to Ada on April 3, 1909, in celebration of the signing of the Normal School Bill that established ECU. A birthday party was held for the students and the Student Senate presented a time capsule to be opened on ECU’s 100th anniversary. That evening a reception and jubilee banquet were held. The Homecoming theme for ECU’s 75th birthday was “The Way We Were.”


Bill Cole, a native of Stuart, Okla. and an ECU alumnus, served as East Central University’s sixth president from 1989 – 2006. He received his doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University. Cole led the campus through a technology revolution and campus construction, renovation and expansion that included the addition of four new buildings and the ground breaking of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.


Construction on the new Physical and Environmental Sciences Building began in May 1989. The facility was al 1 designed to accommodate all 27 laboratories at the center of the two-story building while emphasizing energy efficiency. On March 21, 1991, before construction was complete, a tornado took out the north wall of the building causing $55,000 in damages (pictured at right). The 50,000 square foot building was dedicated on Aug. 1, 1991 (pictured at left). The P&ES Building is home to pre-professional programs and the departments of environmental health science, biology, chemistry, physics and computer science.

In 1990, Hank Walbrick took over as head coach for the ECU Tigers for eight seasons, with 1993 being the pinnacle season in East Central University’s classic history. The Tigers went 10-3 while rolling to victories in three straight playoff games over Western New Mexico (24-22), Arkansas-Monticello (27-0) and Glenville State College (49-35), capturing the NAIA national title. The thrilling victory over Glenville State College (West Virginia) was before an overflow crowd at Norris Field, estimated at 5,750.


The Office of International Students & Programs was dedicated in the spring of 1994 with the office officially opening in October 1994. The number of students and the diversity of the international population at East Central University made it one of the fastest growing new programs in the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors history. In four short years the program grew from nine students from four countries to 74 students from 23 countries. In 2009, the program has 70 students representing 32 countries. International students have brought wonderful diversity to the ECU campus. Since 1994, the campus has enjoyed learning about multicultural customs, traditions, food and fashion. www.ecok.edu/centennial

Dedicated on Jan. 17, 1997, the University Center features the 144-seat Raymond Estep Multimedia Center, Tommy Hewett M.D. Wellness Center, snack bar and meeting rooms. The building is located on the south side of McBride Gym. The two buildings were connected during construction to allow convenient access to the swimming pool, basketball court and walking track. The University Center, known on campus as the UC, is one of the main hubs of recreational activity for students. In 2006, pool, ping-pong and foosball tables were brought into the UC along with TVs and video games.


The Frank R. Crabtree Sr. Honor Plaza, located in front of Science Hall, was dedicated on Veteran’s Day, 1999. The ceremony included speeches by ECU alum and former Governor of Oklahoma, George Nigh and Col. Gray W. Jackson. The ceremony ended with the posting of colors and a Black Hawk flyover (pictured at left). The new honor plaza included the refurbishing of the Memorial Gateway, which was built to honor ECU students who served in WWI. The focal point of the plaza is a water fountain with a bronze tiger in the center (pictured at right). The fountain is surrounded by granite benches which recognize groups and individuals who have had an impact on ECU.


East Central University celebrated its 50th birthday in 1959. Numerous celebrations were held sity 1959 celebratio throughout the year including a TV program on KTEN that featured alums from each decade and on Sept. 20, 1959 an “Old Timers” bash was held to celebrate the first day of classes. The Homecoming theme that year was Happy Birthday EC. The parade consisted of floats in the shape of giant birthday cakes (pictured at right). An Alumni lunch was held after the parade with guest speakers being ECU alums Sen. Robert S. Kerr and newly elected Lt. Gov. George Nigh. At half time of the football game, both alums were recognized and made honorary members of the band. Kerr marched off the field playing a drum and Nigh marched off playing the cymbals (pictured at left). www.ecok.edu/centennial

During World War II enrollment at East Central dropped drastically as students and faculty alike enlisted in the war effort. The campus was in turmoil for a while after the war started, but the college community quickly adjusted to the many changes brought on by WWII. A training unit for the Army Air Crew was stationed on campus to provide both military and academic training for 300 men. Both Fentem and Knight Halls were used to house the men in the training program. During this time office space used by the history and education departments was transformed into military headquarters for the cadet training program. www.ecok.edu/centennial

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