About Our College
The Oklahoma Legislature created six agricultural high schools in each judicial district in 1908, a year after statehood. Lawton was chosen over Anadarko in April 1909 to receive a high school; the town had already set aside a portion of land to develop a higher educational institution. The University Improvement Association, under the auspices of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, organized the effort to acquire 220 acres (89 ha) of land two miles (three kilometers) west of the town. Its original goal was to secure a private Baptist college. Arrangements with the Baptists fell through in the summer of 1908. The Catholic Church approached the Association with an offer to found an all-male institution on the site. This plan was rejected by the town leaders, who were predominantly Protestant.