Cameron University

Cameron University is a public university in Lawton, Oklahoma. It offers more than 50 degrees through two-year, four-year, and graduate programs. The degree programs emphasize the liberal arts, science and technology, and graduate and professional studies. It began in 1908, right after Oklahoma became a state, as one of six agricultural high schools.[1]

Cameron University
PresidentJohn M. McArthur
Location, ,
United States
ColorsGold and Black
AthleticsNCAA Division IILone Star


The Oklahoma Legislature created six agricultural high schools in each judicial district just a year after statehood in 1908. Lawton was chosen to receive a high school over Anadarko in April 1909, due to their having already set aside a portion of land for 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 form an all-male institution on the site. This plan was not acceptable to the town leaders. Cameron State School of Agriculture was named for the Rev. E. D. Cameron, a Baptist minister and Oklahoma's first State Superintendent of Schools. The first classes were held on Statehood Day, November 16, 1909, in the basement of a bank building, while a new campus building was constructed.[2]

Cameron added junior college work in 1927 when local higher education needs exceeded what was available in southwest Oklahoma. With this changed function came a new name: Cameron State Agricultural College. High school courses were dropped, and Cameron became solely a junior college in 1941, when the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education was formed and joined the group of institutions governed by the Board of Regents of Oklahoma A&M Colleges.[2]

Baccalaureate degrees were authorized in 1966 by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, following action by the Legislature. The institution's name was shortened to Cameron College in 1971, then changed to Cameron University in 1974. As the 1970s continued, Cameron demonstrated its dedication to expanded academic offerings through the construction of a fine arts facility designed to serve students in theatre, music, broadcasting, and speech communication.[2]

Dr. Donald J. Owen served as Cameron's President from 1969 to 1980. A Cameron graduate himself, Owen worked to build academic programs and develop relationships with the Lawton community, as well as the Oklahoma State University system, under which CU fell during his tenure. Cameron's sports teams, particularly football and basketball, excelled during that time, and a new President's home was constructed on Gore Boulevard, west of the campus.[2]

In 1988, State Regents expanded Cameron's functions to include offerings at the master's degree level. This change in function was the first granted to an Oklahoma institution since Cameron was given the authority to offer bachelor's degrees more than 20 years earlier. In the 1990s, Cameron University came under the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.[2]

Don Davis was President of Cameron University from 1980 to 2002. His father, Clarence L. Davis, was President of Cameron from 1957 to 1960. As a child, Davis lived in the President's house on campus with his mother, father, and sister. As a former legislator from Lawton, Davis was able to secure funding for Cameron that allowed it to grow into the premier institute for higher education in southwestern Oklahoma. Also during Davis' tenure, a classical radio station, KCCU 89.3, was founded. Numerous renowned scholars, including Richard Leakey and Cornel West, have spoken at Cameron's annual Academic Festival.[2]

In May 2004, Cameron took over the Duncan Higher Education Center in Duncan, Oklahoma, and renamed it Cameron University - Duncan.[2]


Since its founding in 1908, Cameron University has had 17 presidents.[3]

  • J. A. Liner, 1908–1912
  • Ralph K. Robertson, 1912–1913
  • E. M. Frost, 1913
  • Robert P. Short, 1913–1914
  • A. C. Farley, 1914–1920
  • A. E. Wickizer, 1920–1923
  • John G. March, 1923–1927
  • John Coffey, 1927–1931
  • Charles M. Conwill, 1931–1946
  • Clarence H. Breedlove, 1946–1947
  • C. Vernon Howell, 1947–1957
  • Clarence L. Davis, 1957–1960
  • Richard B. Burch, 1960–1969
  • Don J. Owen, 1969–1980
  • Don C. Davis, 1980–2002
  • Cindy Ross, 2002–2013
  • John M. McArthur, 2013–present


Cameron University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[4][5] The Bachelor of Accounting, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Master of Business Administration degrees offered by the School of Graduate and Professional Studies are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.[6]

Campus life

Most courses are offered during weekdays and evenings. Cameron uses television, the internet, and a statewide fiber-optics network to deliver classes around the world. Students may participate in independent study, cooperative education, preprofessional studies, teacher certification, and the Army ROTC program. In addition, Cameron offers an honors program, early admission, advanced standing, and college-level examination programs, although 58% of entering students require remedial work with median ACT scores at the ninth percentile.

A wide range of organizations and interest groups are located on campus, including departmental, minority, professional, political, and religious organizations, and various honorary and recognition societies. Students can also become involved in student government, choral groups, a jazz ensemble, theater, or Greek life.


Cameron is a member of the Lone Star Conference in Division II of the NCAA. Sports offered are men's and women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's cross country.

Notable alumni


  1. Soelle, Sally Bradstreet. "Cameron University." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Accessed August 15, 2018.
  2. "General Information - Cameron University". 1992-06-01. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  3. "Past Presidents - Cameron University". Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  4. Higher Learning Commission
  5. Council for Higher Education Accreditation
  6. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  7. Archived March 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. Adrian Wiggins. "Adrian Wiggins Bio - The Fresno State Official Athletic Site Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  9. "Adrian Wiggins Bio - OLEMISSSPORTS.COM - OLE MISS Official Athletic Site". Olemisssports.Com. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  10. "There's a new name (that you've never heard of) in Canadian running - Canadian Running Magazine". Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  11. . Retrieved 2019-11-22. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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