"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two Days to 121 Christmases at Old North

Old North tower's 121st Christmas--4 by 6 watercolor
The icon and symbol of the University of Central Oklahoma is Old North, the first building of higher education in Oklahoma. It was built in  summer and fall of 1892 and first classes in it were held in January, 1893. Central is the oldest public institution of higher education in Oklahoma, founded in 1890 as the Territorial Normal School, to train teachers with a two year certificate. First classes, with 23 students,  were held in Edmond in Nov. 1891. So many generations and memories.
Today we have more than 17,000 students in many areas of study, on a growing campus. It's gone from Territorial Normal School to Central Normal School, to Central State College, to Central State University to the University of Central Oklahoma. But over it all, stands this icon of education for thousands of students over the years.
It has been vacant because of structural problems for at least a decade, but is nearing completion of renovation and expansion. This was this year's card to President Don Betz, who is the 20th president.

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