Skip area navigation

OBU to Commemorate Black History Month, Unveil Exhibit on Walter O. Mason Jr.

February 7, 2022

OBU will commemorate Black History Month with a series of events, including the unveiling of a special exhibit Feb. 9 on Walter O. Mason Jr., the first Black professor at OBU, followed by a panel discussion on Mason’s impact on Bison Hill.

The exhibit unveiling will take place at 11:15 a.m. in the lower level of the Geiger Center. OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas will be joined by others for the unveiling of the exhibit, which features artifacts from Mason’s estate. These artifacts were donated to OBU by Oklahoma City Councilwoman Nikki Nice. OBU’s University archivist, Joshua Mackey, used both these artifacts and University archives to research Mason’s time at OBU and create the exhibit, which will remain on display in the GC through the month of February. It will then be moved to a permanent display space in the Mabee Learning Center on the OBU campus.

Mason earned a bachelor’s degree from Langston University in 1947. He then earned a master’s degree at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) in 1953. He came to OBU in 1968, serving as assistant professor of education and the director of OBU Upward Bound until 1974, when he departed for an administrative position at the University of Oklahoma.

Following the unveiling of the exhibit, the University will host a panel discussion on Mason’s career and impact. The event will take place in Stavros Hall 214, running from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. B.J. Glover, interim vice president for university culture, will facilitate the panel discussion. Panelists will include several contemporaries of Mason, including Dr. John Parrish, executive vice president emeritus; Dr. Jim Farthing, professor emeritus of history; and Dr. Juanita Johnson, professor emerita of nursing. The panelists will share their memories and reflections of the time they and Mason were on Bison Hill. Rev. Jon Singleton, a student at the time, will likewise join the discussion, along with LaShane Hill, director of OBU’s Kemp Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic.

OBU’s Black Student Association has partnered with the Office of University Culture to host a series of events celebrating February as Black History Month in America, in addition to the exhibit unveiling and panel discussion. BSA will hold a screening and discussion on “The Black Church,” taking place Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 7 and 8, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium inside Bailey Business Center. BSA will host Jazz Poetry Night Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the lower GC. A Quiz Bowl event will take place Monday, Feb. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the upper level of the GC. GospelFest will then take place Sunday afternoon, Feb. 27, beginning at 2 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.

For more information about Black History Month activities, contact Brock Brown, BSA president, at or B.J. Glover at