Civil rights pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis, the first African American to enroll in Oklahoma State University, has died at the age of 88, officials confirmed Wednesday, according to Raw Story.
“She was a soldier and a pioneer for civil rights. She worked to make the world a better place for everyone,” Garland Pruitt, president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the NAACP, said of the activist, who staunchly supported quality education for all.
In 1948, after the Supreme Court demanded that Oklahoma provide equal education to students of color, Davis signed up for OSU. Of course, back then, administrators tried to segregate her still, forcing her to sit in the hallway during class. But Davis was able to win over her classmates after she received the second-highest score on a test, prompting them to insist that she deserved a seat in the room.
Davis, a high school teacher, ultimately received her master’s degree in 1952. In 1999 she was recognized as an OSU distinguished alumna, and the university gives out three scholarships in her name, Raw Story notes. There is also a residence hall named in her honor, even though she was not permitted to live on campus as a student.
“She believed strongly in the power of education, and her courage and persistence paved the way for countless African-American students,” OSU President Burns Hargis said, according to Raw Story.
Read more at Raw Story.