Dr. Angie Debo
Former Director, Federal Writers Project of Oklahoma
This highest honorary award that is conferred by the University is named for one of its former presidents who, during the period 1928-1951, made outstanding contributions to the University, to higher education, and to the benefit of mankind as the first Director of America's Point Four Program of providing technical assistance to nations around the world.
In 1899, Dr. Debo came to Oklahoma from Kansas in a covered wagon and settled in Marshall, where she passed a territorial examination at the age of sixteen, and began teaching in rural schools. She received her bachelor's and doctor's degrees in history from the University of Oklahoma and her master's degree from the University of Chicago. A distinguished scholar and teacher, Dr. Debo taught history at Enid High School, West Texas State Teachers College, and Oklahoma State University, where she also served for several years as a librarian. Later she became a free lance writer, and wrote ten significant books, several of which concerned the history of the American Indian. She served on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Indian Affairs and made surveys for that association and for the Indian Rights Association. As a result of her tireless letter crusade to Congress, laws were passed to protect the Alaska Native Land Settlement claims and the land rights of the Havasupais in Arizona.
Year of Award: 1976