Oklahoma State University


Valree Fletcher Wynn
1996 Inductee

Valree Fletcher Wynn was born May 9, 1922, in Rockwall, Texas.  She graduated from Douglass High School in Lawton, OK, where she taught for thirteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Langston University in 1943 followed by a master’s degree and a doctorate in English, both from Oklahoma State University, and was the first African America to do so.  Dr. Wynn completed a master’s in 1951 and a PhD in 1976. She taught for one year at Lawton High School and then joined the faculty at Cameron University in 1966, becoming the first African American to teach at either institution.  She taught in the English department at Cameron for nineteen years. 

At Cameron she was founding co-sponsor of the Ebony Society and founding co-sponsor of the Miss Black CU Pageant, which she directed for nine years.  In 1985 the pageant was renamed in her honor.  Dr. Wynn became the first African American to serve on the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges in 1986, where she served as president from 1988-89.  She was honored in 1993 by the President’s Council of Regional Universities for meritorious service.  In 1996 she was inducted in the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame and in 2005 she was inducted in the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.     

Dr. Wynn has been involved in a number of organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Board of Directors for the Lawton Public Schools Foundation, US Senator David Boren’s Foundation for Excellence, and the State Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission, among others.  Some honors that have been bestowed on her include being recognized as the Lawton Chamber of Commerce Professor of the Year in 1985, St. John’s Baptist Church Woman of the Year in 1992, Delta Sigma Theta Outstanding Educator in 1985, Outstanding Citizen in 1987, Alpha Kappa Alpha Golden Soror in 1992, OSU Graduate Excellence Award from 1970-73, and NAFEO Distinguished Alumnus in 1990.  Dr. Wynn also received the Cameron University Distinguished Service Award, as well, which is the university’s highest honor. In addition, Cameron University offers the Valree F. Wynn Scholarship for incoming freshmen who plan to pursue a degree in English.   

Dr. Wynn was married to Phail Wynn, Sr.  They had three children, Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr., Patricia Phaye Wynn (deceased) and Michael David Wynn.

(Bio current as of 2008)