East Central University

East Central University
Type Public
Established 1909
Endowment $27,079,804 [1]
President John R. Hargrave
Provost Katricia G. Pierson
Administrative staff
663 [2]
Students 4,447 (2015) [3]
Address 1100 E. 14th Street
Ada, Oklahoma 74820
, Ada, Oklahoma, U.S.
Campus College Town
Colors Orange and Black          
Nickname Tigers
Mascot Roary the Tiger
Affiliations Great American Conference
Website www.ecok.edu

East Central University (shortened to ECU or East Central) is a public, co-educational teaching university located in Ada, in the south central region of the U.S. State of Oklahoma. East Central one of the six universities that are part of Oklahoma's Regional University System. Beyond its flagship campus is Ada, the university has courses available in McAlester, Shawnee, Ardmore, and Durant, as well as online courses. Nearly 4,500 students are enrolled in the school's undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded as East Central State Normal School in 1909, its present name was adopted in 1985.[4] Some of its more famous alumni include former NFL player Mark Gastineau, past governors Robert S. Kerr and George Nigh, former U.S. Representative Lyle Boren, Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Tom Colbert, and U.S. Army General James D. Thurman.


The university was founded as East Central State Normal School in 1909, two years after Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th U.S. state. It was one of the six newly created state funded normal schools that were designed to provide four years of "preparatory" (or high school) study, followed by two years of college work towards teacher certification. The school's establishment was the product of the intense lobbying efforts of the 25,000 Club, a local booster group.[5] The club raised funds for faculty salaries so classes could begin that fall in local churches and public school classrooms.[5] Graduates of the normal school program received lifetime teaching certification statewide.[4] The 1910 Oklahoma Legislature funded faculty salaries and the construction of a building on a 16-acre (65,000 m2) site donated by a Chickasaw allottee.[5] In 1919, the normal schools were authorized by the Oklahoma Legislature to offer four years of teacher education, to offer bachelor's degrees, and were designated teachers' colleges.[4]

Expanding beyond education degrees, in 1939 the school became East Central State College.[5] Fifteen years later, the regional colleges were allowed to offer graduate degrees. By 1974, the state legislature renamed the state colleges, and it became East Central Oklahoma State University—a name it retained until 1985 when it gained its present name.[4]

Academic profile

Academic logo

Institutional organization

A full-size tiger statue in the center of Frank R. Crabtree Sr. Honor Plaza, directly in front of the old Science Hall

East Central is divided into 5 academic units (three colleges and two schools) with 70 degree programs.[6] They are:

ECU serves around 5,000 students and is perhaps best known internationally for its cartography program, as only a few such programs exist. ECU is also home to an Environmental Health Science Program, one of only 30 programs nationally accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council[7]

Other campuses

East Central is one of four participating institutions offering courses at the Ardmore Higher Education Center. There are also Distance Education sites located in Shawnee, OK, through the Gordon Cooper Technology Center and McAlester, OK through the Eastern Oklahoma State College.[8] ECU offers online graduate and undergraduate courses.



Main article: East Central Tigers
Division II game between East Central and NSU.

East Central's athletic teams (the "Tigers") have competed in the NCAA Division II Great American Conference (GAC) since 2011, after competing in the Lone Star Conference of the NCAA from 1995 to 2011. The university hosts 13 sports, 6 men's athletic programs and 7 programs for women. The school's football team won the NAIA national football championship in 1993. Athletics offices are located within the Kerr Activities Center.

Notable alumni


ECU has had several graduates move to political office, including five of alumni who were elected to the position of Governor.

Professional Sports

Several ECU grads have excelled in the area of professional sports

Other Notable Alumni


External links

Coordinates: 34°46′28″N 96°39′53″W / 34.77444°N 96.66472°W / 34.77444; -96.66472

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