On March 6, 1969, 18 students bravely staged a sit-in in the President's office protesting discriminatory policies and seeking equal opportunities for all OC students. They were arrested and expelled, but their courage helped to advance civil rights on campus. Fifty years later, the university apologized and honored the 18 for their sacrifice.
Unfair Dismissals Acknowledged
OC Apologizes for 1969
"As today's president of Oklahoma Christian University, I am sorry for what occurred in response to your entering Benson Hall the morning of March 6, 1969. I am sorry that there wasn't a spirit of discussion that prevailed that permitted you audience with the administration in that moment," then-university president John deSteiguer
said on March 6, 2019. "I am sorry that the campus climate made some of you feel less than and unwelcomed. You should not have been arrested for trespass and you should not have been summarily dismissed from this institution. Your lives were disrupted unfairly."
I am the manifestation of a dream, a prayer, and a movement. I am a product of a group of students, deciding 50 years ago today that they would do something far greater than themselves. - Elise Miller
OC 18 In the News
Oklahoma Christian works to right a wrong against black students 50 years ago
After 50 years, an apology
Oklahoma Christian recognizes, apologizes to sit-in participants
OC 18 student Robert Edison to become visiting professor
Distinguished Visiting Professor
A member of OC's 18, Robert Edison now teaches in OC's College of Liberal Arts . Students have the opportunity to take his African American History course.
“That he was a member of the OC 18 and wants to come back and teach and be involved and engage with our campus community. I think that’s such a beautiful story of healing and redemption. He has a connection with us in a potentially negative way and turned it into a positive. He is such a humble person.” - Dean of COLA Tina Winn
March 6, 2019:
Remembering OC's 18