A. Grant Evans

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For other people named Arthur Evans, see Arthur Evans (disambiguation).

Arthur Grant Evans (September 9, 1858 – November 30, 1929) was the third president of Henry Kendall College and then the second president of the University of Oklahoma.


He was born in Madras, India, in 1858 to English parents. He received his bachelor of arts degree in London from Borough Road College. He came to the United States in 1883 to work as a missionary among the Cherokee Indians.[1] In 1887, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and began pastoring at a church in Oswego, Kansas and later at churches in Oregon and Colorado.[2] Prior to becoming the president at Oklahoma in 1908, he served as the president of Henry Kendall College in Muskogee, Oklahoma for ten years (the college later moved to Tulsa and became the University of Tulsa[3][4] ).

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the first governor, Charles N. Haskell, made several changes to the staff of the then territorial college. His most notable change was the firing of the university's first president, David Ross Boyd. Evans was Haskell's appointment for president of the university as Evans was also a Democrat and prohibitionist.

Evans Hall anchors the southern end of the North Oval and is one of the oldest buildings on campus

Evans' tenure as university president was marked by some notable achievements. One of the most important of these was the construction of the third administration building. Also, it was Evans that adhered to the since-fired Vernon Louis Parrington's suggestion of using the Collegiate Gothic architectural style on campus.[2] That administration building built during his tenure, which is a classic example of the architectural style of campus, was later renamed in Evan's honor. The separation of the campus began during Evan's stay as well. The College of Fine Arts, the College of Engineering, and the College of Arts and Sciences were all started between 1908 and 1911. Also, the School of Law was established during his tenure.

After his retirement in 1911, he once again became a pastor, this time in a church in Santa Barbara, California. He died November 30, 1929 of a "stroke of apoplexy."[1]

Many people lost confidence in the new state university after the Oklahoma government fired the beloved President Boyd. Because of this, nearly 1,500 students went to out-of-state universities over the next few years.[1] Following Dr. Boyd's dismissal in 1908, the campus enrollment declined nearly 20% and it declined another 11% between 1910 and 1911.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Long, Charles F. (September 1965). "With Optimism For the Morrow: A History of The University of Oklahoma". Sooner Magazine. 
  2. ^ a b Mills, Luthera (January 1929). "Second Varsity President Dies" (PDF). Sooner Magazine. pp. 107–108. 
  3. ^ Logsdon, Guy William. "The University of Tulsa: a history from 1882-1972." Norman, Okla.; 1975.
  4. ^ Delfraisse, Betty Dew. "The history of the University of Tulsa." Austin, Tex.: [S.l.], 1929.
  5. ^ "Total Headcount Enrollment, 1892 to Present". University of Oklahoma 2006 Factbook. Retrieved 2006-06-27. 

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Preceded by
David Ross Boyd
President of the University of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
Stratton D. Brooks