James S. Buchanan

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James Shannon Buchanan (October 14, 1864 – March 20, 1930) was the fourth president of the University of Oklahoma.

Buchanan was born in 1864 to Thomas and Rebecca Jane in Franklin, Tennessee. His grandfather, Major John Buchanan, was one of the founders of Nashville, Tennessee. Also, his brother, John P. Buchanan was a governor of Tennessee.[1] He graduated from Cumberland University in 1885 with a Bachelor of Science degree and he did graduate work at both Vanderbilt University and the University of Chicago. He received his LL.D. from Kingfisher College in 1917.

Buchanan was one of two southern Democrats on the faculty prior to Oklahoma becoming a state. Because of this, he was one of the few who survived the cuts the newly elected Democratic governor of Oklahoma, Charles N. Haskell, made to the University; cuts which included the first president of Oklahoma, David Ross Boyd.[2] He came to the university in 1895 as a professor of history. Through the years, he progressed up the ranks. Soon, he was head of the department of history and shortly thereafter the dean of the college of arts and sciences. He also was a busy man outside of his university duties. He was an official in his church, the superintendent of his Sunday school, member of a civic club, member of the chamber of commerce, and of a prominent fraternal organization.[3] He was dean of the college of arts and sciences for 14 years before he was named acting president of the university on July 1, 1923 and named president one year later.[4] He was not in office very long but he still had several notable accomplishments. For one he was responsible for the reestablishment of the Oklahoma Geological Survey.[5] Also, the concept and fundraising began for a combination football stadium/student union began during his year as president. After he was replaced as university president, he remained at OU serving as the Vice-President of the university.


  1. ^ "Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol 8, No 3, September, 1930". Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  2. ^ Levy, David W. (Spring 1996). "Combatting the Image of "Godlessness" in 1909" (PDF). Sooner Magazine. pp. 28–30. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  3. ^ Gould, Charles N. (May 1930). "Buchanan, the man" (PDF). Sooner Magazine. p. 283. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  4. ^ Gittinger, Roy. The University of Oklahoma: A History of Fifty Years 1892-1942. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. 
  5. ^ Gittinger, Roy (January 1950). "The Class of 1924" (PDF). Sooner Magazine. pp. 17–18, 26–27. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
Preceded by
Stratton D. Brooks
President of the University of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
William Bennett Bizzell