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ADA – East Central University President John R. Hargrave was named to the board of directors for the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame.

The Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame was founded by Distinguished ECU Alum and current OAAEHOF President Dr. Donnie Nero in 2010. The first induction class for the hall of fame was held in 2011.

“We can pull so much information and wisdom from him because of his work in education and in the judicial system,” said Nero about Hargrave. “His serving in city government and bringing a vast knowledge of education will help us in what we’re trying to do.”

Hargrave is the first non-African American to serve on the 10-member board. He was recognized as the OAAEHOF inducted 10 new members at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City in October.

“President Hargrave and I have been good friends, going back to when I was president at Connors State, and we both have ECU ties. But we share a goal of helping young people and helping them improve,” Nero said.

Hargrave was named ECU president in 2009. He was founder and managing partner of the Edmonds Cole Law Firm in Oklahoma City and has a vast background in city government, serving as mayor of Wewoka from 2002-2007. He has worked extensively with the Oklahoma Black Historical Society.

Nero, a 1971 ECU graduate, is president emeritus of Connors State College. He became the first African American president of a predominately white college or university in the state of Oklahoma when he assumed leadership as the 15th president of the Warner campus in 2000.

In 2010, ECU inducted Nero into the Gene and Evelyn Keefer Educator’s Hall of Fame. Following that honor, Nero was inducted into both the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.


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