Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) is a public university in Weatherford and Sayre, Oklahoma. It is one of seven state regional universities in the state of Oklahoma. SWOSU is placed at Tier 1 in the category "Regional Universities (West)" in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report.
SWOSU was first established through an act of the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature in 1901 as Southwestern Normal School, although no classes were held until 1903. Several towns fought a court battle to become the home of the new school, but Weatherford won the battle. The normal school included both a two-year degree program for teacher education and a preparatory school. In 1920, the preparatory portion of the school was closed and replaced by a four-year baccalaureate degree program. The first bachelors degrees by the renamed Southwestern State Teachers College were awarded in the spring of 1921.
The Great Depression brought several attempts to close the school for financial reasons. It had to remove several presidents to survive politically. But it did survive. In 1939, the school added a vocational training curriculum to its teacher-training mission.
The school underwent significant expansion during World War II, adding additional programs in the arts and sciences as well as its School of Pharmacy. After brief periods as Southwestern State College of Diversified Occupations and Southwestern Institute of Technology, the name was formally changed to Southwestern State College by the Oklahoma Legislature. The first graduate degree, a Masters of Teaching, was added in 1953, and the school was officially designated as Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1974.
In 1987, Sayre Junior College in Sayre, Oklahoma was merged with SWOSU, becoming Southwestern Oklahoma State University at Sayre.
The main campus is in Weatherford with a satellite campus in Sayre, Oklahoma.
Organization and administration
The college's endowment is worth $19,404,478. The president is Randy Beutler.
SWOSU has 15 nationally accredited academic programs--the most among Oklahoma's senior regional universities.
Southwestern Oklahoma State's athletic teams participate in the NCAA Division II Great American Conference. The team mascot is the bulldog, and the school colors are blue, white, and "bulldog grey".
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Southwestern Oklahoma State University
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