OCLA wasn’t exactly known as the place to be in the fall of 1969. To outsiders, this institution was a puzzle … no longer a women’s college … blatantly using the L word in its name and boasting of a revised curriculum that examined traditional disciplines in a big-picture way … and, oddly, in view of the L thing, located in a small, conservative central Oklahoma community. What kind of experiment was going on there, anyhow?
For me, 18 years old in 1969, coming from a very small town in Oklahoma, OCLA became the incubator of my adulthood. The college tolerated my ignorance while giving me the tools so that I wouldn’t have to remain ignorant, unless I chose to. I was exposed to new viewpoints (not always comfortable) and encouraged to think. Along the way, I made excellent friends (Be Si Ta, don’t you know?); typical mistakes (Who knew majoring in English would lead to teaching students who didn’t like to read?) good and bad decisions (Okay, I admit it, as it turned out, a champagne party in Davis Hall wasn’t a stellar idea). But OCLA supported my growth and felt like home.