The Dr. Anna Lewis Scholarship was established by her niece and former student Winnidell Gravitt Wilson, in honor of the OCW professor. The scholarship is designated for a female student of history and/or social studies.
“A true teacher and leader with authority, knowledge and inspiration, she challenged students to think, to evaluate and to interpret the facts with an unbiased mind,” Wilson said.
“A true feminist, she believed in the equality of women and the necessity of education of women in a democracy. Her message to students was their obligation as educated women to continue to strive for these ideals for women and our society.”
Dr. Lewis joined the OCW faculty in 1917 and retired in 1956 – 39 years of teaching history and serving as chairman of the History Department. Her fields of study were American History and History of the Southwest. She was well known as a teacher, lecturer and writer. In 1930, she was named as one of the 24 prominent women of Oklahoma. She was included in Who’s Who in 1932 and elected to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1940. She was inducted posthumously into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame in 1995.
During her second year at OCW, while heading the History Department, Lewis took on the position of registrar to help President G.W. Austin set up that office. Her early memories of OCW centered mainly on Austin – whose dynamic leadership constituted the beginnings of an institutional saga. During those years, the number of buildings increased from two to seven, the size of the campus grew from 24 to 40 acres and the enrollment doubled. By the time of his death in 1926, Austin had made OCW into a national institution.
Ever private and even modest, Lewis gave unselfishly to the college. She worked long hours and then walked back to the institution in the evenings to give some more. After retirement, she returned to her home at Clayton in the old Choctaw Nation and died there on Aug. 1, 1961. Back to Gallery