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Bacone College
Established 1880
President Rev. Dr. Robert J. Duncan, Jr.
Students 900
Location Muskogee, OK, USA
Campus Suburban
Colors Red and White
Nickname Warriors
Affiliations RRAC, NAIA

Bacone College is a private four-year liberal arts college in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Founded in 1880 as the Indian University by Almon C. Bacone, Bacone College is the oldest continuously operated institution of higher education in Oklahoma. The college has strong historic ties to various tribal nations, including the Cherokee Nation and the Muscogee Creek Nation, and the American Baptist Churches of America.

Bacone College is a member of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Oklahoma Independent College Foundation and Universities, the Joint Review Commission for Radiography Education, the National League for Nursing, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and an affiliate member of the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Its current president is Rev. Dr. Robert J. Duncan, Jr., a United Methodist minister from Drew University.

Bacone College sports compete as the Warriors in the Red River Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).



The college traces its origins to a request to the American Baptist Home Mission Society by Professor Almon C. Bacone, a missionary teacher, to start a school in the Cherokee Baptist Mission at Tahlequah, Indian Territory. Bacone had previously taught at the Cherokee Male Seminary.[1]

When he started Bacone College, Professor Bacone, the sole faculty, enrolled three students. By the end of the first semester, there were 12. By the end of the first year, the student population was fifty-six and the faculty numbered three.

Seeing the need to expand, he appealed to the Muscogee Creek Nation's Tribal Council for 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land in nearby Muskogee, Oklahoma, known then as the "Indian Capital of the World." The land was granted, and in 1885 Indian University was moved to its present site. In 1910, it was renamed Bacone Indian University after its founder and first president. The Board of Trustees later changed the name to its current Bacone College, as it emphasizes undergraduate education.


Rockefeller Hall c. 1910

One of the first buildings to be erected was Rockefeller Hall, a three-story building made possible by a $10,000 contribution from John D. Rockefeller. "Old Rock," as it came to be called, served as classroom, dormitory, dining hall, chapel, teacher quarters and administration building. It was razed in 1938 and a Memorial Chapel was built in its place. That was destroyed by fire but rebuilt in the 1990s.

The campus contains many other reminders of Bacone's history, tradition, and goals. One of these is a small cemetery, the final resting place of Bacone presidents Almon C. Bacone (1880-1896) and Benjamin D. Weeks (1918-1941), as well as others associated with the school. A "stone bible" sculpture marks the spot on which President Bacone and Joseph Samuel Murrow and Daniel Rogers, two Baptist missionaries and trustees, knelt in prayer to dedicate the college. The names of all the college's presidents are inscribed on its surface.

Other structures on campus include the The Indian Room at the Bacone College Library, which is the home of many of Almon C. Bacone original papers; the Ataloa Lodge Museum,[2] which has an impressive Native American art collection; and the McCombs Gallery, which features a large cross-section of Native American art. This includes artwork by alumnus, former director, and professor emeritus Richard "Dick" West (Cheyenne), an artist best known for his traditional Plains-style artwork, and Woody Crumbo, the only American Indian to receive the Julius Rosenwald Fellowship. Collectively, the traditional, flat-style painting movement developed by Blue Eagle, Crumbo, West, and others is known as the Bacone school.

Notable faculty

Notable alumni


  1. ^ Thornton, Russell, ed. Studying Native America: Problems and Prospects. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999: 84. (retrieved through Google Books, 30 August 2009) ISBN 978-0299160647.
  2. ^ Ataloa Lodge Museum
  3. ^ Hunt, David C. Acee Blue Eagle (1909-1959). Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (retrieved 30 August 2009)
  4. ^ Hunt, David C. Crumbo, Woodrow Wilson (1912-1989). Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (retrieved 30 August 2009)

External links



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