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The University of Central Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts recently received a $360,029 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund programs and projects to advance diversity initiatives, as well as provide opportunities to underserved communities in the Oklahoma City metro. Central is one of two higher education institutions in the state to receive this grant. 

The grant, part of the American Rescue Plan funding, is intended to assist cultural and educational institutions with recovery efforts from the economic impact of the pandemic, retain and rehire workers, and reopen sites, facilities and programs. 

“This grant will enable the College of Liberal Arts to provide an expanded range of interdisciplinary learning experiences that will promote equity, increase diversity and foster inclusion within our campus community and that will transform our campus culture,” said David Macey, Ph.D., interim dean for the UCO College of Liberal Arts.

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Celebrating Juneteenth

June 19, or Juneteenth, is recognized as the oldest celebration acknowledging the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Gen. Gordon Granger, leading a company of about 2,000 Union soldiers, read General Order No. 3 to the citizens of Galveston, Texas.

"The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor."

Dr. Marc Goulding, assistant professor of history and director of UCO’s Race and Ethnic Studies minor, points out that while the Emancipation Proclamation has been hailed as the document that ended slavery in America, in truth, it was only the important first step in a longer process.

“The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865,” Goulding said. “The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to states in rebellion -- places over which Lincoln had no authority at the time.”

It was not until two months after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and two years after Lincoln’s famous document that word reached Texas, the westernmost slave state.

Today, the University of Central Oklahoma and the College of Liberal Arts recognize and encourage our community to celebrate Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. 

We recognize that there is still much work to be done, however.

“Being Black is tiring. It is having to be the student and the teacher," said Micah Wilson, Professional Media student and president of the UCO Association of Black Journalists. “Teacher to both our peers and teachers on Black culture. For me, many times in class I am being asked to be the voice on all Black people. Having to constantly teach/educate peers and professors on Black issues, hair, culture, etc. We can never just be a student.”

“There are countless issues regarding race that UCO can fix,” Wilson said. “I will say that we are somewhat dedicated to improvement. However, we need non-people of color to want better for Black Americans and people of color. They have to want to be educated and attempt to make sure they are knowledgeable about different cultures and customs.”

“We have two separate campuses that coexist with each other. Non-people of color rarely come to organizations of color events and often Black people and people of color don’t feel invited to their events. I believe this is something the university can push for, however, it is on the student body to enact this change. We should educate people on the “Black experience” or Black culture. It should be a part of the curriculum, we have events that showcase and teach these things. We need allies to come, willing and able to listen.”

The College of Liberal Arts agrees with Micah and we are thankful for his leadership and the opportunity to learn with him and from him. We invite the UCO community-at-large to learn more about Juneteenth and we join UCO’s Office of People and Culture in recommending the following resources to provide more information about the day and its significance:

An Hour for an Hour

In 60 minutes or less, you can help UCO students get closer to the dream of a college degree.

Photos from Hour for an Hour Gifts during the Hour for an Hour Event go to the Finney Scholarship fund, which was established in 2008 in honor of the first Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Frank Finney, Jr. Finney scholarships are awarded to deserving students in each department in the College of Liberal Arts each year. At UCO, one credit hour of tuition (only) for our undergraduate students is $205.35. During the College of Liberal Arts Hour for an Hour scholarship event, we ask our alumni and friends of the university to give the equivalent of one credit hour toward student scholarships. For $17.11 a month for one year, you can fund one credit hour or for $51.34 a month you can fund three credit hours of school for a hard working Liberal Arts student.

• 1 credit hour - $205.35
• 2 credit hours - $406.70
• 3 credit hours - $612.05
• 4 credit hours - $817.40
• 5 credit hours - $1022.75
• 6 credit hours - $1228.10*


Give now

*A gift of $1,000 or more qualifies the giver as a Presidential Partner. Learn more about our Presidential Partners Program!

For more information or to reserve a seat at the next event, contact Karisa Rollins at 974-3376 or

Ways to Give

  • College of Liberal Arts Annual Fund
    Gifts to the Annual Fund provide a way for the College to meet needs that are unforeseen or outside the scope of annual budgets. In the past, annual fund dollars have helped prepare new faculty for the classroom, garner support from alumni, and have helped honor outstanding students and faculty. This fund also helps us bring guest lecturers to campus. Every gift makes a difference.
  • Hour For an Hour Scholarship Luncheon
    This scholarship luncheon invites alumni, faculty and friends of Central for a one-hour event to raise funds for Liberal Arts student scholarships. Guests are asked to underwrite at least one credit hour of undergraduate tuition to help create scholarships.
  • College of Liberal Arts Corporate Partner Program
    Local businesses and corporations from across Edmond and Oklahoma City are partnering with the UCO College of Liberal Arts. This program helps provide support for student and faculty orientated programs. Partners receive recognition at selected LA events throughout the year.
  • College of Liberal Arts Departments
    Alumni may designate their gift to the academic department of their choice. To make a gift to a Liberal Arts Department, contact the department chairperson.
  • Endowments
    Endowments are gifts that keep on giving. The funds are invested by the UCO Foundation, and the interest generated by that investment is used for the purpose you wish to support--scholarships, research, faculty support, and more. A portion of the income is re-invested each year, enabling the endowment to continue to grow and provide a predictable, stable stream of income over time.
  • Planned Giving
    Smart philanthropy is about making a deliberate decision to redirect money and property away from taxes to institutions of your choice. By including the UCO College of Liberal Arts in your retirement and estate planning, you can diminish your tax burdens while supporting students, faculty, programs, and facilities of the College. Find out more at Central Connection's Planned Giving page.
  • Corporate and Foundation Gifts
    Forming partnerships with industry will enable the College to strengthen its investment in students and foster new opportunities for companies. The College Development Office facilitates mutually beneficial relationships between the College and corporations, foundations, and other non-governmental philanthropic organizations.

Welcome Alumni and Friends!

The University of Central Oklahoma is truly a special and exciting place. Each day on our campus you will find learning, creativity, and change. It is a place that is focused on helping students learn. We invite you to come to campus and attend an event of your choice-feel feel to visit our new master campus calendar. Campus seems to change almost daily so if has been a while since your last visit, you are in for a treat.

Also, please consider joining our many alumni, local businesses and friends who are supporting UCO scholarships and academic programs with a gift. For many our students, more than 60 % of whom are on financial aid, a scholarship or student assistance of any amount makes a big difference. In this section of our website, you will find information about making a gift and the types of programs that are already helping students. If you have any questions, we are here to visit with you.

For more information, visit the UCO Alumni Association.