Rogers State University

Rogers State University
Motto Tradition Innovation Excellence
Type Public
Established 1909
Endowment $6,700,000[1]
President Larry Rice[2]
OU Board of Regents Richard R. Dunning, Chairman
Academic staff
Students 4,300[4]
Location 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd.
Claremore, Oklahoma, U.S. 74017
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue and Red
Mascot Hunter the Hillcat
Affiliations Heartland Conference

Rogers State University is a public, regional university in Claremore, Oklahoma, with branch campuses in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Pryor Creek, Oklahoma. Since it began offering bachelor's degrees in 2000, it has outpaced the growth of all other public universities in Oklahoma. It currently has a total enrollment of more than 4,300 students in programs at its three campuses and in its nationally recognized distance-learning programs. Of those, 2,759 were enrolled in its main campus at Claremore in fall 2013.


A statue of a soldier dating from RSU's time as Oklahoma Military Academy overlooks Claremore from the school's entrance.

The institution that is now RSU has gone through several stages in its existence, from its foundation as a state-sponsored preparatory school to its transition to a military academy and finally to its current incarnation as a four-year regional university.

It has its roots in the Eastern University Preparatory School, which was founded in 1909. During the construction of the famous "Preparatory Hall", Eastern University Preparatory School held its classes in the old Claremont building until 1911. The institution was closed in 1917.

In 1919 it was restarted as the Oklahoma Military Academy (OMA), to meet the growing educational and training needs of the United States armed forces. In 1923 it became a six-year program, providing a high school and junior college education. The school received an Army ROTC Honor School rating in 1932, and the junior college division became fully accredited in 1950. Graduates of the program became second lieutenants in the United States Army Reserve; more than 2,500 OMA graduates served in the military, and more than 100 alumni gave their lives serving their country during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.[5][6]

OMA's enrollment declined during the later 1960s, due in part to the unpopularity of the Vietnam War,[5] and in 1971, the Oklahoma Legislature replaced OMA with an institution to grant two-year associate degrees to the public known as Claremore Junior College. In 1982, it became Rogers State College, named after Rogers County, where the main campus is located.[7] Rogers County is named in honor of Clement Vann Rogers, not Clem's son, Will Rogers.[8][9] In 1996, Rogers State College and the University Center at Tulsa (UCAT) merged to form Rogers University, with campuses in Claremore and Tulsa, which operated for two years before being separated by the state Legislature. The part that had been Rogers State College became a member of the OU Board of Regents and was renamed Rogers State University. RSU was given permission to seek accreditation as a four-year, bachelor's-degree-granting university. In 2000, RSU became the institution it is today, a public four-year, residential university. On August 16, 2006, Rogers State's Stratton Taylor Library was named a Federal depository library, the 20th in the state of Oklahoma.

The university celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2009 with a series of special events, lectures and celebrations, culminating with the dedication of the Centennial Center building that serves as a student services center. In 2005, RSU acquired a historic nine-story building to serve as its campus in downtown Bartlesville and the facility is a major anchor in the downtown Bartlesville redevelopment. In 2014, RSU celebrated the opening of its new Pryor campus at the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Mayes County, Oklahoma. The $10 million construction project and 83-acre site were provided to the university by the Oklahoma Ordnance Works Authority, which operates the park as a public trust. The donation represents the largest gift in the university's history.


Stratton Taylor Library

RSU currently offers bachelor's degrees in 17 disciplines: Applied Technology, Biology, Business Administration, Business Information Technology, Communications, Community Counseling, Game Development, Justice Administration, Liberal Arts, Military History, Nursing, Organizational Leadership, Public Administration, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Science, Sports Management, and Visual Arts. In conjunction with Cameron University, RSU also offers a "2+2" program in Elementary Education, in which students can earn an associate degree in elementary education from RSU and then transition to the final two years of a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Cameron, with all classes taught at RSU's campus in Claremore.

RSU also offers associate's degrees in 13 disciplines, which include Nursing, Accounting, Elementary Education, and Computer science. The university also offers 29 degree minors.

In 2013, the university was granted approval to offer its first graduate degree program, a Master of Business Administration that was to begin in fall 2014.

RSU is a pioneer in online and distance learning through eCollege, compressed video courses and telecourses. Three bachelor's degrees, in Applied Technology, Business Information Technology and Liberal Arts, and four associate degrees are available completely online. RSU also has a radio station and the only university-operated, full-power public television station in Oklahoma. These facilities on the Claremore campus allow students to gain real-world experience in media and communications during their studies.


Main article: Rogers State Hillcats

Rogers State teams are a candidate for membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II competing in the Heartland Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track and field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and track and field.

The school's sports teams are referred to as the Hillcats, a mascot chosen by its students in 2005. The Hillcats' women's softball team became the first RSU athletic team to be nationally ranked on March 28, 2007, entering the NAIA softball ratings at No. 22.[10] The men's basketball team earned the school's first number one ranking on January 26, 2009.[11] The university's athletic director is Ryan Erwin.


A sculpture of George Washington is part of a collection of statues depicting U.S. Presidents on RSU's grounds.

RSU's radio station, KRSC, is broadcast on 91.3 FM and over the Internet. It began in 1980 as a 10-watt station, and is now 3000 watts, reaching an audience of more than 1.2 million in northeastern Oklahoma. The station's programming consists mainly of indie rock and pop, with specialty rock, blues, jazz and Native American music shows. KRSC also provides coverage of Claremore High School football and Hillcat basketball, baseball and softball through the Rogers County Sports Radio program. The station is staffed by students, faculty and area media personalities. KRSC broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is an associate member of the public radio satellite system and the Oklahoma News Network. The facilities are in Markham Hall.

RSU's television station, KRSU-TV 35, is the only full-powered public station licensed to a public university in the state. It broadcasts cultural and educational programming on UHF Channel 35 and digital channel 36 from its 2.75-million-watt tower 24 hours a day. The station is also carried on local cable systems and is available on Cox Cable Channel 19 in Claremore and Tulsa. The station is home to many telecourses and interactive courses, part of RSU's distance-learning programs. It also produces in-house documentaries and regular programming.[12] It is operated by a paid staff, with assistance from RSU students. The station reaches an audience of 1.2 million in the northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas areas.

Military Legacy

Rogers State still maintains a strong military legacy. In addition to offering a military history course, there are two military-based programs that operate out of Rogers State. The first is the Army National Guard's GOLD (Guard Officer Leader Development) program, which allows applicable enlisted guardsmen to complete a four-year degree, and attend Officer Training School so that they can commission as second lieutenants. The first soldier to complete this program is to graduate May 2017. The second program is an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program, which allows college students to attend ROTC at Oklahoma State University's Stillwater Campus as cadets. They are required to attend the once-a-week course, as well as complete field training the summer of their sophomore year and complete all other necessary duties. If this is done, they will commission into the Air Force as second lieutenants. While there are a number of GOLD members, there is currently only one Air Force cadet on campus.

Greek life

Rogers State University is home to two sororities, Alpha Sigma Tau, Epsilon Delta chapter, initiated in November 2005, and Alpha Sigma Alpha, Theta Eta chapter.


  1. "NET ASSETS OF FOUNDATIONS" (PDF). Tulsa World. Retrieved 2006-12-26.
  2. "Dr. Larry Rice Named Rogers State University President". Rogers State University. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  3. "Rogers State University Faculty & List". Rogers State University. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  4. RSU Fact Book 2013.
  5. 1 2 Paul B. Hatley, "Oklahoma Military Academy" at Oklahoma Historical Society Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture Archived January 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. (accessed October 18, 2010).
  6. Manny Gamallo, "Oklahoma Military Academy reunion set", Tulsa World, May 16, 2010.
  7. "History of Rogers State University". Rogers State University. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  8. "Clem Rogers". Will Rogers Memorial Museums. Archived from the original on 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  9. "RSU and Will Rogers Museum to Discuss Possible Merger". Rogers State University. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  10. "NAIA Softball Rating No. 2 :: Cal Baptist Hangs on to No. 1 With 12 First-Place Votes". National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  11. "Rogers State (Okla.) Becomes Sixth New No. 1 Team in 2008-09 Division I MBB Coaches' Top 25 Poll". National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  12. "RSU Public Television - Programming Spotlight". RSU Public Television. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
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Coordinates: 36°19′09″N 95°38′21″W / 36.31917°N 95.63917°W / 36.31917; -95.63917

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