Past Presidents

Cynthia S. Ross

Cynthia S. Ross 2002 – 2013

With 24 years of experience in higher education, Cynthia Ross was named president in 2002. Ross developed and implemented the university’s long-range strategic planning process and oversaw Cameron’s Centennial celebration. During her tenure, more than $60 million in capital improvements were made, including establishment of the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies and construction of Cameron Village, the McMahon Centennial Complex, Bentley Gardens, and a new building to house the university’s business school – which now bears the name Cynthia S. Ross Hall in recognition of her support.

Don C. Davis

Don C. Davis 1980 – 2002

Attorney, former legislator, son of former Cameron president Clarence Davis and Cameron alumnus, Don C. Davis became a second-generation Cameron president when he was appointed in 1980. During his tenure, the State Regents expanded Cameron’s functions to include offerings at the master’s degree level. Davis guided the university to “interactive” status, as Cameron was among the first Oklahoma universities to launch a website and provide internet access to faculty and students. Davis also added a radio station, KCCU, to the Cameron campus.

Don J. Owen

Don J. Owen 1969 – 1980

Cameron alumnus Don J. Owen was the superintendent of schools in Shawnee when he was named Cameron president. During his tenure, the first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in May 1970, and the institution’s name was changed to Cameron College in 1971 and then to Cameron University in 1974. Cameron received accreditation as a four-year institution in 1973.

Richard B. Burch

Richard B. Burch 1960 – 1969

Following the untimely death of President Davis, career educator Richard B. Burch was named president. Under his guidance, Cameron realized the goal of junior college accreditation. Burch also urged that Cameron became a four-year institution, continuing the vision of former presidents Howell and Davis. In 1966, Cameron received notice of its elevation to a four-year educational institution.

Clarence L. Davis

Clarence L. Davis 1957 – 1960

Former president of the Oklahoma Education Association, Clarence L. Davis had a distinguished career in public school administration. His quest for academic excellence at Cameron included the first steps toward accreditation. Davis oversaw the construction of a new gym during his first year in office and lobbied for Cameron to become a four-year academic institution.

C. Vernon Howell

C. Vernon Howell 1947 – 1957

Legislator, farmer, businessman and Navy veteran C. Vernon Howell oversaw a long period of growth and maturation as Cameron president. He was largely responsible for many physical improvements to the Cameron campus, the establishment of Cameron’s ROTC unit, and the promotion of Cameron as the best junior college in the state.

Clarence H. Breedlove

Clarence H. Breedlove 1946 – 1947

Clarence H. Breedlove joined the Cameron faculty in 1928 as a chemistry professor. He had served as a colonel in the Armed Forces during World War II and resigned as president to accept a regular commission in the U.S. Army.

Charles M. Conwill

Charles M. Conwill 1931 – 1946

Following a distinguished career as a teacher and school superintendent, Charles M. Conwill assumed the mantle of Cameron presidency in 1931, guiding Cameron during the economic turmoil of the Great Depression. Cameron benefitted from federal aid, receiving support from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civil Works Authority and the Public Works agency for a variety of projects.

John Coffey

John Coffey 1927 – 1931

A history professor, Coffey’s tenure as Cameron president coincided with the addition of junior college courses to the curriculum. The Collegian was published for the first time, and clay tennis courts were built. By 1930, Cameron State Agricultural College was the largest junior college in Oklahoma.

John G. March

John G. March 1923 – 1927

John G. March had been the head of schools at Wapanucka before his appointment as president of Cameron. In 1925, March personally took charge of adding gravel to the two-mile dirt road that led to Lawton. Students and faculty members provided the labor.

A.E. Wickizer

A.E. Wickizer 1920 – 1923

Following successful stints as a school superintendent in Amber, Guthrie and Tulsa, A.E. Wickizer was appointed president of Cameron in 1920. During his tenure, he enlarged the teacher training classes and expanded operations on the school farm to produce as much food as possible in order to lower food costs for boarding students. The cost of room and board was $10 per month per pupil.

A.C. Farley

A.C. Farley 1914 – 1920

A career educator, A.C. Farley was a staunch supporter of agricultural education. Under his leadership, enrollment grew to 168 in 1915-16, and a boys’ dormitory was added to the campus. Enrollment declined slightly as many young men enlisted in the service to fight in World War I. Athletics and other student activities were curtailed during this period.

Robert P. Short

Robert P. Short 1913 – 1914

Agriculture teacher Robert P. Short was appointed President in the fall of 1913. During his administration, the first Wichita yearbook was published, a creamery was added to the dairy operation, and a community garden and orchard were established on campus.


E.M. Frost 1913

E.M. Frost was appointed president of Cameron in July 1913. A career educator, Frost had served as superintendent for Dewey County schools for several years. As fall classes began under his guidance, the Lawton Constitution reported that 98 percent of Cameron’s students came from rural homes. Frost’s tenure as president was brief, as he resigned before the end of the semester. No photo of Frost during his tenure as president is known to exist.

Ralph K. Robertson

Ralph K. Robertson 1912 – 1913

Ralph K. Robertson was an instructor in English and Mathematics at the Haskell State School of Agriculture in Broken Arrow when he was appointed president of Cameron. During his short tenure, the first girls’ dormitory was constructed thanks to funding supplied by the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, and Cameron fielded its first football team – coached by President Robertson.

J.A. Liner

J.A. Liner 1908 – 1912

J.A. Liner was a career educator from Alabama who accepted the task of establishing the Cameron State School of Agriculture. Liner, who implemented a rigorous six-day-a-week study program at Cameron, was credited with having the vision to help establish and chart the course for agricultural high schools in Oklahoma.


Contact Information

Admin Building, Rm 220
2800 W. Gore Boulevard
Lawton, OK 73505
Phone: (580) 581-2201
Fax:(580) 581-2421