Northwestern's Lincoln Memorial Program honors president, Lincoln bust

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Northwestern's Lincoln Memorial Program honors president, Lincoln bust

The Lincoln Memorial Program, sponsored by Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Social Sciences Department and the Institute for Citizenship Studies, took place April 14 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death.  The program also honored the 100th anniversary of the donation of the Lincoln bust to Northwestern by the Northwestern Normal School class of 1915.

The program honored Lincoln with a recitation of the Gettysburg Address, considered to this day as one of the most eloquent speeches in American history, read by social sciences major Jordan Evans, Edmond junior.  

Ken Kelsey, instructor of history and fine arts, also spoke at the program, discussing his research on “Lincoln Windows” in Oklahoma.  The First United Methodist Church in Alva is one of three Oklahoma churches featuring Lincoln in their stained glass designs, reminding Methodists of the Civil War, which both split the Methodist Church and led to the Northern Veterans organization.   The Church in Alva possesses restored versions of the original 1910 windows, which were fully restored by the congregation and Alva community members. 

For more information on “Lincoln Windows” or for his full research, contact Kelsey at (580) 327-8523 or by email at

Dr. Aaron Mason, associate professor of political science, also spoke at the program about Lincoln’s presidency and how his work is still relevant today.  Mason also said that Lincoln’s image is the third most recognized image in history, falling short only to the images of Christ and Napoleon Bonaparte.    

“Through the efforts of departmental faculty, students and staff, programs such as these are provided to the campus community and general public to engage people about issues related to citizenship, democracy and our constitutional form of government,” Dr. Kay Decker, professor of sociology, said.  “Contributions to the Northwestern Citizenship Institute allow us to continue to provide programs in support of these ideals.”

Following the presentations in front of the Lincoln bust, students and faculty were invited to join in the showing of the critically acclaimed film “Lincoln.” 

Despite the many changes of the Northwestern campus since the donation of the Lincoln bust, the statue remains in the same place as when it was first donated.

For more information about the Lincoln Memorial Program, the Social Sciences Department or the Institute for Citizenship Studies, contact Decker at (580) 327-8521 or by email at