James Shannon Buchanan

Class of
James Shannon Buchanan

James Shannon Buchanan

“Probably the most widely known and most loved member of the teaching staff, genial and friendly…he formed personal acquaintances with thousands of students.”
Norman Transcript, 1930


A pioneer educator and Oklahoma historian, James Shannon Buchanan was born in Tennessee and graduated from Cumberland University with a master’s degree from Vanderbilt. He was the assistant state superintendent of education in Tennessee (1891-1893) before moving to Oklahoma to serve as a professor of history at Territorial Normal School (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in Edmond (1894-1895). He then moved to Norman and the University of Oklahoma where he served on the faculty for 35 years – serving as the dean of Arts and Sciences in 1909, acting president of the University (1923-1925), and vice president of the University (1925-1930).

He was a member of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention and of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Fun fact

Dr. Buchanan was the oldest member of the faculty at OU when he died in 1930. Known affectionately as “Uncle Buck,” his funeral was the first held in the University Auditorium, classes were dismissed and Oklahoma Governor W. J. Holloway was in attendance.

Oklahoma connections

Buchanan came to Edmond, Oklahoma as a professor in 1894.









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