Rose State College Professor of History, Dr. S. Matthew DeSpain was a guest speaker at one of the Friends of the Library spring events. The title of his presentation, “Little Red Died for Your Sins," was appropriated from a 1969 Indian student activist banner in protest of OU’s Little Red mascot. The phrase derives from Vine Deloria's monumental work Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (1969) that influenced the Red Power movement including Indian student actions against Little Red.
Dr. DeSpain's presentation explored how, over time, Native and non-Native students at OU appropriated and re-crafted Indian imagery, the eventual creation of Little Red, and the battle against him that divided Indian peoples in Oklahoma. In the end, OU abolished Little Red, but his end opened the way for better treatment of Indian students at OU.
Thomas Brent Smith is director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum. He previously served as curator of art of the American West at the Tucson Museum of Art, where he organized the exhibition A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon’s Arizona and authored the companion publication.
Since joining the DAM in November of 2008, Smith has overseen the implementation of exhibitions and programs including The Masterworks of Charles M. Russell: A Retrospective of Paintings and Sculpture (2009), Charles Deas and 1840’s America (2010), Ed Ruscha: On the Road (2012) and was curator of Western Horizons: Selections from the Contemporary Realism Collection (2011) Theodore Waddell’s Abstract Angus (2012), and Rocky Mountain Majesty: The Paintings of Charles Partridge Adams (2012) and co-curator of Thomas Moran’s Yellowstone: A Project for the Nation (2013). Smith is also co-curator of The American West in Bronze: 1850-1925 which opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in December 2013 and appeared at the Denver Art Museum in May 2014 before traveling on to Nanjing, China.
Additionally, Smith is the vision behind the highly successful symposia Shaping the West: American Sculptors in the 19th Century, A Distant View: European Perspectives on Western American Art, Lest We Forget California: Artists in the Golden West, Decades: An Expanded Context for Western American Art, 1900-1940, and Journeys West. Smith serves as editor of the Institute’s annual publication Western Passages, overseeing the production of Charlie Russell and Friends (2009), Shaping the West: American Sculptors in the 19th Century (2010), Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institute in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies (2012), and Decades: An Expanded Context for Western American Art, 1900-1940 (2013).
Smith played a central role in the department’s endowment campaign, which was completed in 2010. He also helped to bring the recent gift of the Henry Roath collection to the DAM — it was one of the most important gifts in the museum’s history and approximately doubled the value and importance of the Institute’s holdings.
Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating gave a lecture entitled “Leading in Crisis: The Oklahoma City Bombing.”
Born in Tulsa, Frank Keating received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from the University of Oklahoma. His 30-year career in law enforcement and public service included stints as an FBI agent, U.S. Attorney and state prosecutor, Oklahoma House and Senate member, and governor of Oklahoma.
He served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the Treasury, Justice and Housing departments. His Justice and Treasury service gave him responsibility for all federal criminal prosecutions in the nation and oversight over agencies such as the Secret Service, U.S. Customs, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Marshals, the Bureau of Prisons and the immigration and Naturalization Service and all 94 U.S. Attorneys.
He served two terms as Oklahoma’s 25th governor. As the governor of Oklahoma, Keating won national acclaim in 1995 for his compassionate and professional handling of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. In the aftermath of the tragedy, he raised more than $6 million to fund scholarships for the nearly 200 children left with only one parent or no parents.
Keating is president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, a 135-year-old association that represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation’s $13 trillion banking industry and its two million employees.
Currently, Keating is chairman of the Advisory Board of Mt. Vernon and serves on the boards of the National Archives, the Jamestown Foundation and the Bipartisan Policy Center. Keating is also the author of four award-winning children’s books, biographies of Will Rogers, Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, and Standing Bear, the Ponca Indian chief who argued Native Americans deserve the same rights as white Americans. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees.
He and his wife Cathy live in McLean, Virginia. They have three children and 10 grandchildren.