Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Doug Watson

Passion is the hallmark of those individuals who become members of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of fame—a passion for students, for outreach, for research, for creating systems of instruction.  Professor Doug Watson of Oklahoma Baptist University has shown that glowing passion in two areas, teaching and outreach.  Doug Watson earned his B.A. from Baylor University in 1969, his M.A. from West Texas State University in 1972, and his Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University in 1980.   He was hired as Assistant Professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University in 1980.  There he helped to improve the English curriculum, helped to create the University’s Honors Program in 1992 and was its director until 2003.  He earned the University’s highest faculty award in 1993, the Outstanding Teacher Award.  He was also the coordinator of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Scholars series for twenty-one years, and in 1988-89 was a Fulbright Professor of American literature in Nigeria.  Besides his enormous contributions to collegiate instruction at OBU, he has made great cultural contributions to life in the Great Plains by his decades-long involvement in outreach programs, particularly the “Let’s Talk About It” series of the Oklahoma Humanities Council (50 to 70 engagements in Oklahoma libraries) and his characterizations of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Stephen Crane, and especially Will Rogers in Chautauqua programs.  His performances since 1991 has been staggering; he has performed over 800 times in Kansas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Washington, D. C., and given 600 portrayals of Will Rogers alone.  By his outreach activities and his enhancement of undergraduate academic life at Oklahoma Baptist University, Doug Watson has given Oklahoma national recognition and the state’s people a stronger appreciation of their cultural heritage.  The Higher Education Heritage Society proudly inducts Doug Watson into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.