Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Dr. (Virginia) Katherine Rader

Teachers can greatly influence the lives of students, and few teachers exceeded Dr. Katherine Rader in stimulating excitement about intellectual pursuits and thinking critically and imaginatively. Dr. Rader was born in 1915 and earned the B.A., M.A. and then Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oklahoma while concentrating on English literature. The daughter of long-time OU librarian Jessie Lee Rader, she was employed at Northwestern State College as a reference librarian and later as a member of the English Department. She then was hired in 1944 to teach literature at Oklahoma Baptist University, the place where she spent the bulk of her career. Dr. Rader became famous at OBU for her teaching. Her classes were filled to capacity, and her students were always well prepared. Moreover, she actively sought intellectual outlets for her students and founded at OBU Alpha Lambda Delta (national honor society for freshmen women), Sigma Tau Delta (national honor society for English majors), and Mortar Board. In 1955 she became full professor, and in 1962 she received the OBU Professor of the Year Award. She also became a superior administrator: Chair of the English Department twice and also Chair of the Languages and Literature Division. Dr. Rader retried from OBU in 1967, then taught at the University of Central Oklahoma until 1980. During her career, she also taught briefly at Northeastern Oklahoma State and Southwestern Oklahoma State. She passed away in October 2005. Dr. Katherine Rader has enriched the lives of countless Oklahomans with her enthusiastic teaching and encouragement of students to think more deeply and acquire more knowledge. OHEHS recognizes her accomplishments and inducts her into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.