Dear Langston University family,

After more than 30 years as a higher education professional, I am writing to announce my decision to conclude my career in education and retire from Langston University.

Please know that this is solely a personal decision, and it is my belief that the time is right for transition not only for me personally but for Langston University as well.

My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed the years spent at Langston University. My children have grown up on our campuses. In fact, my youngest son's middle name is Langston in honor of our great institution. We are blessed beyond measure to have been on this journey in service to our students and to the entire Langston University family.

I am grateful to have met many outstanding, talented students over the last decade. I thank the faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters for their love of our great university. I have been fortunate to work with administrative teams committed to meeting the needs of our students. I am proud of what we have achieved collectively.

I want to express my appreciation to the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma A & M System for giving me the opportunity to lead Dear Langston for eleven wonderful years and for respecting my decision to retire. I am grateful for their support and collaboration through the years. Together, we have moved the University forward. 

I will continue to serve as president through the end of the Spring semester, which will complete my eleventh year at Dear Langston. I want to assure you that I am as dedicated now to Langston University as I was when I took office in 2012. I have confidence that the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma A&M will work diligently to identify the next president to continue our tradition of excellence. I will work with the Board on a succession plan, and I ask for your support in this time of transition.

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and have dreamt of building a legacy to leave for my five children and my grandson. Therefore, I have accepted an offer to become a Chick-fil-A franchise owner/operator. I feel strongly that the time is right to begin a new chapter in my life.

Some may not understand or appreciate my reasons, and I am at peace with that fact. I leave Langston University not with sadness, but with a profound sense of pride and accomplishment. The University is poised to grow and succeed for the next 126 years and beyond.

The opportunity to serve as Langston University's 16th President has been a privilege for which I will be forever grateful. My family and I are inextricably linked to Dear Langston. We will remain loyal donors and ardent champions in support of the impactful role Langston University will have for many years to come.

L’s Up High!


Kent J. Smith, Jr., Ph.D.


LUNAA Life Member #864

(405) 466-3201


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