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Memorial dedicated to Ellis Walker Woods revealed

Posted at 8:45 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 09:45:30-04

TULSA - After decades of planning and raising money, memorial in honor of Booker T. Washington’s founding principal was finally unveiled.

The celebration and memorial took place at OSU - Tulsa, in the same spot where the original school was built more than 100 years ago.

The idea for the memorial started at a backyard BBQ with former students of Ellis Walker Woods and other Booker T. alumni who wanted to honor the man who left so much to the community.

Woods served as principal at Booker T. Washington, the city's first segregated black high school, from 1913 to 1948.

It was said that he walked 500 miles from Tennessee to Oklahoma to answer the call for more black teachers.

Captola Dunn is one of the few remaining students of Woods still alive today and who also helped spearhead the plans for the memorial.

Dunn said Woods believed in his students and always pushed them to do more.

"I can say that he encouraged of course people to go to college," Dunn said. "He encouraged it so much that if you finished and you were college material, he would see to it that you got a scholarship to college."

Dunn said the memorial is shaped in a semi-circle to symbolize strength.

The strength that principal woods had and the strength he gave to his students as they ventured into the world.

The memorial will be looked after by OSU-Tulsa.

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