Carlton Ross Hume
Graduate education at the University of Oklahoma began in 1899 with the return of one of the school’s first degree recipients, Carlton Ross Hume. Born in 1878, Hume moved to Anadarko, Oklahoma with his family on December 31, 1890. He enrolled at the University of Oklahoma in 1894. *
While at the university, Hume set many precedents that helped establish the culture of the university. He played in the first football game in 1895 -- with OU ignominiously losing to Oklahoma City High School by the score of 34-0. The next year, he helped establish OU’s winning tradition, quarterbacking the team to its first victory, a 12-0 defeat of Norman High School. The victorious Hume retired to the sidelines where he would serve as a linesman and a newspaper reporter for the rest of his college career. **
Hume also served as the scorekeeper for the first baseball games. In addition to writing for the Norman Transcript, Hume was the exchange editor for the school newspaper, The University Umpire. He sang bass in the Big Four Quartet, the first male quartet at the school; played in the first drama production, “Queen Esther”; was a charter member of Eta Kappa Nu, OU’s first social fraternity; and was a member of the first glee club, traveling with the group on its first state-wide tour. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 1898, Hume would return the next year to begin work towards a master’s degree. While pursuing this degree, he co-founded the OU Alumni Association with the class of 1899: Lawrence W. Cole, Jesse L. Hefley, and Roscoe C. Helvie.
Future Pulitzer Prize winner Vernon Louis Parrington oversaw Hume’s work towards his graduate degree. Hume had already worked with Parrington on The Umpire, the football team, and numerous other activities. Parrington and Hume set the initial standard for graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma. Due to the small number of students and faculty, Hume worked closely with Parrington, who taught all of the graduate courses in English.
After receiving his master’s degree in 1900, Hume left for Kansas where he would go on to receive a law degree from Kansas University in 1904. In 1907 he married Miss Verne Gossard. The couple had three children, each of whom would attend OU, with two also earning advanced degrees in law. Hume worked first as a lawyer and then as a judge in Anadarko. A founding member of both his town and his university, Hume worked doggedly to preserve the history of both, writing numerous articles for school publications and local newspapers.
* Levy, 100.
** Carlton Ross Hume, “Football Myths,” Sooner Magazine, 9 2 (1929)