Midland College – The First 50 Years - Dr. Al G. Langford, MC President, 1969-1981

Midland College – The First 50 Years - Dr. Al G. Langford, MC President, 1969-1981November 16, 2022

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Pictured form left to right:  Dr. Al G. Langford, Vera & Howard Hodge and Reagan Legg

In 1969, Midland College was the Midland campus of Odessa College under the Permian Junior College District.  Dr. Al G. Langford came to Midland in June 1969 as dean of Midland College.  He leased a small building near Midland Drive and Andrews Highway for college offices.

“We had no furniture, no paper, no policy,” Langford said in an interview published in Midland College:  The First 25 Years.  “I hired four faculty members, one administrator and one secretary.  We made up the first master schedule.”

The small staff worked 14- to 16-hour days preparing for the opening semester.  The four faculty members, Sam Turner, Fannie Reeves, Raymond Yell and Jack Scannell, all shared one small office.  The expected 200 students turned out to be 660, which according to Langford, definitely showed the need for a Midland campus.

In October 1972, the Texas legislature allowed Midland College to withdraw from the Permian Junior College District, and In December 1972, Midland voters approved the withdrawal and agreed to an ad valorem taxation system to support the Midland Junior College District.  In October 1973, Midland College broke ground on a 114-acre site near the intersection of Wadley and Garfield for the first four campus buildings:  Administration, Science-Faculty, Occupational Technology and Maintenance.  In 1975, the buildings opened for classes.

During Langford’s career as MC president, Midland College grew from 660 students to almost 3,000 students.  Lance Langford, Dr. Langford’s son, said that Midland College was one of his father’s proudest accomplishments.  The Al G. Langford Chaparral Center serves as a monument to his service.

In 1973, Dr. Langford wrote, “Midland College, like all worthwhile enterprises, is the result of a dream and the product of dedicated efforts to overcome obstacles.  Midland College is a ‘community college’ in the finest sense of the term.  The community has given us solid support.  From the beginning, residents showed an above-normal dedication to the college, and they gave unselfishly of their time and talent to its development.”

Langford said it took him a year to make the decision to finally leave Midland College.  He had spent more than 12 years developing the college.

“I had invested in the oil business through the years and had done fairly well,” he said in a 1996 interview.  “So, I went to work at Henry Petroleum and earned my place in the oil business.”

Al Langford, the “father of Midland College” passed away in 2010.

Dr. Al G. Langford’s tenure as the first president of Midland College characterized the growth of the Midland community and the drive to secure educational opportunities and resources for encouraging that growth.


Pictured form left to right:  Dr. Al G. Langford, Vera & Howard Hodge and Reagan Legg

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