At Oklahoma State University Dr. Clyde Kindell Honored for Service to Ethiopia

In this photo taken in the 1960s, Dr. Clyde Kindell, President of Alemaya College [now Haramaya University], hosts Emperor Haile Selassie at the agricultural school in Harar. (Courtesy photograph)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

April 12th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) – One of the oldest higher education institutions in Ethiopia, Haramaya University, which used to be called Alemaya College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, was established in collaboration with Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1954. And this month Dr. Clyde R. Kindell, the last American President of the university, will be honored for his service to Ethiopia.

In 1954, during his much publicized first state visit to the United States, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia “made a singular stop in his 7,000 mile tour of the country to thank the people of Oklahoma for assisting in modernizing agriculture and education in his nation,” wrote Theodore M. Vestal, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at OSU in an OPED article published in Tadias four years ago. “The Emperor was honored with a reception and dinner in Stillwater that was described as ‘the social event of the century’ in Oklahoma.”

Now, the late emperor’s grandson Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie will return the favor by presenting the award to Dr. Kindell at a recognition ceremony on April 17th in Wes Watkins Center at OSU campus. The event, which will be attended by former Congressman Wes Watkins, is being organized in cooperation with the School of Global Studies and Partnerships at Oklahoma State University.

Arriving in Ethiopia as a 31-year-old Dr. Kindell first served as the Director of Instruction and Research at the Jimma Agriculture Technical School for two years before taking the helm at Alemaya in Harar.

“I have fond memories of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people,” Dr. Kindell told Tadias in an interview published in 2013. “My daughter was born in Jimma.”

Dr. Kindell traveled to Ethiopia under Oklahoma State University’s Point Four agricultural program in the late 1950s.

“OSU’s involvement in the Point Four program in Ethiopia remains an important milestone in the university’s emergence as a truly global institution,” said Dr. Randy Kluver, Dean of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships. “The entire OSU Family greatly appreciates Dr. Kindell for his leadership.”

The press release added: “The event will also mark the 64th anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s first visit to Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1954. To date, the former emperor’s visit was the only one of a serving head of state to the OSU campus.”

Photos: Emperor Haile Selassie visiting Oklahoma in 1954:

Professor Ted Vestal notes: “Only one month before the U.S. Supreme Court had handed down its landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education, ending racial segregation in public schools. The Emperor and his entourage were honored at a racially integrated event in an officially segregated state. (Photos courtesy OSU)

Following next week’s ceremony there will be a public showing of the fourth documentary in the Point Four series, directed by Filmmaker and Producer Mel Tewahade.

Photos: Dr. Clyde Kindell Gives Emperor Haile Selassie Tour of Alemaya College

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