The Oklahoma Military Academy had seen its enrollment fall during the ‘40s, as many patriotic young men chose to enlist rather than spend years stateside in a military school.
The number of new students continued to slide after the war as well, with veterans continuing their educations via the G.I. Bill understandably not eager to jump back into a military way of life at a school like OMA.
Leadership changed again in the late ‘40s, when a native Oklahoman, Col. Homer M. Ledbetter, took the helm of the school.
A man who knew the value of publicity, he immediately embarked upon a whirl of speaking engagements and newspaper interviews on behalf of the school. And it worked.
Then, in 1953, the Department of the Army ruled that junior colleges could no longer offer senior R.O.T.C. programs.
Because OMA still offered four years of high school and only two years of college, it was forced to return to a junior R.O.T.C. program, much like the one on its campus three decades earlier.
It was at this time that talk first began about changing OMA into a high school, a co-educational junior college, or a four-year institution.