September 10, 2010
Al G. Langford
Dr. Al G. Langford, founding president of Midland College, passed away on September 10, 2010, at the age of 83.
Dr. Langford was born July 23, 1927, in Goldthwaite, Texas, to Margaret and Ernest Langford. He graduated from Brownwood High School and then attended Howard Payne University (HPU) where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education. During his college career, he was named to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He was a 4-year football and basketball letterman for the HPU Yellow Jackets and was selected to the state All-Conference team as a quarterback for three consecutive years. After college, Al played professional football on the Tiger Cat professional team in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Langford was drafted into the army, serving two years (1950-52) in the artillery branch before being transferred to the National Guard for five years. He returned from the armed services to enroll once again at HPU and earn his Master of Education degree. Al married Nancy Jane Wade (also an HPU graduate) on November 23, 1955. Langford served in Texas public schools as administrator, math instructor, and football coach from 1953 to 1968.
In 1969, Al Langford received his Doctorate of Education from Texas Tech University and then came to the Permian Basin as dean of the Midland Campus of the Permian Basin Junior College District. In 1972, after the Texas House of Representatives voted approval for the establishment of an independent Midland College district, Dr. Langford was elected president.
During his career as MC President, Midland College grew from 660 students taking evening classes at Robert E. Lee High School in 1972, to almost 3,000 students taking day and evening classes at the current MC campus location in 1981. An excerpt from a 1972 Midland Reporter-Telegram editorial reads, "Dr. Langford has been president of MC since its inception, and no one has worked harder for the school and its development." 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.
Al retired from the MC Presidency in 1981, and entered the oil and gas business. He initially began his work with Henry Petroleum where he put together package deals in the industry. Later, he was president and founder of Al G. Langford Investments Co. and Luxe Energy Corp. During his lengthy career, he believed strongly in community service. He served regularly in many community service groups. Al loved playing with his five grandchildren. He always enjoyed fishing with his sons, brothers and nephews each year in Colorado, and also enjoyed being on the golf course and bird hunting with his buddies. Dr. Langford is survived by his wife, Nancy J. Langford. The couple had 3 children who also survive him. They are Al G. Langford Jr. of Houston; Lance and wife, Brenda, of Austin; and Lee Ann Fisher, and her husband, Lynn, of Andrews. In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren Langford is also survived by brothers James Langford and wife, Jayne, of Abilene; Robert and wife, Nan, of Rockport; and sister Nell Bishop and husband, Bill, of Brownwood; plus numerous nieces and nephews.
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."
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. Midland College joins with the entire Midland community in celebrating the life of the "Father of Midland College."
Donations may be made to the Dr. Al G. Langford Athletic Endowment Fund, through the Midland College Foundation, 3600 North Garfield Street, Midland, Texas, 79705. You may call the Foundation office at (432) 685-4526 for more information. If you wish to make an online gift in his memory, visit Give a Gift, or you may mail your donation to:
MIDLAND COLLEGE FOUNDATION, INC.
3600 N. GARFIELD · MIDLAND, TX 79705