DURANT, Okla. (KTEN)—Southeastern Oklahoma State University is honoring a historic female educator throughout October.

Kate Zaneis made history as the first female president of a state university in the nation when she became president of SOSU in 1935. 

"She served as president for two years, from 1935 to 1937," SOSU president Dr. Thomas Newsom said. "She was appointed by the governor to be president at Southeastern—at that time, governors had appointment powers for higher institutions."

On Nov. 1, Zaneis will be inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.

"I noticed that she wasn't on that list of inductees for the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, so we put together a group here on campus and we nominated her," Newsom said. "The nominee committee justly elected her to be inducted into that hall of fame."

Though her tenure at SOSU was short, she oversaw a 33% increase in enrollment, funded student facilities, and organized a visit from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She was even involved in the organization of the New York World's Fair in 1939. She died in 1973 at the age of 86.

An exhibit filled with memorabilia from her term as president is on display at SOSU's Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library. The items were donated by Kate Zaneis School in Wilson, OK.

"I'm just proud that Southeastern can say that we were the first public institution in the United States of America to have a female president," Newsom said. "I think she's getting her due in terms of getting inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame."

The display will remain in the library through the month of October and into her inauguration date.