More than 100 years ago, on the windswept plains of Oklahoma Territory, veterinary medicine professor Dr. L.L. Lewis assembled a group of Oklahoma A&M students to participate in the first territorial Track and Field Meet.
Held on May 4, 1900, the event included Alva Normal College, Central Normal of Edmond, Kingfisher College and the University of Oklahoma, along with OAMC. The prize of the tournament was a silver cup donated by a local jeweler named Douglas. To everyone's surprise, A&M won the meet and returned to Stillwater with the traveling trophy.
In 1901, A&M won again, and a third consecutive win would mean the Douglas Cup was theirs to keep. The meet was held on May 23, 1902, and at the end of the day, the Aggies had amassed the most points. The team from Norman filed a protest on the grounds that the pole vault competition had been completed due to darkness, but their protest was overruled. The Douglas Cup belonged to Oklahoma A&M.
The next day, the Sooners held their own vault competition and declared themselves the winner. Several weeks later, the Douglas Cup was missing from its place in a glass case in the chemistry lab.
Students recalled seeing some unfamiliar boys around campus, and students from OU were immediately suspected. A group of A&M students made a surprise trip to Norman and soon returned with the Douglas Cup, reportedly burying it under Old Central for safekeeping.
Ten years later, when excavation was being done for Gundersen Hall, the trophy was found. Though dented from and tarnished from its past, the Douglas Cup was given a place of honor on campus.
The Douglas Cup was the first of several trophies that represented the rivalry
between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma in what came to
be known as the Bedlam
Series. Other trophies that have been a part of the Bedlam rivalry
include the original Old Central Bell Clapper, a duplicate of the Bell Clapper,
the Bedlam Bell crystal trophy and the current Bedlam Cup.
The Douglas Cup now resides in Heritage Hall, a proud symbol of the tradition that is Oklahoma State University.