Chickasaw Hall of Fame set for April 23 in Norman
NORMAN, Okla. – Governor Bill Anoatubby and other dignitaries will gather April 23 when five Chickasaw citizens are inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. Induction is the highest honor bestowed on Chickasaw citizens.
This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. The Embassy Suites in Norman will host this year’s event. Located at 2501 Conference Center Drive.
The highlight of the April 23 ceremony will be induction of five Chickasaws into the hall of fame. Three nominees are living and represent outstanding achievement in art, business and science. Two Chickasaws will be honored posthumously for their service and dedication to the Chickasaw Nation.
Living honorees include Brenda Kingery, a nationally and internationally renowned artist and champion of women’s empowerment; Thomas Love, chief executive officer of the family-owned Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, with more than 480 stores nationwide; and Dr. Jonathan Trent, whose scientific breakthroughs in fighting and curing cancer through genetic “target therapies” has won awards and is being employed to fight cancers worldwide.
Two Chickasaws will be inducted posthumously. Reford Bond (1877-1954) served on the Chickasaw Nation legal team, was a longtime member of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and served on the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Hiawatha Estes (1918-2003) was a nationally recognized home architect, World War II veteran and proponent of more than 75 university scholarships to advance the educational opportunities of music students at the University of Oklahoma. He was awarded the OU Regents Alumni Award in 2002 for outstanding service and contributions to the university. A courtyard at OU’s Catlett Music Center named in Mr. Estes’ honor was landscaped with his assistance to provide a quiet place for students.
This year’s celebration will feature T.W. Shannon as master of ceremonies. Mr. Shannon is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and president of Bank2, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chickasaw Banc Holding Company. Bank2 provides more home loans to Native Americans than any other Oklahoma bank.
Mr. Shannon was the first Native and African-American to serve as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, taking the gavel in January 2013. He was elected to the state Legislature from Lawton’s District 62 in 2006. He also became the youngest speaker of the house at age 34.
Mr. Shannon and his wife, Devon, operated a Lawton publ ic relations firm prior to his assignment at Bank2.
Hall of Fame entertainment will be provided by the Oklahoma Strings Quartet, founded in 1974. The quartet is comprised of four classically trained musicians performing on two violins, viola and cello. The quartet’s repertoire includes such classical pieces as “Pachelbel’s Canon” and Bach’s “Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desire.”
The group does not limit itself to classics. It also performs contemporary favorites such as Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind” and the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”
The quartet plays private parties, wedding and other functions, in addition to public performances such as the Chickasaw Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
The Hall of Fame ceremony is open to the public at no cost. However, reservations are required.
Reservations will be accepted through April 5 by calling Chickasaw Nation Special Events at (580) 332-1165 or email reservations to Randi.Payne@Chickasaw.net.
The ceremony will stream live from the Chickasaw Hall of Fame website at HOF.Chickasaw.net and on Facebook Live at Facebook.com/TheChickasawNation. The livestream will be available for viewing on all devices. For more information, visit HOF.Chickasaw.net.