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.