Tulsa Community College Names T.W. Shannon as 2017 Commencement Speaker

April 17, 2017
Former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives T.W. Shannon will deliver the keynote address at the 47th annual Tulsa Community College Commencement Ceremony. Shannon was the first Chickasaw and first African-American to become Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2013 and the youngest at the age of 34.

TCC’s Commencement Ceremony is 7 p.m. on Friday, May 5 at the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University, 7777 South Lewis in Tulsa.

Shannon returns to Oklahoma after spending this spring semester teaching at Harvard’s Institute of Politics as a spring 2017 resident fellow. He shared his experience in politics and public service and explored important public issues with the students and the other Institute of Politics’ fellows. Newsmax named Shannon one of the 50 most influential African-American republicans in February 2017.

“T.W. Shannon will inspire our students when they hear how he broke barriers with his election as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives,” TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. said. “I believe that will be a powerful message for our TCC graduates, many of whom will be first in their families to achieve this educational milestone, and like our speaker, they have the potential to make their TCC experience the foundation for meaningful contributions in our community.”

Shannon served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and stepped down as the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives to run for the Republican nomination to succeed U.S. Senator Tom Coburn. He was named a “Rising Star” by the Republican National Committee and is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

Shannon earned a bachelor of arts in communications from Cameron University and holds a juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University Law School. He worked as a field representative for former Congressman J.C. Watts and Congressman Tom Cole. Fresh out of law school, he served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Chickasaw Nation, overseeing ten thousand plus employees for his tribe, which is one of the most prosperous Native American tribes in the country.

Shannon is married to Devon, his college sweetheart, and they have two children, Audrey Grace and T.W. II.