Former Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon will discuss the topic of transitional leadership, as Oklahoma Christian University’s Alpha Chi chapter hosts its annual President’s Forum lecture tonight on campus.
Each year Alpha Chi’s current president brings in a speaker from a field related to his or her major. Senior Cody Milner, this year’s Alpha Chi president, said something unique to Oklahoma Christian’s national honors society is that it takes students from all disciplines and all majors.
“This is a place for the exemplary students of any field,” Milner said. “We induct members who have at least junior hours standing and are in the top 10 percent in their class in terms of GPA. If you qualify for that, you will get an email from us, inviting you to join that way. It is really just a way to celebrate the academic achievements that have already happened, but also give a way for people to further that, particularly if they want to go to grad school.”
“In terms of conferences and publications, we actually just got back from a conference in Portland,” Milner said. “About a couple hundred people with many different majors presented there, and it was a lot of fun.”
Milner said he is thrilled to have this year’s speaker—who he regards as one of his political heroes—come to Oklahoma Christian’s campus.
“He is only forty and he has already had a really distinguished career here in Oklahoma,” Milner said. “He has served as the Chief Administration Officer for the Chickasaw Nation. He ran for the House of Representatives and was chosen as the speaker of the House. At the time, he was the youngest speaker of the House in the nation, as well as the first Native American speaker of the House in the nation. After that, he went on to become president of Bank 2, which is a new and growing online-based bank for the younger generation in Oklahoma City area.”
Milner said when it was his turn to select a speaker for the lecture as the Alpha Chi president, the choice seemed obvious to him.
“I have always loved T.W. Shannon since my freshman year of college—that was four years ago when I first met him,” Milner said. “He is native to Oklahoma. He is the kind of guy who is always been pro-Oklahoma. He has built Oklahoma up in terms of enriching the community, so for me, it was kind of a clear choice. He was the first person I thought of and I was really lucky that he agreed to come.”
According to Milner, this event is one that can be beneficial for anyone, and students of any major from any field of study should consider attending the lecture.
“T.W. has clearly shown a kind of demonstrated excellence in the fields of political science, economics and business, as well as general communication and leadership,” Milner said. “What he is talking about is how he succeeded in each one of those fields, rather than the specific policy that would interest someone like me—it is more of the skillset by which you go into your field and you succeed there, just in terms of interpersonal communication and leadership skills.”
Milner said these events are important to the Oklahoma Christian community, partially because they gives students real world experience in organizing events.
“At the same time, it also gives the chance to bring in people beyond academia,” Milner said. “It brings in a whole different perspective of the world that allows our students to get that secondary knowledge—the additional knowledge of what professors and people who are exemplary in their fields do in order to do that outside an academic setting.”
The President’s Forum lecture will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in Adams Recital Hall. It will be followed by a Q&A session.