The Bacone College Board of Trustees will confer an honorary doctorate of humane letters on former Bacone trustee Archie Mason during its spring 2022 commencement. Mason will also serve as the commencement speaker on Saturday, May 14.
“We are very honored and truly blessed to have Archie Mason as this year’s honorary doctorate recipient and commencement speaker,” said Dr. Nicky Michael, interim president in a news release. “He embodies the resiliency of our tribal cultures as well as strength in service to our people. Mr. Mason’s traditional knowledge fulfills the criteria of an elder, and we wish to honor that knowledge with the doctorate of humane letters.”
Mason is a member of the Osage and Cherokee nations, former Osage Nation Congressman, retired educator and the Grayhorse District Head Committeeman.
Mason holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Education from Northeastern State University and has completed post-graduate studies at the University of Tulsa. He is currently the executive minister of Tulsa’s All Tribes Indian Baptist Church and has been an “Ambassador of Good Will” for Oklahoma and the city of Tulsa, traveling internationally.
Mason spent 30 years as an educator for Tulsa Public Schools, first as a classroom teacher, then a certified counselor and Title IX and Johnson O’Malley Indian Education director. He continued in education as an adjunct professor in the Humanities Department at Rogers State University.
From the education field he entered the political arena. He served on the Osage Nation’s 1st Congress in 2006 and subsequently served the next 14 years. He also holds the distinguishment of being the Nation’s first Congressional Speaker.
Mason is a 20-year member of the U.S. Selective Service System. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and subsequently appointed by President Barack Obama to the Oklahoma Selective Services System district appeals board. Mason is involved in numerous organizations including Rotary International, Oklahoma Indian Baptist Association, Phi Delta Kappa and American Indian Children with Disabilities. He is also active with Sigma Tau Gamma, NSU Alumni Association and the National Association of Campus Ministries.
Mason has long advocated for and continues to support both Osage and Cherokee culture, language, history, life, values, customs, rituals and traditions.
Mason has traveled the world with his performance group, “The Bear Sky Dancers,” appearing in the movie, “Stormy Monday” starring Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones and Sting, as well as performing in festivals from England to Singapore. In 1994, he participated in the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Mason served on the Tulsa City County Library’s American Indian Resource Center’s Advisory Committee from 2000-2020. There from the inception of the AIRC, his guidance was instrumental in helping develop library programming that was relevant and educational.
He was recently honored with the 2022 American Indian Circle of Honor Award sponsored by The Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation, Tulsa Library Trust and TCCL’s American Indian Resource Center.
Spring 2022 commencement begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in the college’s Memorial Chapel.