Chickasaw Nation Legislator Lisa Johnson-Billy to Speak at SSC Commencement

Seminole State College will hold its 90th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 5, for students completing coursework requirements for their degree programs. The graduation ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. inside the Raymond Harber Field House on campus.

Following the processional, Oklahoma State Representative Kevin Wallace (R-District 32) will offer the invocation. President Lana Reynolds will welcome guests and offer special comments.

This year’s commencement address will be delivered by Chickasaw Nation Tribal Legislature Chairperson Lisa Johnson-Billy. In 2004, Lisa was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives District 42, becoming the first Native American woman to serve in the House. She termed out in 2016 as the floor leader, only the second woman in Oklahoma’s history to serve in that position. While in office she created the Native American caucus and served as the Public Safety Appropriation Chair. In 2019 She was appointed the first cabinet secretary for Native American affairs in Oklahoma.

She and her husband Phillip, an Air Force veteran, have been married for 30 years and have three young adult children who each serve in the military.

Johnson-Billy completed her bachelor’s degree at Northeastern State University and her master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma.

Following the commencement address, Dr. Amanda Estey, Vice President for Academic Affairs, will present degree candidates, and President Reynolds will confer degrees.

Graduates of the SSC Nursing Program will complete their commencement activities with a special “Pinning Ceremony” inside the Enoch Kelly Haney Center’s Utterback Ballroom. The nursing ceremony is scheduled for 12 p.m.

SSC’s commencement ceremony will be live streamed this year. Those who will not be able to attend the ceremony in person can visit Seminole State College’s website,, to access the live footage on the day of the event. The live footage will also be playing inside the Jeff Johnston Fine Arts Center on campus. This will provide an additional location for guests to sit and enjoy the program if the Raymond Harber Field House reaches capacity.

Campus offices will be closed to the public on Friday morning, May 5, to allow staff time to prepare for commencement exercises. Prior to commencement and following the ceremony, the SSC Bookstore and The Flower Box will have pop-up shops set up outside of the E.T. Dunlap Student Union. Campus offices will reopen at 1:30 p.m.

For additional information regarding graduation activities, contact the Office of Admissions at 405-382-9230.