John Gritts Receives Honorary Doctorate

May 19th, 2015 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

Autry Museum CEO Rick West, Former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chad Smith, Cherokee Nation Council member Cara Cowan Watts were on hand to bestow an honorary doctorate degree on American Indian education veteran John Gritts.

John Gritts (Cherokee Nation), a longtime veteran of American Indian education and educational affairs, received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bacone College this May. Several dignitaries and high level college officials were on hand to honor Gritts at the ceremony, which was held at the Muskogee Civic Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Dr. Gritts is a longtime advocate of American Indian education. He started his career at Black Hills State University in the Upward Bound Program and went on to work positions in Student Support Services, the university’s Center of Indian Studies, and in the Financial Aid Office, where he served as director for 18 years. Later he joined the American Indian College Fund, working on behalf of tribal colleges. For the last seven years Gritts has worked as a program analyst for the Minority Serving and Small Under-Resources Schools Division, Federal Student Aid, in the U.S. Department of Education.

Bacone College’s honor is just one of many that Gritts has received during his years of service to Indian Country. He has received the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Leadership Award, the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Hall of Fame Award, Black Hills State University’s Outstanding Staff Award, and he has been recognized as the National Indian Education Association’s Indian Elder of the Year for his service in Native American education.

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