Montana State University

MSU’s Mann recognized by Smith College

March 23, 2017 -- MSU News Service

Henrietta Mann, MSU professor emeritus of Native American Studies and founding recipient of the MSU Endowed Chair in Native American Studies, will receive an honorary degree from Smith College at commencement ceremonies in May. Photo by SouthWind Photography, courtesy of Henrietta Mann.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

Henrietta Mann, Montana State University professor emeritus of Native American Studies, will receive an honorary degree from Smith College during commencement ceremonies in May, the college has announced.

Mann will receive the honorary degree with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who will also deliver the commencement address. Others among the five recipients are Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, Erin O’Shea, president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Clare Higgins, executive director at Community Action.

The founding recipient of the Katz Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at MSU, Mann is  professor emeritus of Native American Studies and remains a founding and active member of MSU’s Council of Elders. She served until recently as a special adviser to MSU Presidents Waded Cruzado and Geoffrey Gamble.

Mann left MSU full time in 2008 to become the founding president of the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribal College. The school was located on the campus of Mann’s alma mater, Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. The fledgling college was closed, a victim to the recent recession, said Mann, an enrolled member of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. Mann remains active in tribal activities.

An active scholar, Mann recently wrote the foreword to a scholarly anthology on the blood quantum issue that will be published in May. The American Indian blood quantum is the percentage of tribal blood required to be an enrolled member of an American Indian tribe. The blood quantum varies from tribe to tribe, Mann said, and is often a sensitive issue. Additionally, she was recently inducted into the National Academy of Education, the first of two American Indians ever to be elected for induction into the academy.

Mann served for nine years on the board of trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian, and currently serves on the boards of the Native Lands Institute and the Seventh Generation Fund. Mann holds a B.A. from Southwestern University Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University. She earned her Ph.D. degree in American studies at the University of New Mexico.

Carol Schmidt (406) 994-1966,