Distinguished Grad Named Seminole State President Lana Reynolds

By Josh Watson

Lana Reynolds (81) has lived and worked near Seminole, Oklahoma, for most of her life. 

However, the four years she spent at Oklahoma Christian gave her the foundation to become one of the state’s premier leaders in higher education. 

At Homecoming, OC will honor her as one of our Distinguished Alumni for 2017.

Reynolds grew up in Little, Oklahoma, where her family ran a grocery store. Reynolds thought she would follow her siblings to a state college. 

But a young OC graduate started preaching for the Little Church of Christ when Reynolds was in high school.

“Phil Sanders (74) took our youth group to visit OC a few times, and he just really molded my thinking about needing to go to a Christian college,” Lana said.

She found her calling at Oklahoma Christian, majoring in English and minoring in journalism.

“I loved journalism and studying under Lindy (Scobey 69) Adams,” Lana said. “It was great to learn about it in a Christian environment. I felt very prepared to enter the workforce and start graduate school.”

She spent many late nights working on the Talon newspaper with other students like Linda (North 81) Parker and Tom Norton (81).

“The Talon made college fun,” Lana said. “It was interesting, and I had a great understanding of what was happening at Oklahoma Christian.”

Not too long after graduating, she worked at the Christian Chronicle with mentors Howard Norton and Bailey McBride (54), then made her way back to Little to help her family run and then sell the grocery store. 

She started master’s classes at the University of Oklahoma and started teaching and working in public relations at nearby Seminole State College.

“I had not realized how great it was to do PR for a college,” she said. “I saw how lives were changed and how great our product was. I loved advocating for it.”

That passion soon became evident to those who worked with her, and Lana was regularly promoted to higher executive positions in her 30 years at Seminole State. 

In July, she began serving the college as its highest-ranking executive. Reynolds is just the fourth president in the college’s history, and she is the first female to serve in that role.

“Because of my position, people are always watching, and I want to do my best as a Christian,” Lana said. “My faith is something I always go back to when judging decisions. One lesson I learned at OC was to be open to new opportunities and to take them.”

Lana is on the advisory board for the University of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, and she has served on numerous leadership boards in Seminole and across the state.

“Lana was a young woman of intelligence, focus, and integrity who possessed great poise and wisdom beyond her years,” Adams said. “I know Seminole State will be blessed by Lana’s quality and informed leadership in every way.” 

McBride is another former professor who says Lana’s many successes are consistent with the kind of student she was at OC.

“She was more mature as a freshman than most people are at 30,” McBride said. “She never considered any task too lowly for her. And she was the kind of editor who turned a pig’s ear into a silk purse. She will be a wonderful college president.”

 


Fall 2017

View more stories from the Fall 2017 issue of Vision magazine.