Class of 1984 Makes Donation to Capital Campaign

Oakwood University is pleased to announce a recent "naming gift" to the Building on the Past, Claiming the Future Campaign. This campaign has been set up to assist in the funding of three capital projects on the Oakwood University campus, Carter Hall, Ford Hall and the new Peters Media Center.  


The Oakwood University Class of 1984 has made a generous donation to the campaign in the amount of $10,000 to name a conference room in Ford Hall. This conference room is part of the renovation currently underway on the 1954 structure. "More and more we are seeing alumni stepping up to change the future for Oakwood," said Kisha Norris, executive director of Advancement and Development. "It's exciting to see the alumni take such an active role in fundraising for their alma mater."


Oakwood University administration, faculty, staff, and students would like to extend a big thank you to the Class of 1984 for their generous gift to further the mission of the University.


If you or someone you know would like to make a gift to the Building on the Past, Claiming the Future campaign, please feel free to contact the Office of Advancement and Development at (256) 726-7201 or

Departing to Serve in Silver Spring, Maryland 


 On the set of Real Family Talk: Rosemary  Cangy, Willie Oliver, Elaine Oliver, Angela  Taipe, and Sarina Goulding.

Sarina Goulding, '14, is doing a summer issue in the Family Ministries Department of the General Conference (GC) of Seventh-day Adventists. This Theology graduate (and vice president of her class) recently shared in an email some of her experience as an intern at the Church's World Headquarters:


"Sometimes opportunities for growth and immersion come when you least expect them. Working at the GC for the past few weeks has been an experience that I would not have known to pray for. I have had the opportunity to work with the Hope Channel crew on the set of  Real Family Talk hosted by Willie and Elaine Oliver my first day of work. Talk about not wasting time. I had a front row seat to all the behind the scenes work that goes into these productions that bless so many lives. I am so grateful for the privilege of being here. I am glad to represent Oakwood here in the office and later on throughout my ministry I will use the things I've learned over time. "Enter to Learn and Depart to Serve" is, was and will always be the aim. I've learned so much [at Oakwood] and now I get to serve. Fact of the matter is I will forever be a student and that means I will always grow. From the Oaks to the GC I am getting better every single day."


Note: Recent graduates, would you like to share Alumni news with us? Please send to

A Summer of Missions
This summer, the Office of Spiritual Life is hosting three mission trips:
Kenya (students) - June 10-July 3
Madagascar (faculty/staff) - June 21-July 7
Atlanta, Ga. (students) - July 10-26


Howard Weems, Ph.D., special assistant to president and senior chaplain, has a plan of spiritual development for faculty and staff. "Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to participate in missions. Their participation will improve discipleship skills and inspire faith-based instruction in the classroom," he said.


Chaplain Ronald Pollard, missions and campus ministries director, coordinates the student mission trips, and guides students through what he calls "a once in a lifetime opportunity." For many of the students going abroad, it will be the first time they will fly on a plane. Chaplain Pollard emphasizes the change in perspective a lot of students experience after returning home. "They come back understanding that they are privileged. They learn that it's [their lifestyle here at home] not an entitlement, it really is a privilege," he said.


George Johnson Jr., director of integrated marketing and public relations, is traveling with the group going to Kenya. He will be sending stories back as it relates to the group's experiences while in Mombasa, Kenya. Stay tuned to next week's insideOakwood for more information.

Oakwood University Launches Brick Campaign 
 The "Legacy Walkway" will connect Ford Hall  and the Peters Media Center.

The Oakwood University Brick Campaign provides an opportunity to leave a legacy and support campus improvement at the same time. The "Legacy Walkway" features names of donors, loved ones, special remembrances, and favorite sayings. Bricks are a great opportunity to congratulate a recent graduate, celebrate a degree or accomplishment, or honor your loved ones. Don't miss out on this opportunity to leave more than a memory at Oakwood University. You can leave your own legacy as we continue the Building on the Past Campaign (brick by brick).


Please visit Brick Pathway website to create your personalized brick.

Still Time to be Part of the "Blue & Gold Challenge" 


Join us in the Blue and Gold End-of-the-Year Challenge by making a gift to the Oakwood Annual Fund by midnight, June 30, 2014. Our goal is to increase the annual giving participation rate of our alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends.


Your participation at any level is valued, appreciated, and counted! Annual Fund donors will be listed on the OU Donor Roll in the Oakwood Magazine as a sign of our appreciation. The challenge has begun!


For your convenience, you may give online at, or you may send a check, payable to Oakwood University (Annual Fund), and mail it to the Office of Advancement and Development by midnight, June 30, 2014.


Your commitment, demonstrated through your tax deductible charitable gift, is important to our students, faculty and staff, and the advancement of "our dear Oakwood." 


Together, we can make a difference! Thank you for your generosity!

Faculty and Staff News

CFRE International has recertified 

Kisha Norris, executive director for Advancement and Development, as a Certified Fund Raising Executive. She is one of more than 5,300 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. "The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner," states Jim Caldarola, CFRE, immediate past chair of CFRE International. "As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE credential demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Kisha Norris to herself, the fundraising profession, and, the donors who are served," he said.

Alumni Notes 


Jermaine Jackson, '04, who has served Adventist Risk Management (ARM) since 2009, most recently as Controller, was elected to be Vice President/Chief Financial Officer for both Adventist Risk Management and Gencon Insurance Company of Vermont (GICV). Jackson will also serve as corporate Treasurer and have the Financial Services including accounting as his administrative assignment. In his new assignment, he will be working across the company, including with the Brazil office, to meet the overall financial needs of ARM and Gencon Insurance Company of Vermont.  


Tierza Hawley, '14, was just accepted to Peabody School of Music, Johns Hopkins University, for grad school.


Last week, Whitney Morrison, '12, was the featured "recitalist" at Huntsville's Nativity Anglican Church.


Brandie Sutton, '05, currently performing Clara in Princeton's "Porgy and Bess," just received the appointment for Porgy with the Mexico City Opera.


Note: Would you like to share Alumni news with us? Please send to

Pollard's Places



This week, I had the privilege of making a presentation to our 21 Oakwood University 4HIM missionaries to Kenya. Beginning yesterday (June 10), these 21 dedicated young people, who raised their own funds for the trip, will spend the next 3 weeks on short-term missions along with their four chaperones. Senior Associate Chaplain and Missions Director, Ron Pollard has been instrumental in spearheading the resurgence in international student missions since he arrived on campus in 2012. This trip to Kenya represents his 16th year of guiding young adults into missions. In a few weeks, faculty and staff members will be traveling to Madagascar, under the leadership of Senior Chaplain, Howard Weems, and a few weeks following, Chaplain Kim Pearson will be leading a team on national missions to Atlanta, Ga. Literature Evangelist Training Center Director Aisha Allsop has OU student teams of literature evangelists selling "truth-filled literature" as we say, in Bronx, Brooklyn, Tampa, Orlando, Camden, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Please pray for the safety of our faculty, staff, and students during our 2014 Summer of 4HIM missions.

OU Picture of the Week



Camp Meeting Preparation

For more than 100 years, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been conducting camp meetings. These convocations, held annually, are spiritual renewal gatherings for members of the church and their guests. Oakwood University's campus is the host venue for South Central Conference's annual camp meeting. This year's camp meeting, themed "We Are Blessed" will take place June 13-21. (Photo by George Johnson Jr.)

About Oakwood 


Oakwood University, a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution in Huntsville, Alabama, has as its mission to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.

In This Issue - 6/11/14
Class of 1984 Makes Donation to Capital Campaign
Departing to Serve in Silver Spring, Maryland
A Summer of Missions
Oakwood University Launches Brick Campaign
Still Time to be Part of the "Blue & Gold Challenge"
Faculty and Staff News
Alumni Notes
Pollard's Places
OU Picture of the Week
Calendar of Events




13-21   South Central
            Camp Meeting

 Click here to see the Spring  2014 issue of Oakwood  Magazine or visit
insideOakwood is published by the Office of Integrated Marketing and Public Relations
Editor: George Johnson Jr. | Managing Editor: Debbe Millet