December 1, 2021
From All of Us -- to All of You
Click here to watch the Pollards' holiday greeting video, recorded in the OUBN studios, at the Leroy & Lois Peters Media Center.
Giving with a Grateful Heart
At a time when so many families and individuals have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, job and food insecurity, Oakwood University continues its tradition of being a beacon of light and a pillar of hope in the community where it has resided for 125 years.
Our students were looking forward to going home at the end of the Fall 2021 semester, but before doing so, they wanted to do their part to provide to those in need. In partnership with the Food Bank of North Alabama, Oakwood University’s Community Health Action Center Food Pantry hosted the Thanksgiving Food Basket Giveaway, with the help of Miss UNCF Oakwood University, and the Student Health Ambassadors. This activity was supported, in part, by a grant from The Versacare Foundation.
Students spent three days procuring, sorting, and packing 100 food baskets for delivery to 100 community residents. Each basket was overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, a protein, and other goods, providing healthy meals to those most affected by food insecurity. Recipients of the Thanksgiving Food Basket included low-income families, single-parent households with three or more children, and senior citizens.
Alongside the many students who volunteered to assist with distribution was a community member who was inspired to help. We also had the spiritual support of our theology students, who created a space to offer prayer with and for individuals as they passed through the line. Persons from each household left with a heart of gratitude and expressed the warmth they felt for the blessings they received. 

“We are especially grateful to The Versacare Foundation for their $50,000 gift toward improving the lives of our Oakwood communities,” said Dr. Prudence Pollard, who wrote the grant request to Versacare in 2020. “They continue to deliver needed service where it is needed most.”
As we look toward a new year with the hope of continued blessings, Oakwood University will continue to lead with God First, and always be of service to God and humanity. “We thank God for the support of philanthropic organizations like Versacare,” said President Leslie Pollard. “For years we at Oakwood have admired the work of this group of philanthropists. Now that we are in partnership with them, we will be able to do much more in engaging good for our communities. They represent what we want our students at Oakwood to do and become.”
Pastoral, Evangelism & Leadership Conference
Pastors, chaplains, administrators, Bible workers and church leaders are making their way to the campus of Oakwood University for the 2021 Pastoral, Evangelism and Leadership Conference (PELC), December 5-8. For over 40 years, PELC has provided inspiration, world-class training, and continuing education for pastors and church leaders. It is the largest and longest running conference of its kind in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with sometimes as many as 1500 leaders in attendance. This year, because of the pandemic, PELC 2021 will be offered both in person at the Oakwood University Church, and online -- at -- for those who cannot attend in-person.
Oakwoodites Engage with Community at
One Table Huntsville
Just before Thanksgiving, on Monday, November 22, the Village of Promise hosted One Table Huntsville, a free city-wide Thanksgiving meal, at Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville. Their goal was to bring people together from all walks of life across the city and give thanks together, creating unity and celebrating diversity.
Miriam Battles, left, receives instructions from volunteer team.
Dawna Baker enjoys the sunshine.
Cheri Wilson, right, Executive Director of University Advancement, engages in conversation with a new friend.
This year, 3,000 meals were served by volunteers, which included a fun-loving team from Oakwood's Office of University Advancement: (l-r) Audree Johnson, Kashiri Favors, Cheryl Mitchell and Dianne Cheddar. Other Oakwood team members included: Miriam Battles, Dammeon Malone, Emile Parker, Kathleen Roberts, Cheri Wilson
The Village of Promise Family Advancement Center was founded to address the needs of children and families in distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods. Its mission is to advance families out of the cycle of poverty using a multi-generational approach. Together, with our community partners and investors, we provide educational programs, sustainable tools and opportunities that empower children and their families to advance out of poverty.
Each Village of Promise family develops an “individualized family advancement plan” that addresses the following four key areas:

  • Education
  • Social and Emotional Growth
  • Physical Health & Wellness
  • Professional Development

We provide programs and a support system that empowers each family as they strive to reach their goals, advance out of poverty and give back to the Huntsville community. MORE
Photographer Jeff White took the picture (below) of the volunteers before they got away.
Oakwood Faculty Among Appointees Named by Governor
Dr. Ramona L. Hyman
Dept. of English & Foreign Languages
Dr. Shalunda Allen-Sherrod
Associate Professor, and
Chair of the Department of Social Work 
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently announced the latest round of appointments to various state boards and commissions. These appointments are effective immediately.
Among the five appointees to the State Council on the Arts is Oakwood University Professor of English, Ramona L. Hyman, Ph.D. Some of the goals of the State Council on the Arts are to:

  • Support excellence and professionalism in the arts.
  • Provide opportunities for all Alabamians to experience the arts.
  • Promote diverse cultural artistic expressions.

Another Oakwood faculty member, Shaunda Allen-Sherrod, DSW, LICSW, PIP, has been appointed to serve on the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners Board for a three-year term. The ASBSWE exists to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of Alabama against unauthorized, unqualified, and improper practice of social work through a proper regulatory authority.
Help Oakwood University Celebrate 125 Years
To celebrate Oakwood’s 125 years, we are asking our alumni and friends to partner with us to continue to provide future generations with quality Christian education. We want the next 125 years, God willing, to be better than the first! Oakwood started as an industrial school with 16 students, and is now a university with thousands of graduates. We are so proud of the growth of this school that we love! We are asking that you help us reach our goal of $125,000 for 125 years by December 31st!! Visit to support!

If you missed giving to Oakwood on Founders Day or #GivingTuesday, you may give online at and designate your gift to the area of support that you wish or mail your envelope to 7000 Adventist Blvd., NW, Huntsville, AL 35896. For your convenience, a self-addressed envelope is available in the latest copy of the Oakwood Magazine, or in the direct mailer sent last month. If you would like to receive the Oakwood Magazine regularly, please share your address with us at

Visit to support!
Alumni News
It has been 25 years since the release of the highly successful, blockbuster movie, “The Preacher’s Wife,” starring Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington. In this brief video, Oakwood alumnus, multiple Grammy award winner, producer, songwriter, and arranger extraordinaire, Mervyn E. Warren, details his journey in becoming involved with the movie and arranging the soundtrack. 
Oakwood biology graduate, Dr. Daniel Bedney, is the team physician for the NBA’s Orlando Magic. He’s a member of an Oakwood Legacy family, and shares a powerful and transparent testimony of how God will bless your persistence and perseverance. “Failure is the prequel to success. Keep pushing!” he concluded. Congratulations to Dr. Bedney, and continued blessings on him as he represents his God, his family, and his Oakwood. 
Reminders & Opportunities
For all Oakwood Alumni and Friends in the area of Apopka, Florida, who like to eat at CHIPOTLE, on December 13, 2021, 5:00-9:00 pm, you can support our Miss UNCF of Oakwood Briana Brooks to raise her goal of $50,000 for student scholarships to help students like her.

Thirty-three percent (33%) of sales during this time will go toward her fundraising efforts. Come on Florida Oakwood Alumni!!! If you live near this Chipotle in Apopka, join in the Oakwood spirit and energy to support our very own. Simply show this flyer, or if ordering online use code J3EGWCD, and she will get a percentage of those sales as well.

Briana's platform is "We all need someone!" And we all need you to support our Miss UNCF. Even if you're not in the vicinity of Apopka, Florida, and want to support Briana's campaign to increase scholarships and win the prestigious National Miss UNCF pageant, CLICK HERE AND GIVE TODAY.
The Combined Federal Campaign Gives Federal Employees Opportunity to Support Oakwood University
Are you a federal employee or retiree, or know someone who is?
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) promotes and supports philanthropy and provides a way for federal employees to improve the quality and life for all. We invite you to support Oakwood University with your giving through the CFC!
This year we are highlighting the following causes for which Oakwood provides services:

  • Community Improvement
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Education

To contribute, visit Oakwood University's CFC code is 96964.

If you have any questions, contact Kashiri Favors at or (256)-726-7216.
Thursday @ 8:30 a.m. CDT

Join us at 8:30 a.m. (Central Daylight Time) Thursdays on Morning Joy with Dawna Baker, for a special edition of "Inside Oakwood with Dr. Leslie Pollard." Programs are broadcast on Facebook Live, and you can also listen via our live stream at Click the links below to listen to previous episodes:

"Blessings and Breakthroughs" Available Electronically
President Leslie Pollard presented the institution's annual report at the North American Division year end meetings on November 4, 2021. View a recorded version of his report, beginning at the 52:21 mark, on YouTube, or you can also read a digital version of the report by clicking here.
Call for Submissions: Young Women's Devotional
The Anna Knight Women's Leadership Center & Museum is excited to announce the upcoming production of the 2022 Young Women’s Devotional. Sharing your story is important and we have compiled templates and guidelines to help you put your story in motion, to help, motivate, and encourage other young women. We encourage you to submit as many entries as you wish!

We want to encourage you to submit as many entries as you wish. We cannot do this without you!

Submit your story or your artistic expression today! If you have any questions, please contact Adrienne Reid at, or (256) 726-7245.
Leave a Legacy at "the Oaks"
Pave the way into the next 125 years of success by purchasing a personalized brick on the Legacy Walkway, that leads from Ford Hall and Peters Media Center to the rest of the campus.

The Legacy Walkway Brick Campaign provides an opportunity to leave a legacy and support campus improvement at the same time. Our Legacy Walkway features names of donors, loved ones, special remembrances, and favorite sayings. Bricks are a great opportunity to congratulate a graduate, celebrate an advanced 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 our mission – to transform the lives of our students.
Give back year-round to Oakwood University
while shopping online with AmazonSmile.
The AmazonSmile Foundation will send OU .5% of eligible purchases when you choose Oakwood University.
It's simple:

  • You can use your current Amazon account.
  • Just click
  • When prompted, select Oakwood University as your charitable organization, and then
  • Shop as you normally do.

Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.

Your Oakwood University family thanks you for all you continue to do for our dear Oakwood.  
Show yOUr Pride in Alabama!
Purchasing an Alabama “Oakwood University License Plate” is a simple way to contribute to scholarships for Oakwood students who are Alabama residents.

Request your Oakwood University collegiate plate when you normally register your car in Alabama so you don’t have to double pay.  Contact Debbe Millet in IMPR if you have any questions.
The mission of Oakwood University, a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution, is to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.

InsideOakwood is published by the Office of Integrated Marketing & Public Relations.

Editor: Debbe Millet
Photographer: Teymi Townsend
Graphic Designer: Ron J. Pride | (256) 726-7202