December 23, 2020
Oakwood University Ranks #4 in
Top 10 Smaller HBCUs for STEM Degrees
Oakwood University is consistently one of the top producers of African-Americans who attend medical school, and a top producer of students with degrees in math and biology. Courses in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics are taught in the Cooper Science Complex. The Hundred-Seven features the first and only searchable database of all academic programs offered by HBCUs.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) graduate 25% of African-Americans who earn degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees. This number also accounts for 46% of Black women who earned degrees in STEM disciplines between 1995 and 2004. Nearly 30% of black students who earn doctorates in STEM fields begin their studies at HBCUs. (source: UNCF) The Hundred-Seven is highlighting 10 liberal arts colleges that have produced the most Black graduates with bachelor's degrees in various STEM fields

The top HBCU producers of STEM graduates (bachelor's degrees) were determined by evaluating data published by Diverse Issues in Higher Education: Top 100 Degree Producers for 2016-2019. Schools who were in the Top 100 colleges in the nation when it comes to producing African-Americans with bachelors degrees in biological sciences, physical sciences, engineering (not engineering technology), math and other science fields were evaluated to determine which schools graduated the most black students in these areas in recent years.

OU 2020 All In Annual Fund & Scholarship Campaign
Oakwood University is extremely grateful to alumni and friends for nearly doubling Oakwood's #GivingTuesday goal! Because of the generosity of 75 donors, the historic total of $49,416 was raised in just 24 hours to advance the mission of Oakwood and invest in students!
"Words can't express how much we appreciate our donors for answering the call and exceeding the goal to help transform more lives of students for service to God and humanity," says President Leslie Pollard.

If you missed the giving opportunities offered throughout the year, there's still time before December 31 to make that last tax-deductible gift for 2020. We have truly been blessed by all of our donors in spite of the tumultuous challenges we have survived this year. Indeed, you have been a double blessing to the university.

Your first blessing is the time you spend using your talent to earn your treasure (your paycheck). Your second blessing is how you use your treasure to generously bless others. Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Response Annual Fund is a wonderful way to be a double blessing. Bless Oakwood University and its students generously with your treasure as we continue to traverse the pandemic and be a double blessing!

When each one of you gives, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. God multiplies your efforts, and the blessing becomes an anointing! Please read our COVID-19 Response Phase 2 Annual Fund mailer that is arriving in the homes, and make a decision to be a double blessing – You’ll be so glad you did. 
Combined Federal Campaign Continues
Through January 15, 2021

Oakwood University's Division of Advancement invites all federal employees and retirees, our alumni and friends, to support our service initiatives during the Combined Federal Campaign, which ends January 15, 2021, by giving to OU CFC #96964. Visit, select “ALL ZIPCODES and designate #96964 as one of your charities. Oakwood is in Zone 24 GTV (Greater Tennessee Valley).

Click here to see a 90 second video about Oakwood's community service initiatives.
Founders Day Matching Challenge

On November 16, 1896, 16 students, who were descendants of formerly enslaved African-Americans, began their education at Oakwood Industrial School. God has miraculously guided the destiny of Oakwood through the ensuing 124 years in achieving its mission of transforming lives for service to God and humanity.

Dr. Leslie Pollard and the Division of Advancement are pleased to announce an exciting Founders Day Matching Challenge, in honor of:

  • the "Year of the Nurse" -- 2020;
  • the late Mrs. Helen Miller Kanion, 1936 student in the Oakwood Junior College Nursing Department, and mother of Dr. Zavon Kanion; and
  •  All of the nurses in the Kanion family,

As major supporters of the university, Dr. Zavon Kanion (’75) and his wife Mrs. Jackie Kay Kanior (honorary alumna) are donating a matching gift of $100,000 to their Helen Miller Kanion Endowed Scholarship fund for the Nursing Department. We are inviting you to match their gift to double the impact. Your matching gift may go to ANY scholarship you designate, OR you may start a new scholarship.

Please call Mrs. Cheri Wilson, Executive Director of Advancement, (256) 726-7204 and we will be happy to assist you in setting up a scholarship. Visit online to donate at to select the scholarship of your choice for the Founders Day match. Please join this phenomenal opportunity to match the generous gift from Dr. & Mrs. Kanion and double the gift to $200,000. This matching opportunity is extended to December 31, 2020. 
...Depart to Serve: Alumni Spotlight
Toson Antwan Knight, '13, "CAUGHT UP" mentorship group founder (seated, center, with glasses), shares his testimony in the upcoming January 2021 issue of the Lake Union Herald. Knght shares how he grappled with a year unlike any in recent memory, and what he most hopeful for moving into this new year.
Jonathan Scott, '04, recently received two Emmy awards, one for his work on the production team of the "Inside the NBA" program, and one for being inside the NBA bubble for over four months in Orlando, Florida. He now has a total of four Emmy awards.

The WJOU Artist of the Month for December is none other than Oakwood alumnus Stevie Mackey, ‘04. Stevie debuted his album “The Most Wonderful Time,” on Black Friday right as the Christmas season began. On December 11, 2020, he joined Morning Joy Host, Dawna Baker on Faceboook Live as WJOU's New Music Friday artist where they discussed the debut project. Stevie has also partnered on this album with several Oakwood alumni -- Take 6, Shelea Fraizer, ’03, and Nelson Beato to name a few.

When we asked him if he grew up singing, Stevie didn't hesitate to tell us, "I absolutely did! I had to! I come from a family of singers and you had to sing. You sat around a piano and learned your parts." With over 2 million downloads of his very first album, Stevie credits his gifts and talents to God, his musical family and his time at Oakwood Adventist Academy and Oakwood University. 

Every month, WJOU highlights an artist who has released a new song/album as the "WJOU Artist of the Month." It's exciting to join with our alumni who are in the music industry to share their gifts not only with our Oakwood community but globally as well. For more information about Stevie Mackey, visit 


Join us at 8:30 a.m. (Central time) on Thursday, December 24, and again on Monday, December 28, 2020, on Morning Joy with Dawna Baker, for a special edition of "Inside Oakwood with Dr. Leslie Pollard." We will be on Facebook Live, and you can also listen via our live stream at
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.  
Editor's Note :

  • Offices at Oakwood University will be closed for the holidays Thursday, December 24, 2020, and will reopen Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
  • The next issue of insideOakwood will be published on Wednesday, January 6.

  On behalf of the Division of Advancement,
and the staff of Integrated Marketing & Public Relations,
we wish you a safe and blessed holiday season. 
About Oakwood University

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 | | (256) 726-7202