July 29, 2021
Greetings from your Oakwood University! 
It is 2021 and we are still fighting a global pandemic! At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in February 2020, I organized a 40-person team comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, and students. The team, known as the University Responsiveness Taskforce (URT) provided, and continues to provide, daily monitoring of the pandemic environment, and makes recommendations designed to safeguard the health and safety of our campus populations. By the grace of God, URT’s work has helped us keep our cases at a minimum. Faced with operating during the challenges of an international pandemic, we have been diligently planning with intentionality for the protection of our campus community. Our prayer and plan is for Oakwood University to be the safest campus in Alabama!
To that end, we have taken many important measures that are in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Alabama statewide health orders, including:

  • enhanced and increased cleaning and sanitation protocols
  • plexiglass shield installation
  • required masking and CDC-defined social distancing
  • routine temperature checks
  • reduced class sizes
  • facility reconfiguration and space management limitations
  • modification of large group gatherings
  • carryout meals from the Dining Hall
  • contact tracing and testing options
  • de-densifying the residence halls, as well as other living and learning spaces
  • and academic calendar modifications.

Thanks to more than $350,000 in 2021 grant procurement, required testing is available as well as a recommended vaccination opportunity for all students on campus, including qualifying middle-school and Academy-age students. We have also contracted with a third-party provider of hygienic products, and personal protective equipment. Sanitization stations are strategically placed and maintained across our campus.
Our plans to reopen for the 2021-2022 school year are set to begin on August 2, 2021 with Employee Colloquium. The Fall semester has been shortened to end immediately before Thanksgiving (Nov. 24); the Spring semester will resume after the New Year, on January 5, 2022.  We have learned over the last year that the “new normal” affects everything from how we conduct intramurals to how we stagger dining hall entry. Be assured that the University will continue to identify medically-appropriate measures for the protection of the most vulnerable and those at greater risk within our campus community. 
The Fall 2021 Reopening Plan represents hundreds of hours of planning and analysis. We invite your prayers for the unique mission of Oakwood University. Please check the University’s website COVID-19 page for continuing updates at 
Very sincerely, 
Leslie Pollard, Ph.D, D.Min, MBA
President, Oakwood University
University Colloquium Scheduled to Begin August 2
Beginning with the 1954-55 school year, Colloquium is the initial gathering of the faculty at the inception of the school year, for the purpose of becoming equipped and inspired by special speakers, presenters, discussions, and seminars.

Scheduled for August 2 and 3, 2021, the theme for this year's Colloquium is "Mapping Our Future", and includes updates on strategic planning, capital projects, and innovations in learning management. Oakwood alumnus Debleaire Snell, Senior Pastor of the First Seventh-day Adventist Church of Huntsville will present the morning devotion on both days. Meetings will convene in the Millet Activity Center at 8:30 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
Get Tested Before Returning to Oakwood University
"Move In Day" is one week away - Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - and all of us at Oakwood are looking forward to the arrival of our students for the 2021-22 school year. All students are requested to know their COVID Status before arriving on campus. If an employee or student has been vaccinated, they must still be tested and provide a negative COVID test result prior to campus entry and within 10 days of their expected campus entry date:

  • Employees - August 2nd
  • Students - August 4th (maybe August 2nd as well for those arriving early)

Employees and students have the option to be tested anywhere of their choosing. Negative COVID results must be received within 10 days prior to accessing the campus:

Following mandatory testing required by the university throughout the semester for employees and students, a negative test result must be submitted using the appropriate email address for employees or students
Acceptable COVID test for submission include PCR or antigen test, no antibody COVID test will be accepted.

Renovation of Residential and Academic Buildings
Following is an update on several projects that are a part of Oakwood University's comprehensive Capital Action Plan:

o  $1m+ renovation of the Biology Department in the Cooper Science Complex
o  $1m+ renovation of the Eva B. Dykes Library
o  $250,000 renovation of the School of Education/Anna Knight Hall

Currently implementing $10m renovation program for academic and student life
o  Holland Hall, $1.2m – in progress
o  Wade Hall, $1.5 million in improvements – in progress
o  Peters Music building is expected to cost $4m – scheduled to begin in Fall 2022
o  Renovation of Edwards Hall is currently scheduled to begin in 2022 -$3.7m
The Oakwood Experience is Better on Campus
Funeral Services for Allegheny East Conference
President and First Lady
Funeral Services for...
Elder Henry J. Fordham, III
Sis. Sharon E. Fordham

Sunday, August 8, 2021
9:30 a.m. – Visitation
10:30 a.m. – Prelude
11:0 a.m. – Service

Martin’s West
6817 Dogwood Road
Baltimore, MD 21244

Masks are required.

...Depart to Serve
  • Are you a reader?
  • Are you an Oakwood alum who has written a book?
  • Are you wanting to write a book?

The next meal served at our Beyond the Oaks Cafe we will be celebrating and supporting our Oakwood alumni authors with the dynamic and powerful Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin as our host. On Sunday, August 1, at 6:00pm (Central time) our virtual Cafe will be open to serve the impact you can make with your book. Some of our alumni guest authors will include Janna Peterson, Eric Todd, Hallerin Hill, Dr. Roland Hill, Tim Allston, Brenda Wood, Joe Follette, Shirley Iheanacho, and Julian Waddell.

Although registration is NOT required, many of our authors will be providing a 10% discount on the price of their book(s) if you register to attend. Click here to register.  Be sure to join us! 
The Office of Alumni Relations and the Oakwood University Alumni Council are calling ALL Oakwood Alumni to SAVE THE DATE for our 4th Annual Alumni Summit September 17-19, 2021. Begin to make plans to GET ENGAGED by joining us this year -- either virtually or in person. It's going to be amazing.

Register today by scanning the QR Code or clicking here to reserve your seat now!

If you any have questions, please contact us in the Office of Alumni Relations by email: alumni@oakwood.edu, or call 256-726-7039.
Give the "Oakwood Experience"
by Emile D. Parker, MBA - Director of Alumni Relations
If you are an Oakwood alum who has a son or daughter who is still trying to decide which college or University to attend this coming Fall, give them the gift of the "Oakwood Experience" by making them an Oakwood Legacy student and sending them to your alma mater: Oakwood University. Your Oakwood is still transforming lives, as it did for you.

Our Enrollment team is ready to help them start their Oakwood journey today -- click here to apply.
Remembering an Oakwood Legend
As Oakwood celebrates its 125th anniversary, we remember those who have contributed to our history, like Dr. Alma “Ma” Blackmon who delivered the Oakwood mission of “transforming lives.”

Her daughter Brenda Wood says that “Not a day goes by that I don’t call your name through a flood of memories of love and laughter and beautiful music....I am eternally grateful and blessed that on July 25, 1921, God gave the world an extraordinarily gifted, smart, tough as nails human being who would be named Alma. A woman who would show all who knew her what a miracle looks like.” Dr. Blackmon's personal account of her life is written in the book, This is My Story.

Click here to read more about Dr. Blackmon in the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Dr. Blackmon is buried at the Oakwood University Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Reminders & Opportunities
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 http://wjou.org.
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 wlc@oakwood.edu, or (256) 726-7245.
Leave a Legacy at OU

The Legacy Walkway, that leads from Ford Hall and Peters Media Center to the rest of the campus, is paved with bricks that can be personalized.

Pave the way into the next 125 years of success by purchasing a brick on the Legacy Walkway.

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 recent graduate, celebrated 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.
Show yOUr Pride in Alabama!
When an Oakwood license plate is purchased from the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles, the additional annual fee is donated to student scholarships at OU. This can be claimed as a charitable contribution to scholarships for students from Alabama (Section 32-6-156, Code of Alabama 1975).

There is the option of keeping the same expiration date as the plate being replaced, or beginning the Oakwood plate with a full year’s registration. Currently, this initiative is available only in Alabama.

Contact your local Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles office for more information.
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 https://smile.amazon.com.
  • 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.  
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
www.oakwood.edu | pr@oakwood.edu | (256) 726-7202