June 10, 2005

Oakwood College

Delbert Baker

Oakwood College continues its legacy to develop leaders in service,
and its mission of integrating faith, learning, and service. Three words--education,
excellence, eternity--capture the essence of its mission and aim.

Founded more than a century ago by the General Conference in
response to Ellen G. White, Oakwood College is a respected member of the Historically
Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) family.

Oakwood's considerable progress during this quinquennium is
a result of a committed faculty, staff, and administration, who welcome an international
and multicultural student body from 35 U.S. states and 30 countries around the

Spiritual Life and Other Factors
The dynamic spiritual life program includes male and female chaplaincy teams
that provide daily pastoral care for students and work in conjunction with campus
revivals. These have resulted in more than 500 student baptisms. The Student
Services and Religion departments facilitate further opportunities for information
and service through 10 major outreach trips around the world--to Africa, Asia,
and nations of the Caribbean. NAPS, a national organization based at Oakwood
College, was cited for its humanitarian efforts during the 9/11 disaster in
New York, and traveled to southern Asia to assist in the tsunami relief effort.

Oakwood's enrollment has averaged around 1,780 for the past
five years, with the largest senior class (412) in 2002, and a peak freshman
class of 519 in 2004.

Oakwood College retains full accreditation with the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the General Conference accrediting
service. Sixty percent of its faculty have earned doctoral degrees, and they
author books, publish articles, and engage in funded research. Oakwood College
also partners with Griggs University (based at the General Conference), and
has expanded its adult education program from one to three offerings, while
distance learning and online coursework are under development.

The B.S. degree in Nursing was accredited in 2001 and will feature
its first four-year candidates in May 2005. An independent Communication Department
was established in 2002, and a new graduate degree in religion is in development.
Currently Oakwood collaborates with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to train
students for professions in the space industry. A research project from Oakwood
faculty and students was part of the Columbia space shuttle's schedule
of experiments before its tragic loss. Oakwood College has been cited for the
past seven years in U.S.News and World Report as among the best colleges
in the southern region, and also recognized as among the top 10 schools to motivate
graduates to seek higher degrees in health professions.

Campus Facilities
To meet the need of an increased student enrollment over the past decade and
to accommodate students into the next quinquennium, West Oaks Apartments was
completed in 2003 for junior and senior students. In addition, extensive renovations
will be made to Edwards Hall (the current junior and senior men's dorm), and
ground will soon be broken on a men's residence hall.

Several construction projects will provide needed instructional
space, including the new communications facility, featuring audiovisual services,
photography, and art; the Bradford-Cleveland Institute addition to the C. E.
Moseley Religion Complex, with state-of-the-art technology and communications
capability; and a much-needed health and wellness complex.

More than $12 million has been invested in new construction
or renovation of current academic and student facilities. These include the
state-of-the-art, 45,000-square-foot Business and Technology Complex and the
West Oaks Apartments residential units. The college market, snack bar, and bookstore
underwent a $1 million renovation to enlarge and modernize their facilities.

Oakwood College Industries, a 22,000-square-foot facility adjacent
to the campus, was purchased to promote economic development and industries
that hire Oakwood students. The building provides space for the Oakwood Community
Development Center, WOCG Praise 90.1 FM radio station, the college health and
counseling services, and an executive business center.

Symbolic of Oakwood's commitment to service, the college commissioned
renowned sculptor Alan Collins to create a statue of Simon of Cyrene helping
Christ carry the cross, funded by a regional donor.

Development Progress
Successful fund-raising resulted in nearly $12 million for various ventures
and an additional $10 million through grants and contracts. Oakwood College
has been a continuous member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) since 1966.
Over the past five years the college has raised thousands for student scholarships.
During January 2005 the Tom Joyner Foundation featured Oakwood as the HBCU of
the Month, bringing valuable publicity and an initiative to raise $100,000 for
scholarships. Community initiatives included the third annual Festival of Spirituals,
featuring area HBCU choirs; the 2003 Aeolians tour to Poland to the Wratislavia
Cantans music festival; the Aeolians' induction into the Alabama Music Hall
of Fame; the "Dream Revisited" reenactment of the 1962 address by
Dr. King at the college; and the People's Choice Award to WOCG Praise 90.1 FM
as the fourth-most-visited gospel station on the Internet.

Oakwood College and the Future
Sixteen pioneer students gathered on these grounds with teachers and staff at
the institution's 1896 opening. The first paragraph of their story has unfolded
over more than 100 years. Though the last chapter is yet to be written, under
God, the future looks bright for Oakwood College. The "circle of divine
providence" surrounding this institution at its inception remains part
of its legacy. A new generation of servant leaders beckons, and Oakwood continues
to advance.