Spring 2017 Pages 20-23

During his 43 years of service in pastoral ministry, Philip Florence led congregations in 27 churches, with his wife, Helen Lennear Florence at his side. He retired in 2011, and presently serves as chaplain for the US Air Force Auxiliary. While a student at Oakwood, Helen was an accounting lab assistant for Professor C.E. Galley, and the Treasurer/Bookkeeper for the town of Triana, Alabama. Helen was also a first responder after Hurricane Hugo in 1989, taking hope, food and clothing to the victims in the devastated area of McClellanville, SC.
Alyce Frazier Follette taught Spanish elementary education courses at Oakwood Junior College, and married Lysle Follette, who later became the Dean of Men. In the historic “Old Sanitarium Building” (now East Hall), she delivered twin sons Lysle, Jr., and Joseph, who later helped with construction on Moran Hall, and a daughter Cynthia Grace. Those twin boys sent their children to Oakwood as well. One of Alyce’s five great grandsons, Geoff, is scheduled to graduate from Oakwood this year, and a great granddaughter, Kyara, is completing her sophomore year at Oakwood Adventist Academy.
Preston G. Foster is one of the driving forces of the History & Political Science Department. Professor Foster has devoted his life to ensuring that every student receives the best education possible and is exposed to all the resources needed to become a successful public policymaker. He encourages his students to aim high and reach for their goals, and to never lose faith in God, or in our nation. Professor Foster is a gem and we love him very much!
Walter W. Fordham determinedly rode his bicycle for 600 miles from his home in Charleston, South Carolina, to Huntsville, to attend Oakwood Junior College. While there, he and several others led out in a student strike for Black advancement and leadership at the school. Although expelled at the time, he later returned and graduated in 1934 with a diploma placed in his hand by Oakwood’s first Black president. A dynamic and effective evangelist, “W.W.” was a spokesman demanding equality during the Civil Rights Movement.
At the Miracle City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, David B. Franklin led a successful rebranding for the church to emphasize a stronger commitment to community engagement and urban ministry. He also created the 100,000 Touches Campaign, challenging church members to personally impact local residents’ lives through various initiatives with a church-wide goal of 100,000 Baltimore residents served in 2016. This goal was surpassed in less than 10 months. He is also a co-host of Let’s Pray!, a weekly program on the Hope Channel celebrating the power of prayer.
Donald and Shirley Green were very popular with Oakwood students in the 1980s, partly because they delivered vegetarian subs to the dorms. Their sandwich deliveries became so popular that they opened a sub shop on Jordan Lane called Chub’s. Their daughter Donna Green-Goodman lives in Huntsville and has been an adjunct professor at Oakwood. Their grandson Edward Goodman, IV, is also an Oakwood graduate.
Frank W. Hale was only 39 years old when he was appointed president of Oakwood College. During his administration (1966-1971), he instituted the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Development, the Alumni Homecoming Weekend, and the Oakwood College Advisory Council. There is also a building on the Ohio State University campus named in his honor, The Frank W. Hale, Jr. Black Cultural Center. Dr. Hale also served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and Vice Provost for the Office of Minority Affairs and Special Assistant to the President at Ohio State University. Dr. Hale’s legacy is one of equality and excellence.
Murray Harvey, Sr., began his tenure at Oakwood College in 1947 as an associate professor of history. He was known for his quick wit and his dynamic presentation of history in the classroom. It is said that his way of teaching made the experience so enjoyable and the topic so fascinating, that even the most academically challenged had a good chance of passing his classes. Harvey served the Seventh-day Adventist denomination for 36 years.
Clarence Hodges was twice confirmed by the United States Senate for senior executive government positions as he served at the highest levels of two presidential administrations. Hodges served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as president of Christian Record Services, a Vice President of the North American Division, and as director of the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty. In 2004, he relocated to Huntsville, where he served on the staff at Oakwood College, and provided leadership for the Bradford Cleveland Institute.
While at Oakwood College, Sheldon L. Holder, MD, Ph.D., served as USM President, and graduated summa cum laude. Currently, he is a Medical Oncologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, and a Consultant Oncologist at King Edward Hospital in Bermuda. Specializing in kidney, bladder, prostate cancer, he is a member of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium’s Genitourinary Clinical Trial Working Group. Holder’s exemplary lay leadership in his church has a positive influence on young adults there.
Under the leadership of Lawrence Jacobs, Sr., the Oakwood farm and dairy became known as a “Grade A” industry which supplied milk to the Oakwood College campus, the Huntsville community, and the local Meadow Gold dairy. Jacobs served as a member of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farmers’ Home Administration under President Carter, enabling him to assist farmers in acquiring farm equipment, land and homes. His farming legacy was recognized by Oakwood’s naming the Lawrence Jacobs, Sr. Memorial Silos Plaza in his honor.
In 2015, Clifton R. Jessup, Jr. was sworn in as a judge in the Northern Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, based in nearby Decatur, Alabama. He was also a member of the Oakwood University Board of Trustees. A staunch supporter of Christian education, Jessup and his wife, Venita, have not only sent their own two children through Oakwood, but they also freely and regularly give of their means to personally ensure that other young people have the opportunity to benefit from “the Oakwood experience.”
Lloyd Henry is a 17-time Ironman triathlete. In 2016, he became the first recorded African American to be named an Ironman Globe Finisher—having completed an Ironman competition on six continents and at the Kona World Championships in Hawaii. Lloyd has literally helped open up this sport to many African Americans, and has used his notoriety and professional networks to inspire and launch the dreams of others. He helped establish several famous races in the Washington, DC area, such as the AKA 5K Race for Education and the Iron Girl Triathlon.
Camille Warren Hill is a passionate and God-fearing woman, who is dedicated to students, not only in the History & Political Science Department, but in other departments as well. She epitomizes black excellence as an attorney, professor, entrepreneur and business owner. Despite a diagnosis of breast cancer in May of 2016, Professor Warren has encouraged her students to continue to fight and work towards their goals no matter what obstacles are thrown in their path.

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