We see it every day—the miracles at Oakwood University that keep on coming.
On February 1, 2017, Oakwood University witnessed a miracle—the opening of Oakwood Farms. Five months earlier, while I was walking back to my office from the McKee Business & Technology Complex, God spoke to me, rather humorously, I might add, and said, “Reopen the farm. While growing all this grass, shouldn’t we grow some food?” He helped me realize that the grounds are beautifully manicured, but either we are paying for all this landscaping, or these grounds are helping to feed (and pay) us. Then came a series of God-appointments with Board members, Administrators, Faculty, Staff and Students, and a public promise while preaching at the Oakwood University Church on October 15, 2016, that “we WILL reopen Oakwood farms in a 21st-century way.” Wonder of wonders, Oakwood University Farms opened! And today, God is blessing the Oakwood Farms in ways that fly far beyond our comprehension. Oakwood Farms is one more example of our Oakwood University Industry Recovery Initiative. You must know that one day another miracle will come to pass—Oakwood University will be completely self-reliant, and independent of tuition and government support as primary sources of income.
Another miracle happened on November 21, 2016. On that day, Oakwood University received the largest grant award in its history—a $6 million dollar award across three UNCF institutions, called the Career Pathways Initiative (CPI). This miraculous gift is transforming our campus. In this issue, you will read about CP-GEMConnect, a 21st-century digital tool that connects our students with faculty and alumni, and gives them a real-life advising and job-placement advantage in our curricular and co-curricular environments.
On April 11, 2017, another miracle happened. The Oakwood University Honda All-Star Challenge Championship team, went to California to compete against 48 other UNCF schools. After fighting it out for 24 rounds with the other teams, Oakwood defeated Bowie State to win the Honda Campus All-Star Championship and claim the $75,000 award. These are miracles which testify to the academic excellence of Oakwood University. And the miracles keep on coming.
This edition of Oakwood Magazine’s cover story captures the miracle of our Oakwood University Aeolians winning the 2017 Choir of the World Pavarotti Trophy, on July 8, 2017—a day that will go down in the musical lore of Oakwood University, the Huntsville community, and the entire Seventh-day Adventist Church! During the Fall semester of 2016, the invitation to participate in the 2017 National Eisteddfod in Wales, the most significant choral and music competition in the world, came to my desk. Frankly, I couldn’t even pronounce the word, and the possibility seemed out of reach. But through the miraculous support of alumni and friends, and endless rehearsals, the Aeolians of Oakwood University were named the 2017 Choir of the World! What a blessing!
And guess what? The miracles keep on coming. As you read this edition of Oakwood Magazine, may you feel the miraculous power of knowing that God has His hand and His favor upon this institution in a very special way. Oakwood is not perfect, but it is purposed. It exists to serve God’s mission and calling for our students. Be blessed and inspired, and thank you in advance for remembering Oakwood University in your prayers and your financial support.