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Community Heroes

(L-R) Drs. Colwick Wilson, Prudence Pollard, with Honoree ,William Hampton and Drs. Victoria Joiner, Leslie Pollard and David Richardson. (Photo: Michaela Lott)

During its celebration of Black History Month, Oakwood University chose to honor local Community Heroes for their dedication to service and civic pride for Huntsville City and the surrounding areas.

The first honoree, William Hampton, is the founder of the popular “Huntsville Revisited” Facebook page. The Huntsville Revisited feature is also broadcast on WJOU 90.1 FM every weekday morning at 7:40 and afternoon at 1:30. Moments in history are shared, as well as profiles of history makers, some famous, others not so famous.

The second honoree, Dr. Virginia Caples, was the first female interim president of Alabama A&M University. She not only led the university once but was chosen twice to stabilize and provide continuity during years of transition. Alabama A&M has honored her commitment to excellence by creating the Virginia Caples Lifelong Learning Center on the campus of Alabama A&M University.

OUPD Chief Melvin Harris takes Honoree Captain Marion (J.R.) Bulluck by surprise when he was called to the stage. (Photo: Anthony Chornes II)

Hundley Batts, Huntsville native and Oakwood University’s third honoree, has leveraged his business prowess to uplift and empower his community. His work as an entrepreneur has provided jobs, internships, and financial advice for thousands of families and has renewed trust in the banking and finance industries.

Dr. Caples and Mr. Batts were married in 1984 and together, purchased WEUP—an urban contemporary radio station that services Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley. 

They have since gone on to purchase four more radio stations in the region and founded the Broadcast One corporation. For years they have supported the African American community with the annual Black Arts Festival and other numerous cultural events across the Tennessee Valley.

Our fourth honoree and Oakwood alum, Ms. Audrey Robinson, JD, is the first African-American woman in NASA’s history to hold the office of Chief Counsel. Robinson is often the the only woman and the only person of color who occupies space in any of these meetings. However, despite all of her groundbreaking work, one of her proudest achievements is her son, Matthew.

The final honoree, Captain Marion (J.R.) Bulluck, is well-known throughout Madison County for his caring spirit, and his unwavering dedication to the call of public service. He has matriculated through the ranks of service since beginning his career in 1987, and was promoted to the rank of Captain, Uniform Patrol Division Commander of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in January 2015. 

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