FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HUNTSVILLE, AL — In recognition of 124 years of transforming lives, Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., will celebrate Founders Day at 12:00 noon on Monday, November 16, 2020, at the Oakwood Farms Market Pavilion. The anniversary event serves as a kick-off for a series of events leading up to the 125th year celebration on November 16, 2021.
Oakwood was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1896 to educate African-Americans of the South who had recently been freed from slavery. The property, 375-acres of a former slave plantation, was dotted with 65 towering oak trees, which gave way to the name “Oakwood.” Originally, the school was called “Oakwood Industrial School,” opening its doors on November 16, 1896, with 16 students. The University’s beautiful natural property has grown to approximately 1,100 prime acres, and is considered one of the historical landmarks of the city of Huntsville, a cosmopolitan city of approximately 202,0000 people in north central Alabama.
Oakwood University continues to view education as indispensable in preparation for wider service to God and to humanity. President Leslie Pollard said, “For 124 years, Oakwood has advanced the mission of Seventh-day Adventist education, creating competent Christian professionals for servant leadership. Since 1896, we have had the honor and privilege of serving the Huntsville and Madison County community, and I am immensely grateful for the 124th year celebration of Oakwood University.”
About Oakwood University
Oakwood University is a non-profit, faith-based institution located in Huntsville, Alabama and one of the fifteen HBCUs and five UNCF member schools in Alabama. Established in 1896, Oakwood Industrial School was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to educate African Americans in the South. With an initial enrollment of 16 students and 375 acres on two former slave plantations, one of which is the early residence of America’s most famous slave, Dred Scott, Oakwood University now serves 1,422 students and manages three industries: Oakwood Farms, Edible Arrangements, and Oakwood University Memorial Gardens Cemetery on its 1,185 acres of land. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges since 1943, Oakwood offers its students 16 academic departments across five schools, 58 undergraduate degrees, including an Adult and Continuing Education program, and four graduate degree programs. US News and World Report ranks Oakwood regularly among the nation’s “Best Colleges,” in both the “Historically Black Colleges and Universities” (HBCUs) and “Regional Colleges/South” categories. Additionally, Oakwood University is the nation’s eleventh-ranked producer of undergraduate black applicants to medical schools and the only university or HBCU among the top 20 universities in the state of Alabama, according to the Association for American Medical Colleges. Oakwood University is also home to the world-famous, award-winning choir, The Aeolians.