Oakwood University Gets High Marks

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Oakwood University Gets High Marks

From left: Leslie Pollard, president of Oakwood University; Dan Jackson, president of the Adventist Church’s North American Division; and Ella Simmons, a vice president of the Adventist Church. Oakwood University, located in the U.S. state of Alabama, became an institution of the denomination’s North American Division on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, a move that transferred the institution’s constituency from the General Conference world headquarters. [Photo Credit: Ansel Oliver/Adventist News Network]

Oakwood University, a Seventh-day Adventist tertiary school in Huntsville, Alabama, that serves the African-American community, is the eighth-best of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, according to the ratings website BestColleges.com.

 

The term “Historically Black Colleges and Universities” refers to schools organized before 1965 with a primary goal of educating black students. As the school’s website indicates, “Oakwood University […] was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church […] in 1896 to educate the recently-freed African-Americans of the South.”

 

The school operated as an institution of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists until 2014, when ownership was transferred to the world church’s North American Division.

 

According to BestColleges.com, their ranking methodology “objectively assesses quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities.”

 

Oakwood received a “ranking score” of 70.81, and reported a graduation rate of 47 percent. The graduation rate surpassed that of the list’s number-one HBCU, Florida A&M University, as well as five other schools in the top-ten ranking.

 

Oakwood’s academic programs have produced a number of prominent leaders in academic, business, and political circles, including U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas. Seventh-day Adventist pastor Terry Johnson is one of numerous standout ministerial graduates—a roster that included Dr. Calvin B. Rock, a former Oakwood president, and evangelists Charles Bradford, the late E.E. Cleveland, and the late C.D. Brooks.

 

The school’s Aeolians choir is internationally renowned, having recently won three gold medals—including two championships—at the 10th edition of World Choir Games in Tshwane, South Africa.

 

More information on the school can be found at www.oakwood.edu.

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About the author

Mark A. Kellner

Managing Editor Mark A. Kellner is a journalist living in Salt Lake City, Utah. From February 2014 to September 2015, he was a national reporter for the Deseret News, and has written about issues of faith and freedom since 1983. Mark also served as News Editor for the Adventist Review and Adventist World for seven years.