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7-11-12 Oakwood University's President Dr. Leslie Pollard’s “evangelism"
Saving the Least, the Lost and the Last!
How did Oakwood University’s “freshman president” fare?
by Dawnette Chambers, President, CSM Agency, a student-created/run public relations agency at Oakwood University, Huntsville, Alabama, USA
By any “report card,” Oakwood University President Dr. Leslie N. Pollard, 56, completed his first full “freshman year” with top grades.
As OU’s first president with both ministerial and academic doctorates and an MBA, this board-appointed “Chief Spiritual Officer” and alumnus can point to several kudos at the completion of his first full year, namely:
1. A pioneering ISO 9001 certification, an internationally recognized standard of quality business management – the first and only SDA or historically black college/university (HBCU) or Alabama institution so certified;
2. Establishing a Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations at Oakwood, reaching out now to the world's 1 billion Muslims;
3. Spearheading the Consortium of Adventist African Universities and Partners, bringing together for the first time all SDA colleges and universities from the African Diaspora, for faculty and student cultural exchanges;
4. Reached for the first time the 2,000-sudent milestone, and possessing the highest black male enrollment (41%) of all schools in the United Negro College Fund, the consortium of 39 private U.S. HBCUs;
5. A 150% enrollment increase in the Oakwood LEAP adult degree completion program, while offering former Oakwoodites the “tuition amnesty” of Deuteronomy 15:1;
6. Because of April 27, 2011’s tornado-causing power outage that shut down north Alabama and forced Oakwood to re-schedule its Commencement, alumni and friends launched a $310,000 fundraising campaign to purchase back-up generators;
7. Oakwood, "the Julliard of the South," produced repeating national choral champions, the Aeolians, who will compete in the 7th World Choir Games, the world’s largest global choral competition; and
8. Oakwood is home to two other national champions: its men’s basketball and Honda Academic All-Stars runner-ups.
An author, former pastor and noted theologian, Pollard re-affirms Oakwood’s spiritual heritage: "Ultimately, in a faith-based institution, that’s the dimension they (parents and students) are paying for. I mean, you can go anywhere to learn geometry."