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ABOUT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY

Oakland: Nationally recognized for distinctive academic programs and more

45 Years Old and Growing

Oakland University has continued to grow since its beginning. When it first opened in 1959, only 570 students were enrolled. The charter class graduated in 1963 with 125 students receiving diplomas. Today, more than 16,000 students attend classes at OU each fall, and there are more than 62,000 alumni.

Oakland University was created in 1957 when the late Alfred and Matilda Wilson donated $2 million and their 1,500-acre estate to Michigan State University to start a new college in Oakland County. Named Michigan State University Oakland, the college enrolled its first students in 1959. The name changed to Oakland University in 1963. In 1970, the Michigan Legislature recognized the maturity and stature of Oakland University by granting it autonomy, and Michigan's governor appointed OU's first Board of Trustees.

OU's Founders

In 1908, John and Matilda Dodge purchased a 320-acre farm on what is now Oakland University's campus. As co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Cars, John Dodge quickly prospered in the burgeoning auto industry. When he died in 1920 from influenza, he left Matilda one of the nation's wealthiest women.
Alfred and Matilda Wilson

Matilda later married Alfred Wilson, a lumber broker. The Wilsons expanded the estate to 1,500 acres and built Meadow Brook Hall, a 110-room, 80,000-square-foot, Tudor-revival-style mansion. The mansion, built between 1926 and 1929, cost about $4 million. The Wilsons also added numerous farm buildings, recreational facilities, formal gardens and a modern-style house known as Sunset Terrace before donating their estate to Michigan State University.

Quality Academic Programs

"U.S. News & World Report" ranks Oakland University among national public universities in the 2003-04 edition of America's Best Colleges.

"U.S. News & World Report" ranks the Oakland University/Beaumont Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia sixth in the United States in its 2004 edition of the "Best Graduate Schools." It also is the only nurse anesthesia program in the country to receive a $300,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services for program development, according to the Federal Register.

The Princeton Review included Oakland University in its first edition of "The Best Midwestern Colleges." Oakland is featured among the top 150 schools in 11 states along with Indiana University, Notre Dame, Northwestern, University of Chicago, University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin.

Oakland is ranked as one of the nation's most underrated schools in the 2004 edition of The Unofficial Unbiased Guide to the 328 Most Interesting Colleges, based on classroom experience, campus environment and student life, along with Arizona, Duke and the University of Chicago.

The Department of Art and Art History began offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art in the fall 2003 semester. The liberal arts degree is offered in only five universities statewide.

The College of Arts and Sciences began offering a Master of Arts in liberal studies in fall 2003.

OU's School of Nursing introduced two new master's degree programs, a Master of Science in adult/gerontological nurse practitioner and a Master of Science in nursing education in the fall 2003 semester.

The School of Business Administration introduced the Product Life Cycle Management Program to address the essentials of effective product management, from the initial stages of product conception through full production. Experienced practitioners and guest lecturers lead each of five three-day workshops with readings, lectures, exercises, cases and active practice. The courses are offered as stand alones or toward a certification of completion if participants complete the series.

OU's Rhetoric, Communication and Journalism Department joined with the English Department and OU administration to improve student writing and communications skills across the board by creating a program called Writing Across Curriculum. The program introduces writing and communications more prevalently in all subject areas, from accounting to zoology, with the idea that the more writing and communication work a student does the more proficient he or she will become in it.

Oakland's Honors College offers highly motivated students seeking a rich, valuable and challenging undergraduate education an intimate and intellectually friendly atmosphere. The program offers a specially designed core of general education courses in art, literature, western civilization, international studies, social science, mathematics, logic and computer science, and natural science and technology.

The master's program in public affairs/administration received a six-year accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

OU offers freshmen tools to help them meet the challenges of their first year of college with a Web-based student success program called Freshman OUtlook. The program delivers weekly tips, advice and resource links right to the Oakland e-mail address of each student in the program. Parents of new students may participate in a complementary program called Parent OUtlook.

Inspired Faculty

With a $2-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Xiangqun Zeng and Assistant Professor of Biology Gabrielle Stryker are attempting to create a novel biosensor to distinguish the presence of hazardous biological or chemical agents. The hand-held device will instantaneously detect a single molecule of anthrax, smallpox, HIV or SARS.

Oakland University charter faculty member Paul Tomboulian earned the title of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. Tomboulian, who came to the university in 1959 as the first and only chemistry professor, served for 35 years as department chair. He garnered OU's first research grant, initiated the first undergraduate research program and introduced the first science-based environmental health major in Michigan. Only 10 faculty members have received the distinguished professor rank.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded Daniel Aloi, assistant professor, mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science a $413,000 grant to develop a satellite landing system for aircraft. The study, "High Fidelity Antenna Model Development for Creation of LAAS CAT-I Siting Criteria," will be completed on campus and at the Oakland County International Airport in Pontiac.

The National Science Foundation awarded Balaji Rajagopalan, assistant professor in the School of Business Administration, a $154,790 grant to research "Virtual Investing-Related Communities and Online Investing: A Study of Adoption, Usage, Performance and Policy Implications." Rajagopalan is researching how information is generated, discussed and diffused within investment-related virtual communities.

Frank Giblin, associate director of the Eye Research Institute, won a $150,000 grant from NASA to study the effect of radiation in space.

As part of a course assignment, Oakland University's marketing students developed marketing plans to promote the Pontiac School District within the community. Mukesh Bhargava, marketing professor, and his students created marketing plans for the Pontiac School District in their Promotional Strategies class. Students presented their work to district officials who reviewed the ideas to use in marketing efforts.

Diversity

Hosted by OU's Center for Multicultural Awareness, four OU students earned $5,000 scholarships at the 11th annual Keeper of the Dream Banquet in 2003: junior education major Crystal Wilkerson, sophomore women's studies and sociology major Sumeera Younis, sophomore biochemistry major Steven Townsend and junior elementary education major Crystal Allen. Bank One, Champion Enterprises, the OU Alumni Association and William Beaumont Hospital generously sponsored scholarships in 2002 and 2003.

Oakland University recently created the International Education Office to increase awareness of the numerous opportunities for students and faculty to study and teach abroad. The office serves as a one-stop international education center for students and promotes international faculty teaching opportunities and exchanges. OU students can study abroad at prestigious institutions in Austria, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain.

Oakland's nationally acclaimed University Trustee Academic Success scholarship program (OUTAS) helps OU create an ethnically and culturally diverse group of high-achieving students. Ranked as one of the seven best student retention programs in the nation by "Black Issues in Higher Education" magazine, the program also received the Noel-Levitz Retention Excellence Award. The OUTAS program is made possible through support from the OU Foundation.

Oakland University's Entrepreneurship Institute teaches business skills to 25 disadvantaged teens through a one-week residential educational experience. Through classroom instruction, mentoring sessions and experiential learning, participants learn what it takes to be successful entrepreneurs. Students receive a $500 scholarship and compete for additional financial awards through a business plan competition. SBC and the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership provide financial support for the Entrepreneurship Institute.

Quality Students

Oakland University's student affiliate of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) achieved its best-ever finish at the 2003 Collegiate Design Series Formula SAE competition in May at the Pontiac Silverdome. The engineering students conceived, designed, fabricated and competed compact formula-style racing cars in the four-day design competition. OU finished 13th out of 140 teams overall, outpacing last year's 123rd-place finish. Steven Sharf and David Fischer, both longtime supporters of the School of Engineering and Computer Science and OU, provided funds to purchase materials for students to use in building cars from scratch.

Oakland's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team finished in the top 16 in the country at the 2003 SIFE USA National Exposition. The team also was named a finalist in three separate exposition competitions: Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, Financial Independence, and Entrepreneurship. Teams from 146 universities and colleges from around the nation competed in the exposition. This was sponsored in large part by SBC.

Junior nursing major Jeri Raab earned the 2003 Lorene R. Fischer Award from the Detroit Newspapers, who named her Michigan Student Nurse of the Year. A panel of judges comprised of nurses, instructors and various nursing board members selected Raab from a field of 150 nominees. Award criteria includes high academic achievement, active participation in the community and involvement in direct patient care. Raab received $500 and a trophy in recognition of her honor. She also was accepted for a Mayo Clinic summer externship.

As a Langley Research Summer Scholar, Matt Rizzo, SECS alumnus, spent 400 hours over 10 weeks this summer working at NASA with a mentor on computer and electronics programming for an Autonomous Air Vehicle.

OU journalism major Andrea Zarcynski earned an Outstanding Communication Student Scholarship from the Detroit Chapter of Women in Communications. She was one of only three Michigan students to receive this honor.

OU junior Mike Helms garnered national media attention as one of the NCAA's top scorers in Division I men's basketball. The guard finished third in the nation with a 26.9 points-per-game average. Helms, along with sophomore guard Rawle Marshall and sophomore forward Courtney Scott led the nation in scoring for three players on the same team. Helms also was named the Mid-Continent Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press in 2002-03.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) named the Oakland University ASSE section the outstanding Student Section in the nation for 2002-03. In addition, two OU ASSE members earned scholarships. Bobbie Schaefer was awarded a $5,250 United Parcel Service Scholarship, and Stacy Ruby won a $3,375 Ford Motor Company Scholarship.

On average, Oakland's statistics show that more than 89 percent of its graduates are employed within the first four months following graduation.

OU's men's cross country team won its first ever Mid-Con championship in the 2002-03 season.

The women's soccer team won its third straight Mid-Con Tournament title and made its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2002-03 season.

The men's soccer won its first Mid-Con Tournament title and made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament as a Division 1 team in the 2002-03 season.

OU's men's lacrosse club finished its most successful season in 2002-03, ending with a 15-3 record and number 10 ranking in the United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates coaches poll.

OU's women's swimming and diving team claimed its second consecutive National Independent Conference championship title in 2003, edging out Northern Arizona by only one point. Along the way, the Golden Grizzlies set four NIC records, five pool records and 10 school records.

The OU men's swimming and diving team placed 27th in the country at the NCAA Championships in March 2003, the highest finish ever for the Golden Grizzlies. Five members of the team represented Oakland at the three-day NCAA meet, including junior Sean Broadbent, freshman Scott Dickens, senior Doug Drazin, freshman Eric Lynn and sophomore Chris Sullivan.

The Golden Grizzlies softball team qualified for the NCAA Championships for a second consecutive year after winning the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament title and finishing the season at 34-26-1 in the 2002-03 season.

The Mid-Continent Conference named OU junior Ryan Rzepka its 2002-03 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the most prestigious individual honor given by the league. Rzepka, a defenseman for OU's men's soccer team, is just the second student-athlete from Oakland to be selected for the honor.

President George W. Bush personally recognized Oakland University student Lenwood Compton, an elementary education major, twice in the 2002-03 academic year for his outstanding service as a member of AmeriCorps. In October 2002, Compton served as a Freedom Corps greeter, an honor bestowed upon individuals who best exemplify the president's call to service, at the Oakland County International Airport. In January 2003, President Bush invited Compton to sit with First Lady Laura Bush during the State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. Compton also participated in a national panel on mentoring at the behest of President Bush.

Research

The Eye Research Institute received a five-year, $1-million Vision Research Infrastructure Development Grant from the National Eye Institute in 2003. OU and the ERI will receive a total of $1 million over the term of the grant. The award will support two laboratory research modules, Ocular Ultrastructure and Cell and Molecular Biology, and will permit the institute to purchase a real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction machine and establish a Microarray Analysis Facility.

The Oakland University Research Advisory Committee named 30 student recipients of the provost-sponsored University Student Research Scholar Awards. The research scholar program exposes students to the challenges and excitement gained by pursuing independent research projects with $1,000 grants for approved projects.

OU's School of Engineering and Computer Science opened the Fastening and Joining Research Institute in spring 2003. The mission of the FAJRI is to pursue fundamental and applied research and to develop and disseminate new technologies in the area of fastening and joining engineering. This research will improve the safety and reliability of equipment, machinery and mechanical structures. FAJRI received $3.8 million in grants from the federal government as well as support from DaimlerChrysler.

DaimlerChrysler named Oakland University's Product Development and Manufacturing Center a "Center of Excellence" in recognition of its system engineering training and consulting work. Established in 1997, the PDMC is an internationally recognized entity providing education, applied research and technology transfer for the auto industry.

Recognized as one of the country's 110 doctoral research-intensive universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Oakland University offers students opportunities to work directly on research projects with expert faculty.

Partnerships

Oakland University has been instrumental in forming a new Oakland County SmartZone. The initiative combines the expertise and innovation of university researchers with the production of businesses and the tax support of cities to expand existing technology labs and attract research companies. SmartZone includes Oakland County, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Southfield, Oakland University and Lawrence Technological University.

Thomas M. Cooley Law School extended its successful partnership with Oakland, a year after the two schools joined forces to offer Cooley classes on OU's campus. The partnership allows students to take the first two years of Cooley's standard curriculum at OU.

Alumnus Barry Klein contributed $2 million to fund the Barry M. Klein Endowed Chair in Culture and Globalization in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Barry M. Klein Endowed Scholarship benefiting Honors College students.

The new Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Multimedia Laboratory, made possible through a $75,000 grant from Crittenton Hospital, advances the Oakland's ability to deliver a distinctive undergraduate education in the School of Nursing by providing a setting where students can practice skills, use interactive technologies, work in teams and gain confidence.

Through a collaboration of government, business and education, Oakland University, in partnership with Automation Alley, participated in a trade mission to China in spring 2002. Through the mission, OU will continue supporting education needs in Oakland County by providing global partnering opportunities to its students, faculty and business partners. OU is exploring strategic partnerships and student and faculty exchange programs.

Oakland's School of Education and Human Services joined forces with Cranbrook Institute of Science to offer five-day courses in earth science and astronomy for teachers of grades 3 through 12. Using hands-on activities for teaching both sciences, each course investigated important concepts outlined in the Michigan Curriculum Frameworks.

Community

Oakland will serve as a host institution for first and second round games in the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The NCAA Tournament Committee selects hosts based on a variety of factors, one of which is proximity to a large, professional arena, such as The Palace of Auburn Hills where the tournament will be played. The 2006 tournament will be the first time OU has hosted an NCAA event since becoming a Division I institution in 1998.

In its exclusive state-by-state rankings, "Golf Digest" ranked OU's R & S Sharf Golf Course 21st among Michigan's 855 golf courses. The 18-hole championship course and state-of-the-art practice facility, which opened in 2000, was designed and built by nationally renowned golf course architects Rick Smith and Warren Henderson.

"USA Weekend" magazine cited the Oakland University chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society in its April 27, 2003, issue honoring those contributing to the 2002 Make a Difference Day. The magazine recognized the chapter for planting trees and shrubs in a vacant lot on Detroit's east side where homes for economically disadvantaged families are to be built.

Oakland University and the Pontiac Oakland Symphony Orchestra are partnering to provide high-level orchestral performances to the Oakland County community, while offering Oakland University music, theatre and dance students the chance to interact and perform with a regional symphony orchestra. The symphony orchestra will now be known as the Oakland Symphony, with the rehearsal space, equipment and instruments provided by Oakland University. The orchestra will continue to perform in Varner Recital Hall on Oakland's campus as well as in other venues in the region.

Oakland University provides its student body and the community with opportunities to listen to, and sometimes interact with, regional, national and international leaders. In the last year alone, OU has hosted President George W. Bush and Poland President Aleksander Kwasniewski during an official state visit, one of the state's gubernatorial debates and past Poland President Lech Walesa.

OU is one of 170 sites selected to be part of the National Writing Project, a professional development program for teachers looking to improve student writing. Partners in OU's Meadow Brook Writing Project include Detroit Public Schools, OU's Public School Academies, Oakland Community College, the Pontiac School District and the Macomb Intermediate School District.

Growth

For the eighth straight year, Oakland University is reporting an enrollment increase. Fall 2003 student enrollment was 16,576 students, a 3.2 percent increase over fall 2002 enrollment. Freshman enrollment is up 12 percent, with undergraduate student totals increasing 2.6 percent and graduate student totals increasing 5.6 percent.

The Oakland Center (OC), OU's student center, opened doors to its addition in fall 2003. The expanded center provides 330 more seats in the food court, a 7,000-square-foot multi-purpose room that can seat 600, a 24-hour computer lounge featuring wireless Internet connectivity and an 80-seat coffee shop. A new atrium for South Foundation Hall provides an unobstructed view of the new glass façade of the remodeled Oakland Center.

Oakland University is in the midst of its first year-long campuswide effort to study its athletics program as part of the NCAA Division I certification process. Specific areas include academic and fiscal integrity, governance, rules compliance, and commitment to equity, student-athlete welfare and sportsmanship. NCAA Division I programs must be certified every 10 years to ensure the integrity of the institution's athletics operations. The university community and the public have an opportunity to comment via a Web site developed for this purpose.

Oakland County home of OU

Oakland University is located in Oakland County - the third most affluent county in the United States and the fastest growing county in Michigan. Oakland County houses facilities for nearly 200 Fortune 500 companies, including five world headquarters. More than 400 internationally owned companies also are located here.
Oakland County's rolling hills, wetlands and woodlands provide beautiful neighborhoods and plenty of year-round recreation. The surrounding community also offers an abundance of entertainment, cultural and other social opportunities. Together, all this makes Oakland County a great place to live, work and go to school.

Here are just a few of the activities offered in the surrounding area:

Entertainment

Art Museum — The sixth-largest fine arts museum in the United States — The Detroit Institute of Arts — houses more than 60,000 works and is located in downtown Detroit.
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Cider Mills — Goodson, Paint Creek, Rochester and Yates cider mills all are located in Rochester and offer seasonal opportunities for outings.
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Concerts — A variety of concerts and special events are held at the Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Music Festival and the Pontiac Silverdome.
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Historical Museum — Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, located in Dearborn, is the nation's largest indoor/outdoor history museum, which includes 88 acres of historic homes and buildings spanning 300 years of American history.
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Historical Sites — Besides Meadow Brook Hall on OU’s campus, there are a number of historical sites in the area including Olde World Canterbury Village in Lake Orion, which is the former farm of newspaper publisher Howard Scripps.
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Movies — Students can watch movies on campus or check out listings at the many area theaters.
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Nightlife — A thriving nightlife can be found in downtown Pontiac.
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Sporting Events — You can attend sporting events on campus, or a short drive away is the Palace of Auburn Hills for Detroit Pistons men's basketball, Detroit Shock women's basketball and Detroit Fury arena football.
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Zoo — The Detroit Zoo is located not too far away in Royal Oak.

Recreation

Downhill Skiing - Three downhill skiing resorts are located in Oakland County.
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Golf Courses - You can golf on OU's two golf courses or at the more than 30 courses located in Oakland County.
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Parks - Besides the many city and township parks, Oakland County has 11 different county parks and 8 state parks that offer year-round recreation including camping, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, golfing, biking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, ice skating and ice fishing.
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Recreation Trail - The trailhead for the 8.5-mile Paint Creek Trail, which is a non-motorized recreation trail for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding, is located in downtown Rochester.

Shopping

• Many close-by neighborhoods offer shopping districts such as Rochester, Birmingham and Royal Oak.
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• The Village of Rochester Hills, an outdoor shopping center with several restaurants and upscale shops, is located next to Oakland’s campus.
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• Five major shopping malls also are located near Oakland’s campus including Great Lakes Crossing, Lakeside Mall, Oakland Mall, Somerset Collection and the Summit Place Mall.
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• Olde World Canterbury Village extends over 21 acres and contains the Kings Court Castle restaurant and 18 specialty shops, including Always Christmas, a 90,000-square-foot, year-round Christmas store.

 

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              © 2004 Greg Kampe. All rights reserved.