Oakland University

Oakland University
Oakland University
Oakland University seal.svg
Motto Seguir virtute e canoscenza (Italian)
Motto in English Seek virtue and knowledge
Established 1957
Type Public
Endowment $39.0 million[1]
President Gary Russi
Students 19,053 (Fall 2010)[2]
Undergraduates 15,530
Postgraduates 3,523
Location Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills, Michigan, United States
Campus Suburban
Colors Black, Gold          
Mascot Golden Grizzlies
Website http://www.oakland.edu
Oakland University

Oakland University is a public university co-founded by Matilda Dodge Wilson and John A. Hannah whose 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) campus is located in central Oakland County, Michigan in the cities of Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills Michigan.[3] It is the only major research university in Oakland County, from which OU derives its name.[4] The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has classified OU as a Doctoral Research University.[5]



Oakland University was created in 1957 when Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of automobile magnate John Francis Dodge, and her second husband, Alfred Wilson, donated their 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) estate to Michigan State University, including Meadow Brook Hall, Sunset Terrace and all the estate's other buildings and collections, along with $2 million. Main campus buildings were completed near Squirrel Road in Pontiac Township (now the city of Auburn Hills). Originally known as Michigan State University–Oakland, the university enrolled its first students in 1959 and was renamed Oakland University in 1963. The university has been officially independent since 1970.[6] Wilson asked U.S. Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield to let the university use a Rochester, Michigan mailing address, even though the main part of the campus was in Pontiac Township (now Auburn Hills). After reminding Summerfield that she had contributed to his administration, Summerfield granted her request.[7] The city of Rochester is five miles (8 km) from the main campus buildings.

For the Fall 2010 semester, OU had an enrollment of 19,053 students.[8] The current president of the university is Dr. Gary Russi, who replaced Dr. Sandra Packard on an interim basis in 1995 and was appointed president by the Board of Trustees in 1996.


Oakland University's motto is Seguir virtute e canoscenza ("Seek virtue and knowledge").[9] It is a quotation from Dante's Inferno, Canto XXVI, 1. 120. These are the final words of Ulysses' speech to his men urging them to sail on in pursuit of knowledge and experience of the world — even beyond the pillars of Hercules, traditionally the frontier and limit of legitimate exploration.

This is the three-line stanza:

Considerate la vostra semenza / Fatti non foste a viver come bruti / Ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza.

Consider your birth [or "origin"] / You were not made to live like brutes / But to follow courage and knowledge [or "virtue and wisdom," or "fortitude and learning"].


Oakland University offers 132 undergraduate bachelor's degree programs and 124 graduate programs (professional certificates, M.A., M.B.A., M.S., and Ph.D.)

The main academic units of the university are the School of Education and Human Services, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Health & Human Services, the School of Engineering and Computer Science, the School of Health Sciences, and the School of Nursing. Additionally, OU supports an Honors College and various study abroad programs.

As part of its research mission, OU also supports a number of major research centers and institutes, including the Center for Biomedical Research, the Center for Robotics and Advanced Automation, the Fastening and Joining Research Institute, the Human Systems Initiative, and the renowned Eye Research Institute. Additionally, OU's Smart Zone Business Incubator (OU INC) provides entrepreneurial resources and expertise to support and foster new technology-based and life science businesses.

In April, 2007, the university announced plans to establish a Medical School on the OU campus in partnership with William Beaumont Hospital called the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. The medical school, which will be the fourth in the state of Michigan to offer the M.D. degree, received 3,237 applications for the inaugural class in fall 2011, which will take 50 students.[10] The founding dean of the Medical School is Robert Folberg.

Undergraduate programs

Oakland University offers 132 undergraduate programs..[11]

Undergraduate Program Listing

Graduate programs

Oakland University offers 124 graduate programs.[12]

Graduate Program Listing

Research institutes and centers

OU is home to major research institutes and centers addressing a broad range of interests and industries, including biomedical, public affairs, technology, engineering, education, international studies, and more.

Culture and the arts

The Kresge Library as seen from the Dodge Hall of Engineering

Oakland University is home to Meadow Brook Hall, which is a 110-room Tudor revival–style mansion completed in 1929 as OU founder Matilda Dodge Wilson's Oakland County estate, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Meadow Brook Hall is the fourth-largest historic house museum in the United States, and houses a vast collection of historically significant art and furniture, including paintings by Rembrandt, Anthony van Dyck, Rosa Bonheur, Gilbert Stuart, Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, and Thomas Gainsborough, as well as sculptures by Antoine-Louis Barye, Frederic Remington, Cyrus Edwin Dallin, and Herbert Haseltine. Meadow Brook Hall is frequently utilized by the OU community as a site for select university functions, including the popular student event the Meadow Brook Ball.[13] Meadow Brook Hall and its grounds were the site of the annual Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance, which one of the largest collector car shows in the world. However, 2010 was the last year that Meadow Brook will host the show, as it is moving to The Inn at St. John's for 2011.[14]

OU's campus is home to the Meadow Brook Music Festival, an outdoor entertainment venue with an on-site pavilion, which accommodates close to 8,000 people. In addition to being the site of spring-time graduation ceremonies, Meadow Brook Music Festival also hosts comedians and musical acts. Meadow Brook Music Festival is managed by Palace Sports and Entertainment.[15]

Meadow Brook Theatre, which was founded at OU in 1967, is the largest non-profit professional theater in Michigan, and presents a wide variety of award-winning productions throughout the year. Additionally, the Oakland University Art Gallery, which was formerly known as the Meadow Brook Art Gallery, presents at least six different exhibitions each academic year, in addition to hosting a variety of lectures, performances, and symposia.

Campus and community

In addition to its geographic location between the cities of Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills, Oakland University maintains an official hometown relationship with the neighboring city of Rochester, Michigan.[4] University and city officials signed a partnership agreement in 2003 to officially recognize the relationship between Rochester and OU.[16] In 2005, Rochester was ranked 39th in the CNN/Money Magazine list of the Top 100 American cities in which to live.[17]

OU's campus, which encompasses 1,500 acres (6.1 km2), includes trails and biking paths and two nationally-ranked golf courses. In 2009, an 18-hole disc golf course opened. Grizzly Oaks was co-designed by student Jarrett Schlaff and licensed by the Professional Disc Golf Association.[18]

Although many of Oakland's students commute from surrounding areas, there are more than 2,000 who live on campus in a variety of residence halls, student townhouses, and university apartments.[19] The residence halls include Fitzgerald House, Hill House, Hamlin Hall, Van Wagoner House, and the East and West Towers of Vandenberg Hall. Residential learning communities on OU's campus include Scholars Tower and the Residential Honors College community. Eight additional buildings make up the Matthews Court student townhouses, and six major Tudor-style buildings house the University Student Apartments, which were completed in 2002.

The campus also offers recreational facilities for intramural sports and for OU's 16 NCAA Division I athletic teams, including the lighted Upper Athletic Fields, the indoor Sports Dome, fields for varsity baseball, softball, and soccer, facilities for basketball, handball, track, and weight training. The campus Recreation Center houses OU's state-of-the-art natatorium, and the Athletics Center O'Rena, a 4,000-seat field house, is the home court for OU basketball and volleyball.

In June 2009 "Free Food at Oakland University" (http://freefoodatou.com) launched as a resource to the Oakland University students, the website lists events on campus that are free and open to all OU students and give away free food.

OU's student union, the Oakland Center, was renovated and expanded in 2003. The Oakland Center houses the offices of student organizations, a large food court with multiple restaurants, the student bookstore, a cafe, a pool hall and gaming center, a Student Technology Center, the campus newspaper The Oakland Post, computer labs, conference rooms, as well as the offices of the university radio station, WXOU (88.3 FM). OU also has its own television station (OU TV) which is broadcast on-campus and to the local community. Campus life is enhanced by more than 200 registered student organizations, ranging from cultural and religious groups to Greek organizations. Fraternities represented at OU include Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Pi, Theta Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Alpha Phi Alpha. Sororities include Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Sigma Theta, and Sigma Gamma Rho. The so-called Cottage District of campus, which consists of homes originally built for workers employed at the old Meadow Brook Estate, now contains fraternity and sorority houses. Only one(Theta Chi) has an official chapter house off-campus.[citation needed] Additionally, the university owns an adjoining tract of land to the east of the main university campus, which was developed into a neighborhood in which many OU faculty members currently live.

In 2009, OU created a bicycle sharing system called OU Bike Share. The program was started with 30 bicycles available for use free of charge on the honor system.[20] The bicycles are labeled with a yellow "OU Bike Share" band.


A notable song commonly played and sung at various events, such as commencement, convocation, and athletic games, is the Oakland University fight song.

Previously known as the "Pioneers", their teams are now known as the "Golden Grizzlies".

Oakland University has in the past been used as a training camp for the Detroit Lions.[21]

Oakland University's men's soccer team became the first Oakland team to move past the first round of the NCAA in 2007.[22]

Oakland University Fight Song: OU Fight


Fight, fight, fight for Oakland,

Fight the whole game long.

Fight, fight, fight for Oakland,

Keep the Grizzlies strong.

While the battle rages,

And our work's not done.

We will fight for glory,

'Til the game is won.

Go Black!

Go Gold!

Go Fight!

Fight, fight, fight for Oakland,

Fight the whole game long.

Fight, fight, fight for Oakland,

Keep the Grizzlies strong.

When the game is over,

and the story's told,

OU will claim vic'try.

We're the Black and Gold!

Notable alumni

Arts and entertainment

Sports and media

Government and politics




2009 faculty strike

In September 2009, tenured faculty members represented by the OU chapter of the AAUP went on strike.[26] Issues of contention included the University claiming ownership of professors' copyrights and patents[27] and refusing to allow faculty input into matters of class size and curricula,[28] reduction of health benefits, and a three-year freeze of salaries (particularly since the university president, Gary Russi, had just received a $100,000 raise).[26] The University Board of Trustees maintained that the strike was illegal and filed a lawsuit against the Oakland AAUP.[28] After a week's strike, the faculty and administration came to a tentative agreement on a three-year contract.[29]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. http://www.nacubo.org/Documents/research/2009_NCSE_Public_Tables_Endowment_Market_Values.pdf. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Student profile Fall 2010". oakland.edu. http://www.oakland.edu/upload/docs/OIRA/Info.xlsx. 
  3. ^ "Oakland University - Campus Map". http://www2.oakland.edu/map/. 
  4. ^ a b "About the Community". http://www4.oakland.edu/?id=1611&sid=18. 
  5. ^ Carnegie Classifications | Institution Profile
  6. ^ "OU Timeline - OU History". http://www4.oakland.edu/?id=1611&sid=19. 
  7. ^ "OU Timeline - OU History". http://www4.oakland.edu/?id=1611&sid=19. "1958: Matilda Wilson demands that the university's address match Meadow Brook Hall's Rochester address, even though the main campus lies in Pontiac Township (now Auburn Hills). She prevailed by reminding U.S. Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield that she had been a generous contributor to his Republican administration." 
  8. ^ "Fall Headcount & FYES 1959–2009". Oakland University. 2009. https://www2.oakland.edu/secure/oira/FYES1.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  9. ^ OU Motto, Seal and Logo - OU History - Oakland University
  10. ^ The Oakland Post "School of Medicine ready for fall semester"
  11. ^ "Undergraduate Programs". http://www.oakland.edu/?id=7569&sid=62. 
  12. ^ "Graduate Admissions". http://www.oakland.edu/gograd. 
  13. ^ Students vying for Meadow Brook Ball tickets flood the basement of the Oakland Center » The Oakland Post
  14. ^ General Info
  15. ^ Palace Sports & Entertainment
  16. ^ "OU and City of Rochester announce partnership". http://www4.oakland.edu/view_news.aspx?sid=34&nid=1486. 
  17. ^ "Rochester, OU’s college town ranked in top 100 cities". http://www4.oakland.edu/view_news.aspx?sid=34&nid=2652. 
  18. ^ Grizzly Oaks disc golf opens » The Oakland Post
  19. ^ Ask OU - Housing - Oakland University
  20. ^ "Bike Share Program offers free, healthy transportation in fall 2009". Oakland University. 20 April 2009. http://www.oakland.edu/news/?sid=90&nid=5432. Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  21. ^ George, Thomas (7 August 1989). "Toothless Lions Hope to 'Restore the Roar'". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1989/08/07/sports/toothless-lions-hope-to-restore-the-roar.html. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  22. ^ www.ougrizzlies.com
  23. ^ "Golden Grizzlies Athletics - Fight Song". http://www.ougrizzlies.com/fightsong/oakl-fightsong.html. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h "From Freddy Krueger to Olympic athletes". The Oakland Press. 18 March 2005. http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2005/03/18/localnews/20050318-archive2.txt. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  25. ^ "Supreme Industries Update - Press Releases - TradersHuddle.com". http://www.tradershuddle.com/20110531237770/Press-Releases/Supreme-Industries-Update.html. 
  26. ^ a b David N. Goodman, "Strike by Professors Leads to Canceled Classes in Michigan", The New York Times, September 3, 2009
  27. ^ Audrey Williams June, "Strike Settled, Oakland U. Professors Return to the Classroom", The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 2009
  28. ^ a b Santiago Esparza and Mike Martindale, "OU Lawsuit: Strike is Illegal", The Detroit News, September 8, 2009
  29. ^ Jeff Greer, US News & World Report, "Oakland University in Michigan's Strike Ends", September 10, 2009

External links

Coordinates: 42°40′22″N 83°12′57″W / 42.672659°N 83.215776°W / 42.672659; -83.215776

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