OU Libraries Timeline: students
1959: Lynn Anderson Ruth: First OU Student
Chosen from a pool of students who finished in the top half of their class, Lynn Anderson Ruth registers for classes at Michigan State University - Oakland and receives student number 000001, making history as the first MSUO student
Image: OU Kresge Library Archives
1959: OU's First International Students
OU enrolls first international student, Aydin Ilgaz, a 19-year old male from Istanbul, Turkey (1). Dang Xich Lan (above left), a 29 year old from Vietnam, enrolls in January 1960 (2).
1. "MSU-O Has First Foreign Student" The Oakland Observer. 11 December 1959, page. 5.
2. "Vietnam Student Enrolls at MSUO" The Oakland Observer. 29 January 1960, page 1.
Images: OU Kresge Library Archives
1959: Temporary library
Temporary library quarters were set up at North Foundation Hall. Books were available with 'complete freedom' (no restrictions on number that could be borrowed, no due dates, no fines, and, initially, 24 hour library access). Material was shelved alphabetically to make it available before it was catalogued.
1960: Association of Women Students
University forms an organization for women students on campus: the Association of Women Students (1). This association is briefly mentioned in the October 14, 1960 Academic Senate meeting minutes
1. Oakland Observer, Oct. 21, 1960, p.3, v.2:no.2.
1961: Kresge Library Opens
October 27, 1961: Library contents moved from North Foundation Hall to the new Kresge Library building. Students helped by pushing books on book trucks over from the former library at North Foundation Hall, and by loading and unloading books. All materials were moved in three and a half hours. The building was officially dedicated the following spring. View the program for the dedication.
1965: Isaac Jones
Isaac Jones is the first African American OU graduate. He receives a BA in Sociology. Jones is fatally shot in 1968. OU creates a scholarship in his name (see Chancellor Varner's speech for dignity and justice for all
and 1968 Isaac Jones Memorial Scholarship entry below).
Image: Photo of Isaac Jones in Oakland Center. Photographer: Johnnie R. Blunt
1965: Library learning
A library information test was taken by 1,000 Oakland University students during orientation week. As a result, 230 students signed up for a short course to prepare them for learning at the library, which was taught two days a week for three weeks.
1965: Student library committee
The Student Library Committee of the Kresge Library began operation.
1967: Project 20
In an effort to create a more ethnically diverse student population, OU admits 20 African American high school graduates under the Project 20 initiative. Funded by local businesses, Project 20 "aim[s] at dis-advantaged teen-agers whose high school grades [are] too low to admit them to college. Instead of past achievement they [are] selected on the basis of their potential and motivation". In June 1971, twelve Project 20 students graduate from OU (1).
1. The Sunday News-Detroit, June 13, 1971 p. 22A
1968: First OU Woman Engineer
Ann Auten, a native of Athens, Michigan, is the first female graduate from the OU School of Engineering (1).
1.Lakeland Tribune, August 8, 1968
1968: Isaac Jones Memorial Scholarship
Shortly after the February 3rd murder of Issac Jones, OU's first African American graduate, the University establishes the Isaac Jones Memorial Scholarship fund. The financial aid gift is awarded to promising African American high school graduates from Pontiac, Michigan. Pontiac Central High graduate Cecilia E. Brown (picture above) is the first recipient.
Image: OU Kresge Library Archives
1968: Matilda R. Wilson fund establishedThe Matilda R. Wilson Memorial Fund
for the purchase of reference and bibliographic works was established by the students of Oakland University. Students agreed to a slight increase in fees in order to support the library's reference collection.
1970: Student protest
A group of students, protesting university policies on gender issues, environmental concerns, and military recruitment on campus, took approximately 2500 books from the library and held them at the Oakland Center as a way of attracting attention to their causes.
1971: OU La Raza Day
Oakland University Latin-American staff and students, in conjunction with the Admissions Office, sponsors the university's first "La Raza Day". La Raza Day is a campus visitation program, culturally oriented to Latino high school students. The goal of the program is to "promote cultural awareness and to explore the opportunities and facilities available in higher education for...Latino student[s]". The second annual La Raza Day is briefly mentioned in the April 18, 1972 Oakland University Newsletter
Image: La Raza from Constitution Warrior
1981: Black Profiles Booklet
Dean of Students, Manuel H. Pierson, approves the production of "Oakland University Black Profiles," a booklet of OU African American student leaders, faculty, and staff. Distributed on October 27, 1981, this publication was compiled to facilitate solidarity and academic success within the OU African American student population.
Image: OU Kresge Library Archives
1985: Term paper clinic
The library offered a 'Term Paper Clinic' (half-hour one-on-one meetings with a librarian) to assist undergraduates with their research and writing.
1992: Origins of Center for Multicultural Initiatives
Approximately 150 African-American students conducted a sit-in at President Sandra Packard's office, in protest of lack of an office for minority affairs. This action resulted in the creation of an Office for Minority Equity a year later. Glenn McIntosh was appointed Director In January 1994 (OU Senate Minutes, January 13, 1994
OME was later renamed the Center for Multicultural Initiatives.
2003: SAFE Program for OU LGBTQIA Community
S.A.F.E. (Students, Administration, and Faculty for Equality) is established. According to the October 23, 2003 campus news release
, SAFE is "a new organization committed to providing an open and supportive environment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) campus community. Program participants, or "allies," are available for assistance and also help challenge homophobia, heterosexism and other forms of discrimination".
2011: CMI C.O.R.E. Summer Bridge Program
A diversity initiative headed by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, Collectively Oakland Retains Everyone (C.O.R.E.) Summer Bridge Program
is a free, week-long residential experience on campus, designed to help new students bridge the gap between high school and college, while building relationships and honing academic skills. The Bridge Program is the first step in helping first year working-class and other minority students succeed at Oakland University. After the Summer Bridge Program, CORE students meet with mentors weekly to facilitate academic progress. They are also required to live on campus during their first year.
2013: OU Minority Enrollment 2013
OU Office of Institutional Research and Assessment reports minority student population of 4,012 in its fall 2013 headcount. This represents roughly 21% of the total student population. This number does not include possible minorities among the 1,013 unreported students.
- African American = 1, 768
- Asian/Pacific Islander =1,010
- Hispanic = 528
- Native American = 188
- Foreign Nationality = 486
For more information, please consult Office of Institutional Research and Assessment Student Profile
Photos courtesy of the Oakland University Archives.
/ Updated on
February 18, 2014