Menu Menu

View Newsletter


For immediate release
Monday, Oct. 7, 2013

OU to honor most inspiring individuals in its alumni community

1971 College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) graduate Bernard Kent will receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the highest alumni honor OU offers.
     Rochester, Mich. – On Friday, Oct. 25, the Oakland University Alumni Association will celebrate the accomplishments of its most successful alumni, as well as those who have selflessly shared their time, talent and treasure with Oakland University and their communities.

     The 19th Annual Alumni Awards Banquet – set for 6 p.m. in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms on the campus of Oakland University – will also include special recognition of previous alumni award recipients.

     Serving as mistress of ceremonies this year will be 2008 College of Arts and Sciences graduate Lauren Podell, known widely in her role as a WDIV-TV Local 4 news reporter and anchor.

     Financial adviser Bernard Kent, JD, CPA, PFS and a 1971 College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) graduate, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. This is the highest alumni honor awarded and it recognizes peerless volunteer leadership in service to OU or its alumni association.

     Two individuals will be presented the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding professional achievement or contribution to the community. They are
1988 CAS graduate Dr. Joseph A Helpern, professor and vice chair for research in radiology at Medical University of South Carolina; and 1977 CAS graduate Michael Kenny, who is a partner at Alston and Bird, LLC.

     The Odyssey Award, which honors alumni who embrace Oakland's motto to "seek virtue and knowledge, will be presented to Waterford Kettering High School Principal Jeffrey Frankowiak, who graduated from the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) in 2004, 2006 and 2012.

     Thomas Mittelbrun, III, benefits director for the Electrical Workers' Joint Boards of Trustees of the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58, and a 1988 School of Business Administration (SBA) graduate, will receive the Spirit Award, which recognizes exemplary volunteer service to the university.

     Alexis Anne Collins, a dance educator at Detroit Country Day School and 2005 CAS graduate, along with 2006 SBA graduate Rick Williams, co-owner Burn Rubber Shoes and founder and creative director of The Distinct Life, will be presented the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. This recognizes alumni who have demonstrated the value of their education through post-college achievements.

     The Alumni Community Service Award will be presented to 1978 SEHS graduate Judith Hoppin, volunteer clinical supervisor at the Oakland University Adult Career Counseling Center. This honor recognizes distinctive service of a humanitarian nature or citizenship through community, public or OU service activities.

     Oakland University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emerita Judith K. Brown will receive the Honorary Alumni Award, which is given to individuals who have not graduated from OU, but who have given outstanding service to the university.

     Tickets to attend the 2013Alumni Awards Banquet event are $100 per person and 10-seat table sponsorships are available for $1,000. Registration and additional information are available at or by contacting Christina Simon at (248) 370-4917 or Interactive and printable maps of the Oakland University campus are available at

# # #

Media Relations
University Communications and Marketing
Oakland University, 100 Anibal House, 2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4401
Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing, and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the web at