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Year in Review showcases Oakland's many achievements in 2011

Friday, January 6, 2012
Year in Review showcases Oakland's many achievements in 2011
By Katie Land, news editor

Without a doubt, 2011 was a significant year for Oakland University. It oversaw a great deal of change, growth and recognition for the campus community in a variety of areas. Still, none of these successes would be possible without the creativity, ambition, and dedication of Oakland’s students, staff and faculty.

Focused on a providing a distinctive educational experience with an emphasis on academic quality, Oakland University approved two new bachelor’s degree programs in 2011. The Bachelor of Arts Major in Creative Writing is one of a small but growing number of programs across the country, and the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences offers a specialized approach to pre-medical curriculum that is emerging rapidly throughout the nation.

The campus has continued a steady pace of growth and increased student enrollment for the 14th consecutive year. To augment this demand, the new Anton-Frankel Center opened in Mount Clemens, and the construction of the Human Health Building has continued to advance both ahead of schedule and on budget. The building, which will house the schools of Nursing and Health Sciences, is expected to open in 2012. In addition, a $30 million commitment from the state has allowed the university to plan for a new engineering center on campus.

In the spring, about 500 students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and business leaders joined together to help chart the university’s course as part of the Creating the Future II Summit. This new venture is designed to utilize Michigan’s movers and shakers to address state economics, health, energy, business and other issues.

A historic new chapter opened this August with the official launch of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, the first Michigan has seen in nearly 50 years. The charter class of 50 students welcomed the unique opportunity to combine science coursework with clinical training through every step of the program. Designed to train top-notch physicians, the medical school also places great emphasis on compassion and community well-being.

Oakland University garnered tremendous national and international visibility this November, as the campus played host to a national Republican presidential debate. Several thousand attendees, reporters and community members descended on campus in the days leading up to the debate. The event not only showcased Oakland’s campus, but provided students with the rare chance to get involved and participate in an event on a national scale.

Dedicated to improving and contributing to the community, Oakland was recognized with the 2011 Business of the Year Award by the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce. At the same time, the university has worked diligently to build and create new partnerships and outreach programs through its business incubators, concurrent enrollment programs, and satellite campuses.

While the year marked another tough economic and legislative time for Michiganders, Oakland University has managed to progress and even thrive. Despite challenges in an ever-changing political landscape, Oakland’s faculty, staff and students remain committed to crafting an institution of innovation and excellence.

The story of Oakland University continues in the Year in Review web site, where a collection of news stories highlight the many notable and diverse programs, events and achievements of 2011.