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A legacy of giving
Dennis Pawley has never stopped going to Oakland University. He began as student number 100 of the OU charter class in 1959 and for more than 40 years has been in attendance through selfless personal involvement, innovative ideas for learning, peerless leadership, inspiration and financial support. And he has never stopped reaching out to his classmates — building bridges to the business community and beyond that have launched hundreds of OU graduates on their careers.
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Founders’ Day celebrates university, Pawley gift
The April 15 celebration for the 2004 Founders’ Day took place under sunny, spring skies. The annual event honored Dennis and Carlotta Pawley for their long history of support and recent $4 million gift to OU. In recognition of the unprecedented gift, the Education and Human Services Building was renamed Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall. The new name was unveiled as part of the day’s events with hundreds of faculty, staff, students, friends and community members gathered.
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Professor seeks clean water supply
Eliminate water, eliminate existence. Along with oxygen and food, water makes survival on our small, blue planet possible. "Water is my life," says Oakland University Chemistry Professor Linda Schweitzer. "We’re made of water and there’s no substitute for it." On a freezing winter’s day, Schweitzer sits all bundled up in her office in the Science and Engineering Building in the heart of OU’s west campus.
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The Classroom is just the Beginning
If learning is about the pursuit of information, then knowledge most certainly is about finding it. At Oakland University, knowledge rests at the core of each student’s educational experience. That is why research and hands-on, active learning permeate the Oakland curriculum, crossing program boundaries — from art history, chemistry and nursing to engineering and business. As much learning occurs outside the classroom as in it.
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Early discoveries in the lab
In the fall of 1979, OU senior biology major Jeffrey Hansen had no grand plans for his future. He figured he’d complete his degree, graduate and enter the job market. As it turns out, he achieved quite a bit more than that. Today, as professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Colorado State University, Hansen is unraveling the complex structure of chromatin, which envelops DNA.
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The science of a safe homeland
Jennifer Froelich and America are forming some ties that bond these days. Hooked since high school on beakers, slides, tubes and all the possibilities they hold, the OU chemistry major is one of only 100 students from around the country chosen to conduct research as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Scholarship and Fellowship Program.
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Out of this world research
Van Gogh’s attempt to mingle art and the cosmos resulted in one wildly troubled starry night. One hundred and fifteen years later, computer science graduate student Aiyesha Ma — an art lover with a passion for science — is up to the same, but with a key difference: Ma who definitely has both ears on straight, is pursuing her space inspired images via university study.
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Grizzlies conquer at Nationals
Five-year building plans are common for athletics teams. Some are winning more than they lose by that time; most are losing more than they win, but for Oakland University’s Men’s Hockey Club, five years is all it took to take a grassroots organization and turn it into a national champion.
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Women’s hockey team comes from behind for the win
A week after the men’s championship, OU’s women’s hockey club won their first-ever Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association championship. Ranked fourth and with a sub .500 record, the women entered the tournament as underdogs. That changed after defeating defending champion Michigan State University in a shootout in the finals.
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The World Around Him
When Paul Tomboulian first laid eyes on Oakland University in May 1959, there wasn’t much to see. The campus was mostly farmland from Matilda Wilson’s Meadow Brook Farms estate, North and South Foundation Halls were only partially completed and the faculty/staff subdivision was a pasture. There were no students or faculty. Tomboulian and his wife, Alice, were visiting as guests of Durward "Woody" Varner, chancellor of what was then called Michigan State University — Oakland (MSUO).
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Wheels in motion
Like a shiny new Dodge rolling off the assembly line, metro Detroit is on the move. And don’t get in its way. With two new sports stadiums, midtown loft living, riverfront redevelopment, three casinos moving toward permanent homes, science center improvements, a Super Bowl and Final Four on the horizon, restaurant openings, a cleaner environment and the relocation of Compuware and EDS downtown, this is not your father’s Detroit.
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Spring 2004 Issue



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