Office of Community Engagement

Wilson Hall, Room 3000
371 Wilson Blvd.
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
248-370-2190
engagewithou@oakland.edu

Oakland University Pontiac Initiative

North Foundation Hall, Room 121
318 Meadow Brook Rd.
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4455
community@oakland.edu

Oakland University-Pontiac Initiative Leadership Group in front of Bear Lake

OU-Pontiac Initiative

A Collaboration between Oakland University and the City of Pontiac

The OU-Pontiac Initiative is committed to helping advance the City of Pontiac while enhancing experiential learning opportunities for Oakland University students. Over the past year, a network of leaders from the City of Pontiac, Oakland University and the local community served as Pillar Leads for six focus areas: Birth to Grade 16 Education, Civic Engagement, Economic and Workforce Development, Health Care and Wellness, Arts and Culture, and Building Capacity for Non-Profits and Neighborhoods.

Events and News

Welcome

We take great pride in our collaboration with the civic, business and neighborhood leaders in Pontiac.

For nearly a decade, the OU-Pontiac Initiative (OU-PI) has been a dynamic partnership and catalyst for improving the city's birth to grade 16 education, public health, economy, workforce, neighborhoods, nonprofits and culture. Our partnership, built on trust, has brought many benefits to our faculty, students and staff as we work together with the Pontiac community for a common purpose.

Our partnership is attracting attention.

In June 2023, the OU-PI earned recognition as a national community engagement model by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The inaugural AASCU Excellence & Innovation Award for Stewards of Place confirms the urgency of our mission and renews our commitment. Let's take a moment to appreciate our dedication and impact, and recommit to continuing our progress.

Our important endeavor is led by an inspired and selfless team, including Mayor Tim Greimel and Deputy Mayor Khalfani Stephens; Glenn McIntosh, OU senior vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer; Dr. Thomas Kimble, retired vice chairman of the General Motors Foundation; and Teresa Rodges, senior director for OU's Community Service and Pre-College Programs. 

Please join me in deep appreciation for all those working for the betterment of the city of Pontiac.

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., President

Mission, Vision and Goals
VISION STATEMENT
A sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between Oakland University and the City of Pontiac

MISSION STATEMENT
The Oakland University-Pontiac Initiative is advancing the vitality of Pontiac while enhancing experiential learning opportunities for Oakland University students. Promotes civic engagement in the community. In addition, it calls upon a broad network of individuals and organizations to achieve these goals by using appropriate infrastructure, human and financial resources. Oakland University, the city of Pontiac and its residents are more than neighbors defined by geographic proximity. We share a mission, and a sense of community. And, we share a future.

COLLABORATIVE GOALS
  • To be a catalyst for relationship building and collaborative projects involving groups from Pontiac and Oakland University
  • To promote the University’s research agenda with a focus on mutually beneficial projects that enhance both communities
  • To enhance the curricular and co-curricular programs by connecting students with Pontiac-based opportunities for service learning, internships, volunteer experiences, recreation and arts
  • To support the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan: Pontiac Moving Forward
  • To connect Pontiac-based entities with OU faculty, students, programs and resources
  • To facilitate consistent, accurate and timely communication between Pontiac and the University communities
  • To identify and secure human and financial resources (including external grants) needed to ensure a sustainable model for community engagement
Get Involved

Headshot of Teresa RodgesFor nine impactful years, Oakland University (OU) and the Pontiac community have banded together to inspire leaders in the community to come together to help advance the City of Pontiac and enhance experiential learning opportunities for OU students.

OU, the City of Pontiac and community leaders served as pillar leads for our six focus areas: Arts and Culture, Birth to Grade 16 Education, Building Capacity for Nonprofits and Neighborhoods, Civic Engagement, Economic and Workforce Development, and Health Care and Wellness. Their outstanding work and meaningful programs rest at the heart of our mission.

In October 2023, nearly 200 individuals came together at our OU-PI Town Hall Meeting to review our objectives and accomplishments over the past year and convene on how we can further enhance the relationship between OU and the City of Pontiac. People and organizations came together to inspire, learn, plan and collaborate for the upcoming year.

There are many opportunities to become involved in community outreach and public engagement. For more information, please contact me at (248) 370-3087. 

Teresa A. Rodges, Senior Director for Community Service and Pre-College Programs,
Div. of Student Affairs and Diversity

Leadership

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.
President, Oakland University

Tim Greimel
Mayor, City of Pontiac

Khalfani Stephens
Deputy Mayor, City of Pontiac

Pastor Douglas P. Jones
President and Founder
Greater Pontiac Community Coalition

Dr. Thomas Kimble
President Emeritus, AARP and Initiative Co-Chair

Glenn McIntosh
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer,
Oakland University and Initiative Co-Chair

Jean Ann Miller
Senior Director for Office for Student Involvement, Oakland University

Teresa Rodges
Sr. Director for Community Service and Pre-College Programs

Dr. Samino Scott
Executive Director
Pontiac Collective Impact Partnership

Wayne Thibodeau
Senior Director for Career and Life Design Center, Oakland University

John Young
Vice President for University Communications and Marketing, Oakland University

Annual Report

The 2022-23 OU-Pontiac Initiative (OU-PI) annual report details the OU-PI’s many accomplishments over the past year. Focusing on the six pillar areas - arts and culture, birth to grade 16 education, building capacity for nonprofits and neighborhoods, civic engagement, economic and workforce development, and health care and wellness - the annual report is brimming with photographs, quotations, statistics and event recaps that celebrate the betterment of Pontiac. 

Printed copies of the annual report are available by contacting Angela Harris, office assistant in Pre-College Programs, at (248) 370-4455, or by emailing community@oakland.edu. Thank you for your interest!