On February 1, 2012, 14 OU Pre Alumni students, and sponsor Alumni Relations Director Barbara Stovall, made their way to sunny Orlando, Florida, for the 66th UNCF National Alumni Council and 54th NationalPre-Alumni Council Leadership Conference. For five days the 20 students and OU representatives attended various workshops and seminars, and even had the opportunity to have a recreational day at the Disney Parks.
Oakwood's visibility and involvement was at an all-time high at this year's conference. Ms. Stovall facilitated a workshop entitled "Using Media to Build Membership and Fund-Raising." Pre- Alumni President Deshay Caines facilitated a workshop about the "UNCF Experience: Navigating Scholarships, Internships, and Employment."
On Saturday night, Janelle Howell, Miss UNCF of Oakwood University, escorted by Dr. Tim McDonald, OU Senior VP and Provost, competed with 32 Queens from other universities for the title of National Miss UNCF.
Given the fine reputation for having students with musical talent, it was inevitable that Oakwood was asked to provide some of the music at this conference. Jacqueline Clemmons had the honor to sing, Mariah Carey's arrangement of "Hero," as the opening song for the coronation. Violinist Vashon Williams, and pianist Micah Burton, serenaded the college queens with the song "He Wants It All."
Nylola Joseph, Vice President of OU's Pre Alumni, had the opportunity to attend the alumni reception, where she met CNN news anchor Soledad O'Brien, UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax, and other college and university presidents.
Describing her experience at the conference Deshay Caines, OU's Pre Alumni President, said: "The trip to Orlando, Florida, for the UNCF Pre-Alumni Conference, was truly a trip of a lifetime. Beyond the opportunity to see Disney World, the networking and career building opportunities were mind-blowing. The seminars and guest speakers "put a fire in me" to go further and faster with my goals and education. Not only did I have the opportunity to support and show pride in my school, but I saw how much God has truly blessed Oakwood University in comparison to the other UNCF schools represented. The way the other schools looked up to us reminded me that we all have the responsibility to support our school. I look forward to working with you to make Oakwood victorious in Atlanta for the conference in 2013."