The administration of Oakwood University authorized the dismissal of classes at noon yesterday to allow for a time of reflection, affirmation, and prayer for the general election. Classrooms were quiet for the remainder of the afternoon, between 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m., in honor of this unique election in United States history held in the midst of such challenging economic and political times. Oakwood president, Delbert Baker, Ph.D., made the official announcement to faculty, staff, and students at the close of the regularly scheduled student chapel service, which began at 9:55 a.m. Tuesday, in the sanctuary of Oakwood University Church. Immediately following the service, chapel attendees streamed out of the sanctuary to assemble in human OU formation at Centennial Square. There, between Oakwood’s signature Monument to Service bronze sculpture and the Oakwood University Church, everyone paused for prayer for the nation's leaders and the entire national electoral process.
The Huntsville Fire Department was on standby as participants excitedly watched a hovering helicopter that carried a videographer and photographer on separate trips up into the air. The two-seater aircraft, piloted by Gregory Turley of Alabama Helicopters LLC, took Oakwood communication professor Dwyane Cheddar, videographer for the occasion, and local photographer Danny Sasard on separate trips to capture aerial shots of the OU-formation. Precisely on the president’s cue, the crowd released the blue and gold helium-filled balloons given out after chapel, erupting into exuberant shouts as all eyes watched the school colors make their way into a perfect fall sky.
In addition to classes being dismissed early November 4, university offices closed at 3:00 p.m. to allow additional time for the Oakwood community to engage in prayer. Anyone who had not already gone to the polls was strongly encouraged to get out and vote for their candidate of choice. A total of 722 votes were cast on Oakwood’s campus, which was one of the official polling sites. The special Election Day events culminated with an informal ice cream and sparkling cider reception under the breezeway of the Oakwood University Church. All evening classes and academic activities set for November 4 did take place as planned, however, to avoid interference with any pre-scheduled campus organizational activities and the Adult and Continuing Education LEAP classes.
News & Events -