Oakwood University’s Alumni Weekend draws thousands

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  While some schools look forward to homecoming, Oakwood University looks forward to Alumni Weekend.

The celebration started in the 1960s. This year, it kicked off with a concert by Virture, a gospel group comprised of Oakwood alums.

The weekend of festivities is targeted at fostering the already-strong relationship between the school and its alumni.

"We fundraise with our alumni," said Dr. Timothy McDonald, provost and senior vice president. "Bringing them back reinforces those Oakwood experiences they all enjoyed."

For current students, it's an opportunity to receive wisdom from Oakwood Ambassadors of days past.

"There are so many forums and symposiums with alumni trying to give students internships, trying to show students what life after Oakwood is really about, and it's really unparalleled," said senior and Miss Oakwood University, Nia Johnson.

Nearly ten thousand alumni are expected in town for the weekend that's not only big for fellowship but also for recruitment.

"We actually invite high school seniors to come for alumni weekend because it's an opportunity for them to see and feel the strong Oakwood experience," said Dr. McDonald.

With so many second- and third- generation Oakwoodites, the alumni connection is particularly strong.

"It tells them, 'I can't come here and not do what I'm supposed to do because my parents walked these grounds," said Johnson.

The weekend is composed of a golf tournament, black-tie banquet, a block party, amongst other festivities. Learn more about Oakwood University Alumni Weekend 2015 here.