Alumni help current students through OU Leadership Program


Alumni from Oakland University have the ability to participate, explore and reconnect with their alma mater through numerous events.

Even though the university just celebrated its first 50-year anniversary class this year, there are 97,535 OU alums as of April 1. Oakland is still considered a young university, but that doesn’t stop the alumni from coming out and supporting their alma mater. One of the ways they show this is through the OU Leadership program.

Maria Willett, Director of Student Outreach and Community Engagement, helps students connect with these alumni through OU Leadership program. The program selects 15 students in mid-June and along with their monthly meetings with her, they also meet many alumni at the alumni awards banquet. She says that the most important part of meeting these alumni is that they get to see the students get to see the value of their degree.

“They try to connect with these people and try to see who they are and how they got there because a lot of them are very prominent people,” Willett said.

Along with meeting these alumni at the alumni awards banquet, the students also meet with an alumni mentor once a month. These mentors help students get a connection to the Oakland University Alumni Association and help students understand what life after graduation is really about.

One of those mentors is Jennifer Llewellyn, who received her Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development in 2000. She is currently the Director and Business Service Coordinator of the Oakland County Michigan Works Troy/Troy School District. She is also very active in her community as she is the Project Lead for the Oakland Macomb Job Hub, Co-chair of the Business Works in Oakland County and Chair of the County Business Services Team.

Llewellyn said that her experience as an Oakland alum has been just as wonderful as being a student. The OU Leadership program has offered her a unique opportunity to combine her personal desire to pay it forward with her professional career talent and workforce development.

“It is essential that alumni stay connected to Oakland University in any way they can. The variety of programs, resources and activities for alumni is endless and there are opportunities for everyone,” Llewellyn said.

Along with helping current students, there are also plenty of events and activities OU alumni can participate in. The Arts at OU series is currently being held as events include Dinner and a Movie at Meadow Brook Hall, A Night at Oakland University Art Gallery, and the Oakland Symphony Orchestra performance at Detroit Symphony Hall. More information on these and other events can be found at

Oakland alums can also find more information on how to stay connected to the school at